Sore calves

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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CarpetFibre
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

by CarpetFibre

Hi all,

I wonder if you could offer me some advice on a problem that's been bothering me lately over the past week. I'm getting pain at the top of my calves, like a pulled muscle kind of pain. I first got it in my right leg on the turbo while doing a hard 2x20 session, and then in my left leg a few days later doing seated hill reps. Today doing more seated but longer hill reps I got it in both and I'm pretty trashed right now; looks like I'm going to have to rest this one off for a while. I'm worried because this clearly isn't an isolated incident if it's happening almost every ride. I rested for three days after getting it for the first time to make sure it was well healed - it felt okay the next ride but then I got it again in the left calf during a hill-rep session.

I don't think anything has really changed, but I suspect I could have mis-measured my saddle when I swapped my seatpost. I took it down half a cm after I first got the problem but I'm starting to think it needs to come down more. It doesn't feel high but then I might've just gotten used to the higher saddle before the problem cropped up and didn't realise it was higher. I drop my heel a lot and especially when climbing seated, so my saddle is quite low compared to people with a similar inseam (not that it's worth taking that too seriously anway).

The other advice I've read is moving the cleats further back? I'm reluctant to do this as I cherish my pedaling style - I feel powerful and efficient in it and would rather not shuffle things around that I'll have to get used to again.

Probably also worth noting I'm running Osymetric chainrings but I've been riding them for a long while now without problems so I doubt the issue lies there. Only other thing that's really changed is I've lost a lot of weight (like 5kg) - surely that can't be a factor though?

Thanks in advance.

mentok
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:58 am

by mentok

nothing beats a professional opinion (physio, good fitter, etc) but to fix this yourself i think you're looking in the right areas: saddle height and cleat position.

what's your training volume like at the moment?

by Weenie


budgetweenie
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:33 pm
Location: Louisiana USA

by budgetweenie

If you've lost more than .5 kilo a week you are overdoing it.

Overtraining is a frequent cause of injury, in my experience, and this time of year, many riders start ramping up, doing brutal group rides, racing season is ON!! etc. .

If the muscle ceased to be sore in three days, it wasn't seriously pulled. What happens is that one side (the uninjured side) is subconsciously shifted into taking the load off the injured side, and guess what happens? When I was young and had less sense, I had many running injuries, and it always followed that pattern, left knee, right knee, then left foot, right foot, and on and on; I live in the Southern US so it was easy to stay sore year round.

CarpetFibre
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

by CarpetFibre

Thanks folks; good advice. Yes I probably have to admit that my training volume is on the high side with lots of very steep hill intervals. I've been working on my aerobic fitness and threshold for a while and wanted to get my climbing legs back as hillclimbs are my thing. I did 3 really tough hill reps sessions last week of 10-20 repeats on hills of various gradients (10-25%), but I did get plenty of quality rest and I don't feel like I'm cooking myself - I am likely to pin that back a bit for next week and throw in a slightly easier session and maybe the odd 2x20 on the turbo or another FTP workout.

I'm going to drop my saddle some more and move my cleats back and see how I get on to start off. Indeed I don't think the muscle was seriously pulled, just soreness as the pain was not that bad and it cleared up quite quickly.

CarpetFibre
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

by CarpetFibre

Well I've just discovered that on yesterday's ride my saddle slipped back about 1.5cm. That probably didn't help much.

budgetweenie
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:33 pm
Location: Louisiana USA

by budgetweenie

Yep, that setback has given me hamstring problems before and I can definitely see how it could have been upper calf instead.

by Weenie


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