Musle aches and pains

squirejim
squirejim Posts: 44
edited February 2010 in Road beginners
Hi All,

Have been communting to work approx 18 mile round trip most days for the past 4-5months, after doing v little excerise for the ... hmm previous 20 years . Whilst i have noticed im definitley losing some weight and certainly getting fitter, im beginngin to wake up feeling very stiff in me jojnts. In particular, the musles on the outside of me butt cheeks. Is this a normal fitness pain for cycling?- the more you execrise the more hurts? It doesnt hurt when im on the bike ..... i dont really do any strecthing before the commute nor do i do a warm down - i tend to warm up on the bike. cheers

Comments

  • As as far as I'm concerned stretching is very important. We don't fully extend our muscles during the pedal stroke, so a stretch is required IMHO. I always stretch after a ride, don't like stretching cold muscles before though. You should also be sure that all aspects of your bike setup are correctly, as cyclists we perform millions of repetitive motions over time, if your bike setup isn't right that's lots of possible stress on your joints.

    Provided you don't have any steep climbs in the first 10-15 minutes of your ride you can use that time to warm up before pushing hard. Same thing, use the last 5-10 minutes of the ride to spin out, gives your muscles chance to purge the lactic acid which can cause the issues you list.

    Give it a try, what have you to lose?
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,198
    +1 to stretching after but not before (unless you get a decent warm up in first).

    Aches are pretty normal at first as you use new muscles although you should be noticing it less after 4 to 5 months I'd have thought. It may be worth getting a bike fitting done as a poorly set up bike can cause aches and pains and possibly more long term problems. They tend to cost around £50.
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    +1 to stretching afterwards and maybe VERY gently beforehand if you're in a warm environment (front room before you put your shoes on?)

    The stretches don't have to be anything groundbreaking, just the usual:

    - simple toe touch with legs straight and knees locked out
    - one leg crossed behind the other and feet adjacent, again bend towards your toes (a couple for each leg)
    - quad stretches with standing leg straight, grab the other ankle and bend your leg so your heel touches your arse. Important to keep knees together and you might not be able to touch heel and arse for the first week or so.

    And like the other poster suggested: use the last 10 minutes of the ride to drop into an easier cog and spin out.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Stetching will sort this out. Start with a few hamstring stretches.

    If I don't stretch I get all sorts of aches and pains
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    Aches might also have something to do with the fact you don't warm down - it's a build up of lactic acid in your muscles. Maybe take the last 5-10 minutes of the commute at a gentle pace to work some of that acid out of the muscles. Quick stretch after you get in the door - and a warm bath/shower if you have the time.
  • From your description it is the gluteus medius that is aching, this is perfectly normal, as they're a major muscle for the cycling stroke. Are you a masher or do you tend to spin the pedals quickly? I get the same pain when i ride my stiff geared fixie a lot.

    Stretches:

    Hip flexors
    lower back
    hamstrings
    quads
    calves
    glutes

    do them once you've arrived at work, it'll take about 15 minutes to do them all once you get the hang of it, but it'll pay dividends.
  • This isn't right, and won't be simply sorted just by stretching, although stretching is something you'll probably need to more of in future. (Actually I wouldn't stretch till you find out what is up, cos stretching an actuely injured muscle can do more damage).

    Soreness can be expected after starting any new form of regular exercise for a couple of weeks or so (so called delayed onset muscle soreness). This is the type when the next day you wake up and feel like you've done some work, and your muscles are stiff and tender to touch. It lasts a couple of days, and should go away if you keep up that activity regularly. Your body adapts.

    The fact that you're beginning to feel stiff after 4-5months of almost daily riding is a sign that something is not quite right, that this might be an overuse injury. The pain you're feeling is in your glutes and could be caused by a number of things: tight hanstrings or hipflexors, incorrect positioning, weak muscles, cleat positions....

    Basically, I'd go and find both a physio and a bike fitter. If they could be the same person, that would be ideal! But it does sound like you have an injury: you need to both treat the injury (physio) and address its cause (bike fit).

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for all your advice - very helpful. I thik i will book a slot with the bike shop (bikes due for service this week) and arrange a proper bike fitting. Recently, i have started cycling in on a lower gear, so pedallign faster with less resistance - i get the same speed with what seems much much less effort ... maybe this has added to the issue.

    Anyhows, taking it easy on way back tonight and will let you know what LBS say re fitting .

    Cheers for advise.
  • stonehouse wrote:
    use the last 5-10 minutes of the ride to spin out, gives your muscles chance to purge the lactic acid which can cause the issues you list.

    What lactic acid? In fact there is now some doubt that lactic acid even exists and tha the H+ ions have leaked from the ETC. Do you mean lactate - an important fuel? Why do you want to purge it?
  • Philby
    Philby Posts: 328
    Sounds like your glutes - as stated above may well be due to a poor fit of your bike, and possibly even a poorly shaped saddle.

    There are a number of specific exercises you can do to strengthen your glutes, and poorly developed glutes may lead to knee joint pain (I had problems with my knees for years and a physio suggested exercising the glutes and other muscles on the outside of the leg, and I haven't suffered pain for ages). Also you need to stretch them at the end of your ride. See http://www.fitness-training-at-home.com ... ute-getter - for some examples.

    As above a physio may help. Also suggest a sports massage which can really help loosen your muscles up - hurts like hell, but you really notice it the following day.
  • normal...
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Philby wrote:
    There are a number of specific exercises you can do to strengthen your glutes, and poorly developed glutes may lead to knee joint pain (I had problems with my knees for years and a physio suggested exercising the glutes and other muscles on the outside of the leg, and I haven't suffered pain for ages).

    This is very true. If your IT band, glutes, quads or calves are tight then it will indeed cause problems with your knees AND ankles. When I had my ankle rehabbed (torn ligaments), my physio sent me away for 3 weeks of stretches on my quads and calves before he could do anything strength-wise with the ankle. "The head bone's conneted to the neck bone. The neck bone's connected to..."
    Philby wrote:
    As above a physio may help. Also suggest a sports massage which can really help loosen your muscles up - hurts like hell, but you really notice it the following day.

    +1

    Unbelievable pain at the time (if it's done right), but you feel like Mary Lou Retton the next day!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/143173475@N05/