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Old 06-17-10, 01:00 PM   #1
MinnMan
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Sore quadriceps after running?

Do any of you who cross-train have experience with sore quadriceps after running? I run very rarely, but when I do, I end up with sore quadriceps the next day, even if I take it easy I don't quite understand, as these, obviously, are the leg muscle group that are most developed from cycling. Is there something about cyclists' overdeveolped quadriceps that make them susceptible to soreness when running? I don't recall ever having this when I ran, back before I rode. Any suggestions regarding training/stretching to ameliorate the problem?

Because I have business travel, I'm hoping that occasional running will be a good substitute when I don't have access to a bike. But with the soreness, I can only run one day - after that I'm recuperating from leg soreness.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:26 PM   #2
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Easy cure



Stop running.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:46 PM   #3
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Running requires different muscles than cycling, i.e. hamstrings are required much more. Even when the same muscle groups are used the firing sequence and tensions will be different between the two exercises. The shock absorbing the body endures from running, and probably the extra shock due to your cycling fitness and lack of running, may be part of the reason you have muscle soreness. If you intend to continue running, ease into it and do it more frequently. Possibly cut one of your rides short then do an easy short run for 5 or 10 minutes while concentrating on being smooth and not jarring. You may have the CV fitness to push yourself but your body will need time to adapt to the changing stresses. It may take a week or two to make the conversion. Back when I coached HS track and field the basketball players and swimmers would join the team late and would have similar issues.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:50 PM   #4
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Is there something about cyclists' overdeveolped quadriceps that make them susceptible to soreness when running?
Yea, that's the problem...your quads are OVER developed

I run a bit in addition to cycling and mine do the same thing. Generally I need to run 3X a week to keep my edge, but if I drop to once a week or go a few weeks without running I'll feel it the next day.

Just stretch, work out more and enjoy it.
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Old 06-18-10, 11:48 AM   #5
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You do use your muscles differently in running than cycling, and your movements are definitely going to be different. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be from lactic acid buildup, it can just be using the muscles in a way they are not used to be being used. Make sure you are doing good pre and post run stretches. I like to lay on my side, reach back and grab the top of my foot, then try and straighten my leg, while sucking in my gut to protect my back.

When you stretch, try holding it for 30 seconds, then relax, then 45 seconds, then relax, then one minute. This will help to get the muscle to relax. You can also do 20 minutes of ice, with at least 40 minutes off.
Just give the quads a chance to get used to doing a new activity. I'm assuming you're in fairly good shape from riding, so you are probably just pushing yourself a little to hard with your runs. You could also have allergies or a slight cold that could cause a mild strain.

Of course there's the old stand-by.................You're getting OLD!
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Old 06-18-10, 12:12 PM   #6
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Eccentric contraction versus concentric contraction. Cycling uses concentric contraction (exclusively) of the quads to generate power. Concentric contraction is what is used to climb stairs. Eccentric contraction (the negative) is the opposite or going down stairs. Running requires the quad to absorb a foot strike (eccentric) before it pushes off with a concentric contraction. Since you never use the quad in the negative on the bike, when you run, the muscle gets sore until it becomes accustomed to the new motion. The other aspect of concentric versus eccentric contraction is why cyclist are required to endure such pain. One can push very hard using the muscles concentrically as they fatigue. Runners at some point collapse due to the failure of muscles ability to take the negative impact any longer.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Easy cure



Stop running.
Or run more. No getting around sore muscles the first couple of times out.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:55 PM   #8
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Thanks, as always, to each of you sharing your expertise (and humor).
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