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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so i may have pulled a muscle in my leg from riding , im not sure.

I went out yesterday and put about 10 miles on my bike. Some of the riding was on some steep hills , but just breif. Otherwise it was all level.

I did a short stretch before , about half way through , and I walked up the hill to my house doing lounges to stretch out my legs. When i got home last night , I was feeling real good. My legs were tired , but they were not sore at all. Got up for work this morning at 5AM and my legs felt slightly stiff, but nothing major.

After work today , I came home and got on the computer for a while. I was sitting in the chair with my legs crossed for about 15 mins. When I got out of the chair , I felt real tight in my right calf muscle. I stretched it out a little bit and went on.

This evening , my wife and I went out for about a six mile ride. I did not feel anything what so ever in my legs, even the one that was bothering me.

Now tonight , its kinda hurting to walk. I keep gently stretching it and putting some ice on it. It only hurts when I completely stretch my leg. Other than that , I dont feel anything.

Any Ideas? and what should I do about my leg?

John
 

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I'd be much more worried about you if the pain was in your knees. First is to rest it. What I suspect you did was the classic early overdo. Yes I did it too and probably will again tomorrow. I developed asthma a couple of years ago. Once in a while it is a problem and I have to get off the bike for a couple of weeks. When I go back am so wanting to ride and enjoying really being back on the bike, I over do it. Too much too soon is impossible to determine from what you told us.

You said you did ten miles, but how long have you been doing ten miles. In the early stages ten miles might be too much to start depending on your general fitness level to start.

Riding tears down muscles which with recover and become stronger when they do. One thing many recommend and I found it works for me is some protein with in an hour after ending the ride. This extra protein helps the muscles rebuild and greatly reduces my soreness after the ride. Remember there is a difference between being sore and being hurt. I'm no doctor, I don't play one on TV and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but use your common sense. Only you can know what your body feels.

Pain in the joints would be more troubling to me, but I have had knee problems because of my bike fit. Numbness is another thing I watch for really closely, but if it doesn't improve call your doctor and let them decide what you need.

Most of all don't let this discourage you. It's all part of learning your body, what it can and can't do at any given time, and its part of the challenge that makes cycling such a pleasure
 

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First, I have to ask if you've seen your doctor for a checkup? Let him know you've taken up cycling too. Hopefully, he's a good doctor with a bit of knowledge about sports fitness.

Back to your bike. When you are seated, with the cranks at 12 and 6 o'clock, is your lower foot causing your leg to be over-extended? If so, your seat is too high.

Muscle soreness not related to strains, sprains, or overextending is generally due to lactic acid buildup. When you exercise, your muscles burn fuel, the byproduct of which is lactic acid. This is that mild pain you feel after a good effort. The only way to get rid of that buildup (unless you can afford a masseuse) is gentle exercise that gets blood flowing to those muscles, so it can carry the lactic acid out. So the day after a really long ride, do a shorter, easy one. Or go for a walk or swim. Anything that gets the blood flowing, without exerting yourself.
 

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I'm no doctor either, but I think Mark's answer is spot on. I've only been back riding for about 3 months and I still get leg cramps and pains when I either push too hard on shorter rides or go on extended rides (30+ plus miles) but like Mark said, it's just my leg muscles breaking down and rebuilding.

I usually take a day off to give the legs a little down time and get back on a go again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The day before , i did about 5 miles in the woods.. No problem. This was the first time I did 10 miles. And right now i can ride for another 10 miles with out feeling a thing.. its just when my leg is completely stretched.

Hack. I have my seat adjusted to that when my right leg is at 6 o'clock , is has a slight bend to it. I read on the internet that if my hips are rocking , the seat is too high , so i had my wife watch me from behind as i held myself against a wall and pedal backwards.. She said she did not see my hips shifting. Also , i had her check for fore and aft. When my right foot is at 3 o'clock , you can make a straight line from my knee through the axis of the pedal. Also , I adjusted the seat tilted slight back to make it more comfortable and also to keep me sliding forward because i was having a problem with my wrists hurting on down hills.

As for the pain in my leg , it didnt start till 12 hours after the ride. As you said with the lactic acid , im wondering if me sitting with my leg in a folded position , if it didnt cut blood circulation to my leg for a while then when i stretched it out it cause that problem?

When i ride th bike, i feel absolutely no pain from it. Its only when i stand up and extend my leg into a complete straight that i feel it.

I asked about the protein shake before and suggestions were here nor there.. and i did have one after the ride. But usually right before my ride , i try to eat something with some carbs and drink lots of water.

The other day , i ate a bowl of bananna nut crunch and drank lots of water before my ride. The only reason i quit was because i ran out of water and came home. Of the last three days , I cycled a total of about 20 miles.

I am worried , that even if i dont feel the pain from it while i am riding , i might do more damage to the leg.

Years ago when i played football , i have had the same pain. After about a week it went away, but im just worried that i will do damage to my leg that might hinder me from riding more. Also , i fear if i take a weeks without riding, i might start to lose what i have already. I know if i go more than three days with out riding , my rear and my legs get sore after a ride.

I am a newbie to riding , I am trying to say on a steady schedule of riding just so i keep enjoying my rides. Should I take some time off and how much?

Should i start drinking a protein shake after my rides to help prevent this?

Hack, your lactic acid theory make a lot of sense
 

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I wouldn't double any distance at any one time. Instead of going from 5 to 10 miles, try going from 5 to 6 and see if it bothers you. The protein needs to be taken immediately AFTER the ride to help with muscle recovery. Drink it before and its likely to be used on the ride.

Hack is right on the mark about the lactic acid that you need to move some after a longer ride, just make it easy. I learned that the hard way too.

With you history of this issue playing football, I'd also recommend you talk to your doctor and let them know what's going on. They might want to see you to rule out some things and with your concerns (which are wise in my opinion) it would be worth it to ease your mind. Just listen to your body.

The leg soreness the protein will help and padded cycling shorts will help the rear, but if you could do 5 miles without a problem then start there again. Work your way up a mile or two at a time spending several days at a distance before adding to it. We all get impatient. That's normal. Sounds like you are having fun on the rides though and if you are you will stick with it.
 
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