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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-18-08, 07:45 AM   #1
atomship47
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sore legs

hehehe. i started to post this in "general cycling" but thought about all the sarcastic replies i'd get (mostly from the "road cycling" regulars).

i'm curious,

i read where people talk about their calves being sore from riding. i've never had that. i started riding 3 years ago and not once have i had sore calves. i should add, i was completely out of shape when i started riding so i can't say it's because my legs were already "toned."

if i take some time off riding, my quads will be a little "tight" after the first couple of rides. however, i wouldn't call it "soreness."

is all of this normal? should i take a look at my "fit?" could this be from the way i'm set up on my pedals? am i not pushing myself hard enough? is it poor mechanics/technique?

some more info;

i started on a huffy mtb. then went to a db comfort. then a trek 7300. for the last 1.5 years, i've mostly ridden my felt z25/35 and soma smoothie es roadies. i've been using clipless pedals for the last 2 years.

also, i try to ride daily. my rides are usually 30-45 miles and i go out of my way to find hills (which is tough to do in il). i usually avg 16-17 mph. at my best, i've avg'd 18mph on rides.

Last edited by atomship47; 07-18-08 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:53 AM   #2
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re: Tight quads after time off
Normal? Sure. Sounds reasonable to me, and I've had it happen to me as well.

re: Fit
I'd have to see pix of you on a bike and even then, it's not like being in person.

re: Daily rides
Make sure you get in a recovery ride after doing anything hard-ish.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:01 AM   #3
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re: Tight quads after time off
Normal? Sure. Sounds reasonable to me, and I've had it happen to me as well.

re: Fit
I'd have to see pix of you on a bike and even then, it's not like being in person.

re: Daily rides
Make sure you get in a recovery ride after doing anything hard-ish.

+Water.. Drink more than you think you need. Your muscles will thank you later and lactic acid will hate you.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:45 AM   #4
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Sure, you should be sore after time off. But one rule of thumb on pain is:

If the back of the leg is sore or feeling pain, seat could be too high. ( over stretching the calves and hammies)
If it's the front, could be too low. (over working the quads as if performing too many squats)

Make small adjustments, 1/8" a a time. But don't confuse fit with 'time off the bike' soreness.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:53 AM   #5
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I think, as most people define "sore", I'm sore all the time. Like, every single day. It's just a fact of my life.

I'm sore from biking sometimes -- traffic doesn't always give me the option of taking it easy, so I have to sprint. I'm sore from aikido frequently -- I'm just not good enough to be on the receiving end of joint locks and being thrown through the air for a couple of hours and not feel something the next day. I work in the garden and get sore from bending over or squatting down to pull weeds, I go hiking and get sore from climbing a mountain...I'm active, and I get sore. And, sometimes -- like today -- I get sore for reasons that have nothing to do with activity. I've got rheumatoid arthritis, and right now I feel like someone hit my left shoulder with a sledgehammer. It's all good, it'll be gone in a day or so.

Soreness is something you can learn to live with. You can also learn to differentiate between the many subtle variations of soreness: the "I stretched that a bit farther than I should have" sore, the "this is inflamed" sore, the "I landed on that/got whacked there really hard" sore, the "I ran all the glycogen right outta those muscles" sore, and many others. And...you can learn how to prevent some types, minimize the effects of others, and treat the damage of others. Soreness is feedback, and perversely, I regard it as a good thing.
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Old 07-18-08, 04:47 PM   #6
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Do you use stiff-soled cycling shoes with clipless pedals? When I bought some is the first time I started getting sore calves.
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Old 07-18-08, 05:36 PM   #7
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Do you use stiff-soled cycling shoes with clipless pedals? When I bought some is the first time I started getting sore calves.
Move your cleats back a bit then.....

Sounds like you have them mounted too far toward the toes.
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Old 07-18-08, 06:27 PM   #8
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I think this has a lot to do with personal physiology and/or what you do off the bike. I can go into the gym and do toe raises with 500 lbs. (5 sets of 20) mostly because I've played basketball since I can remember. The only times my calves get sore is when I'm severely dehydrated or completely out of shape.

My hamstrings are naturally weaker than the rest of the muscles in my legs (not to mention I am not very flexible) and they are what tends to get sore on on longer rides and runs. If I do yoga for flexibility and squat to strengthen them, they fall into balance and I'm fine.
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