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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 06-13-11, 04:25 PM   #1
MillieKY
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First 20+ mile day... very sore!

Sunday a.m. I got up and went for what is becoming my typical weekend ride, 11ish miles. When I got home I had a text from my friend saying she'd just bought a bike and would I like to go for a ride with her?

Out we went and before I knew it I'd put in another 11ish miles. I felt ok, a little tired, but after about 2 hours off the bike I started to get crazy sore from my knees down. The knees don't concern me, I've injured them both previously, but i've never had any muscle soreness other than my quads. I don't think it's shin splints because the soreness is on the outside of the shin bone, not the medial side, right down to the top of my foot. My calves are also a little sore.

I guess my question is... is this normal for a noob who's upped her miles? Or did I really overdo it and maybe I should back off. (I've been commuting about 3 days a week, 5.5 miles one way, also.)
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Old 06-13-11, 05:11 PM   #2
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I wonder if you are "mashing" your pedals, instead of "spinning" them.
"Mashing" = riding in a high gear and pedaling slowly but pressing the pedals hard, say 60 revolutions per minute or less.
"Spinning" = riding in a lower gear and pedaling and pedaling quickly, pressing the pedals lightly, say 70 or more revolutions per minute.

Mashing is really bad for your knees. Maybe your shins too.

Spinning takes some practice and concentration when learning to do it but is the proper way to ride a bike.
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Old 06-14-11, 04:47 AM   #3
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Long distance means anywhere within 80% of your longest ride for the season. The sensible thing is not to exceed your max by more than 15%. You do that, it hurts, whether you mash or spin.

Me, I'm a happy masher.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:33 AM   #4
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me, a happy spinner...

20 miles in the scheme of things is not that long of a ride especially if you have a good base of riding every day (even just 5 miles). When I was young I did marathon runs. I generally did 5 - 8 miles 4 days a week and maybe a 10 - 12 miler on the weekend but that's it. When I ran a marathon (26.2 miles) it hurt during and afterwards but it didn't kill me and my times were OK (around 3 1/2 to 4 hours).

It's good to push yourself once in a while. Do it more often and eventually it will get easier. Note: not that I am any expert on cycling, but spinning is a better way to ride. It is better for your heart and increases indurance. Learn to love your gears and use them. You might try a cadence meter to see where you are. Generally you should be between 70 - 90 rpms on flats.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:36 AM   #5
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Happy spinner here too ...
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Old 06-14-11, 12:03 PM   #6
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Did you drink enough water? And yeah, if you mash, that might be the cause of your pains. Shift up/down to keep your cadence comfy and the stress low. Also check your saddle height. Might be too low.
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Old 06-14-11, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
. Also check your saddle height. Might be too low.
Good point...most common noob issue... saddle way too low will cause a numebr of problems.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:14 PM   #8
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THANKS EVERYONE!

UPDATE: I read all these posts before going out today (I took a rest day yesterday.) Before going out I moved my saddle up about two inches and made a big effort to SPIN... well at least as much as I could-I do have a hilly bike path with two evil hills. It made a huge difference!! I was going a little slower than I had been but it seemed to make a big difference in my enjoyment and comfort. Did my normal 11-ish mile ride with a friend and felt great. I was relaxed and my legs felt good.

So great in fact, that when I got home I took the bike out for another spin and did an extra 3.5mi just cruising through the neighborhood. Still no problem at all so I guess I was mashing without even knowing it. What a tiny little fix to make a big difference.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:10 AM   #9
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For max power and efficiency, your saddle should be high enough that your leg is just slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke w/o having to extend your foot down to reach the pedal. For hills, drop into a low gear and spin. You might move slower, but it won't be as big a stress as mashing up the hills. Also, going for a recovery ride the day after a big effort is a good way to pump out any lactic acid and get your legs feeling normal again. Pick an easy gear, spin and don't worry about speed because you're just recovering.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:17 AM   #10
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I get what I call 'shin splints' if I don't stretch good after riding/walking/running. My pain is along the front of my shin and sometime down the top of my foot/ankle. I can just about count on it if I over-do it and then don't stretch afterward.
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