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Leg Fatigue On Long Descents

Curious YellowCurious Yellow Posts: 281
Am finding my right leg gets very fatigued on long descents out of the saddle. It's only evident on long descents, but it gets bad enough for me to have to sit down to give it a rest which I do not like. The fatigue is in the muscle/area that is in the inner leg at the bottom of the thigh. I then seem to start putting more weight on my ankle to compensate and my ankle starts to give way. Calves, quads, glutes and everything else seem fine.

Just wondering if anyone else has this problem and if they have any solutions.

My right foot is my dominant foot so perhaps I'm putting more weight on it when I'm descending. I'm not sure what the answer, or what training I can do to get around this is. Any suggestions?

Posts

  • eh? Climbs or descents?

    Slightly confusing!

    There is nothing wrong in conserving energy if its a really long descents though!
    Its more about endurance, the more you do it, the easier it gets!
  • Sorry, I meant descents. Edited now.

    Is there any training I can do apart from riding more? It gets pretty frustrating to want to stop on a descent!
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Sorry, I meant descents. Edited now.

    Is there any training I can do apart from riding more? It gets pretty frustrating to want to stop on a descent!
    Ride more.
    Enjoy riding more.
    repeat.
  • DCR00DCR00 Posts: 2,160
    train hamstrings

    often ignored, but play a major part in leg strength/endurance

    Google is your friend
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    There are a few things you can do but it's not going to be easy:
    viewtopic.php?f=20024&t=12847242#p17552499

    Basically your leading leg is doing all the work. Also try dropping your heels and leading with your left on descents - it will show you just how much stronger your right leg is.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    .blitz wrote:
    There are a few things you can do but it's not going to be easy:
    viewtopic.php?f=20024&t=12847242#p17552499

    Basically your leading leg is doing all the work. Also try dropping your heels and leading with your left on descents - it will show you just how much stronger your right leg is.
    Wait, you're meant to have "a leading leg"?
    I've just swapped depending which leg happens to be in which position after pedalling. I never realised mtbing had a "regular" and "goofy" stance thing going on.
  • Cheers, I do make a conscious effort to lead with my left from then on, but haven't ridden any descents long enough since to see if it makes a difference.

    I'll take on board the suggestion to train hamstrings, but is there a reason for suggesting that?

    Anything else you can suggest training wise apart from riding?
  • DCR00DCR00 Posts: 2,160
    because most people pay them no attention despite them playing a main role in leg strength/endurance

    squats, step ups and lunges are good, especially one-legged

    Stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings, but start light as they put a bit of strain on lower back. Alternatively, most gyms have apparatus for isolating hams.
  • sandy771sandy771 Posts: 368
    Never done a one legged lunge before - how does that work :)
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    DCR00 wrote:
    because most people pay them no attention despite them playing a main role in leg strength/endurance

    squats, step ups and lunges are good, especially one-legged

    Stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings, but start light as they put a bit of strain on lower back. Alternatively, most gyms have apparatus for isolating hams.

    The OP is complaining about insufficient endurance to maintain an Isometric contraction! Doing exercises, primarily aimed at increasing strength and involving concentric contractions, ie the complete opposite, isn't what is required.

    Back to the OP....

    In all honesty , the most specific and relevant exercise you can do off of the bike is the 'wall sit' - it's fairly self explanatory, all you need is a wall (I suppose that's a given). I'd just do it as often as you can, upto once a day, hold it for as long as you can, record how long, then try and beat it next time.

    Or alternatively, you can man up, accept that it's a common thing (especially if you ride a HT), ride more and let things improve that way. NB - this option is much more fun!
  • xscreamsukxscreamsuk Posts: 318
    I had quad pain on descending, typically on long 2 -3 mile descents in Peaks. I had a bike fit which moved me to the correct position, further back, more weight over wheel, not supported by arms etc and it's gone. If you haven't had a bike fit I strongly advise it.
  • DCR00DCR00 Posts: 2,160
    ollie51 wrote:
    DCR00 wrote:
    because most people pay them no attention despite them playing a main role in leg strength/endurance

    squats, step ups and lunges are good, especially one-legged

    Stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings, but start light as they put a bit of strain on lower back. Alternatively, most gyms have apparatus for isolating hams.

    The OP is complaining about insufficient endurance to maintain an Isometric contraction! Doing exercises, primarily aimed at increasing strength and involving concentric contractions, ie the complete opposite, isn't what is required.

    so you're saying that concentric is no use then ? and has no bearing on muscle endurance ? and that a stronger muscle doesn't endure better than a weaker one ?

    my post was merely suggesting that strengthening the leg muscles, in particular the hamstrings, would be beneficial, especially given their key role in cycling

    perhaps suggesting something that considered both approaches would have been a little less narrow minded
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    He might have a point. Some leg issues are caused by imbalanced strength in the muscles, so working out the wrong side could make things worse.
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    DCR00 wrote:
    ollie51 wrote:
    DCR00 wrote:
    because most people pay them no attention despite them playing a main role in leg strength/endurance

    squats, step ups and lunges are good, especially one-legged

    Stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings, but start light as they put a bit of strain on lower back. Alternatively, most gyms have apparatus for isolating hams.

    The OP is complaining about insufficient endurance to maintain an Isometric contraction! Doing exercises, primarily aimed at increasing strength and involving concentric contractions, ie the complete opposite, isn't what is required.

    so you're saying that concentric is no use then ? and has no bearing on muscle endurance ? and that a stronger muscle doesn't endure better than a weaker one ?

    No, I didn't say that at all. All I said, in effect, given the situation that the training could be more specific, and thus more specific.

    Yes your methods may make improvements, they likelihood is that they will. However the way I see it is that if you're going to do specific exercises to improve performance, since they're far more boring than riding your bike, you may as well ensure you're as specific as possible in order to make the work you're doing more effective. This means you spend less time mincing around in the gym and more time on the singletrack, where we belong!
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Seems reasonable.
    You seem to know your stuff about this, have you studied the subject, or is it just a healthy interest?
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    Seems reasonable.
    You seem to know your stuff about this, have you studied the subject, or is it just a healthy interest?

    It's a 'Healthy interest' more than anything, I've not got any 'formal' qualifications higher then GCSE in the subject and PE at GCSE level is at best basic and often wrong. I've been used a Guinea pig a bit at the local uni, so I guess talking to phd students, nutritionists, coaches etc there, means I pick up a fair bit on the subject.
  • Added some gym work and doing the exercises recommended. Let's see how this works out. Only the 3rd week so far and no opportunities to properly test, but I live in hope!
  • mr joeymr joey Posts: 427
    i know exactly how you feel i get it on long dascents and have to sit down abit,but i just put mine down to being a binman and i do long distance running also so when i get out on the bike i think its my legs saying sod off and give us a rest :D but it is frustrating
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Binman? Pah. You guys only come once a fortnight, what the hell are you doing the rest of the time? :lol:
  • Well, 4 weeks of training in and I've managed to encounter a new problem. I'm able to push faster and harder on the descents and stay out of the saddle longer while climbing and descending.

    However, after long rides (road and mtb) I get some swelling in my left knee. It is the size of half a ping-pong ball and on the outer knee by where the tibial plateau is. The swelling is painless, but it takes a good 2-3 days of rest and elevation to recede. Also, it restricts my knee's movement. Once it recedes there's a small amount of soreness in the area around the knee, but nothing serious.

    Tried to see the doctor about it, but the first available appointment is in 2 weeks' time. Any opinions?
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Hmm. How about, make the lump re-appear, then go down to A&E and have a word with them.
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