Fifty Plus (50+) - Did I over do it...
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07-06-09, 09:05 PM
...or do I have a bigger problem? About two months ago I stepped up my mileage to get ready for a cycling vacation in September. I developed acute tendonitis in my right achilles. I had to lay off totally for six weeks. I've begun riding again, taking it easy, and now my left achilles is beginning to show the early signs of the same thing. I've never had this happen in the 12 years I've been riding (now age 52). Am I just unlucky? Or is something else going on? I'm wondering if tendonitis could be brought on by bad or worn out pedals? They seem fine to me but they do have about 7000 miles on them. Or maybe the fit of my bike? I've had the bike for about a year. I rode today and iced down both tendons afterward. Any thoughts?
Check this site. http://www.caree.org/bike101achilles.htm
07-07-09, 05:36 AM
Contrary to the info at the link, from everything I've heard and experienced, Achilles problems are associated with the saddle being too *high.* The logic is that it forces you to point your toes at the bottom of each pedal stroke, tightening the tendon. It's sort of like running on your toes - unnecessarily high stress gets concentrated on the tendon. Likewise, I think having your cleats (if you use clipless) too far toward your toes will do it. Same reasoning: it increases the leverage and strain placed on the tendon. I can see where pulling, especially if it's done jerkily, could cause the problem, too.
Stretches are OK, but do them when the tendon is warm! Also, find some exercises. One that worked for me when I hurt one of my Achilles tendons was to hang my heels off a stair. Using both feet, raise up on your toes. Then, lift one foot and *slowly* lower yourself using only one foot. Then put the other foot down and repeat. Several reps of 10 for each foot. They call it reverse resistance or something stoopid like that...
I have been fighting some Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis lately, and jogging, rather than cycling, seems to be the main contributor. Stretching exercises and loaded stand-on-the-toes raises at the YMCA seem to be giving me some relief.
07-07-09, 06:04 PM
Thanks for your replies. I'll definitely start the excercises/stretching. Not sure about the seat height being low or high. The guy at the LBS spent a lot of time with me setting it up. I'll give the stretching and excercises 10 days or so to see if it gets any better.
07-07-09, 06:11 PM
Have you changed shoes or replaced your cleats recently? If your cleats are too far forward it will tend to isolate the Achilles Tendon.
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