sore hamstrings

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Bill F
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:08 pm
Location: Whitecourt AB CN

by Bill F

I have been experiencing sore hamstrings on my left side for some time now. Primarily when I start riding and stay seated riding into a strong wind on during some 10 - 20 km climbs in the mountains. I use 175 mm cranks on my mountain/touring/commuting bikes however I use 180 mm on my road bikes. I have been for some time and have long femurs relative to my lower leg length. This year it first surfaced running but I suspect I was starting to feel it during trainer riding at high resistance. I have been riding with 180 mm cranks for a number of years with no problem before.

Is it possible that this problem is associated with seat position (fore/aft and height)? I have not adjusted my saddle height either. Outside of getting older I have changed nothing else. I have always had tight IT bands which I am diligent about stretching. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Cyco
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Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:49 am

by Cyco

Based on what you said , try 180s on the MtB's.

Don't forget that what a lot of people think is a hamstring sorness can be a glute attachment issue.
Success is how far you you bounce back up after being knocked down

by Weenie


regopsp22
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 12:40 pm
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by regopsp22

Do some of season work to strengthen the legs :) Deep squatting and Stiff leg dead lifting.

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Bruiser
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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by Bruiser

Is it a growing soreness (tightness) or painful soreness (musclular imbalance)?


Brian

Bill F
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:08 pm
Location: Whitecourt AB CN

by Bill F

From the very start of a long climb or when I turn into a strong wind the pain is present. Only when seated however and primarily during heavy seated effort is there signficant discomfort. Periodically when I stand the pain disappears. When running it is present mostly when doing hard sustained running or when running up hill for long periods. Also feel it when I lengthen my stride or when trail running and have to step jump over logs or other obstacles. I can stop and stretch my hamstrings and it seems to almost reset so I can run with less pain. Sports Dr. I have seen isn't too worried about it as I can still run 1/2 marathon distance however I personally feel it is affecting my results.

Thinking back to last fall my Local Bike Shop sold me a new seat for my training bike which is slightly wider then the seats I have normaly rode on and the problem started surfacing last winter on my trainer when doing highspeed spinning on my rollers and long protracted effort at maximum resistence on my resistance trainer (all seated). Could this be another root cause?

I have always had tightness in by hamstrings and have periodically had toruble with my IT Bands (only affected my running). The tightness may be due to some muscle imbalance but I have always looked at it as a possible result of aging. While I have had some discomfort running it has never affected my cycling until this year and as I alluded to above it seems the timing may have been when the new wider seat was installed. The height of the saddle is constant with the saddle I removed. Cycling has always been my strongest sport in triathlon and I need to get to the bottom of this. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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Bruiser
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by Bruiser

I doubt that your seat shape would be the cause, however a muscle imbalance (one being to weak/strong) could be the cause. Tightnes can be fixed via masage and stretching, however I'd go to a physio and learn about the cause of the pain so as to know how to control it (precisly which muscle is too strong/weak).

Let us know the outcome so we can avoid the same problem.

Brian

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Marlboro Man
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:16 am
Location: Wales

by Marlboro Man

Sounds like you have tight legs. Some stretching would help a great deal. If you're on for a long ride, stop after 10 mins, stretch, then continue (no need to hold for more than 10 seconds here). After the ride, stretch again but hold for longer.

A coach once told me to combine pre-bed stretching with a bit of calm music. Play something relaxing and hold each stretch for 30 seconds and see how this helps your sleep.

Conversely, if you're stretching before a race, you could play something "pumping" that will motivate you before the race..............
SEX! The Breakfast of Champions

by Weenie


bobalou
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by bobalou

Bill F wrote:{snip}
I have always had tightness in by hamstrings and have periodically had toruble with my IT Bands (only affected my running). The tightness may be due to some muscle imbalance but I have always looked at it as a possible result of aging. ...


Bill, I think it's probably a combination of things. Aging is certainly part of it. As I get older I'm learning to compensate. I never have had so many problems cramping in previous years - I compensated by injesting more potassium/magnesium and using buffered salt tablets through the day as needed. It basically has solved my problem.

I also have had a few problems with hamstring tightness and have had to compensate: 1) more time recovering 2) stretching more before, after and during a ride. 3) being well hydrated 4) massage 5) protein increase. The stretching is a pain cause I'm lazy .. the massage is nice but not cheap. If you got a wife or GF that can do it or learn that's good. Self massage isn't nearly as effective but certainly helps.

Hope this helps ..

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