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  1. #1
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    For those of you who cycle 6000+ miles a year..

    What does your training program look like??

    I'm rehabbing a knee injury at the moment. Two months since the pain started and it's still there. I've realised how weak my legs are, even when I was doing tough rides several times a week. I wasn't doing any work on core strength, a proper stretching routine, or anything else.

    The pain's still there, all around both knees. And it feels like stretching and strengthening sometimes make it worse.

    I'm not going to start riding again untill atleast late March/early April. But in the meantime I want to progress to a better training program, a cyclist's program.


    What's yours like? What do you do/how often/how long for? Do you take many days/weeks out at a time? etc, etc..

    Detailed answers would be great.

    Thanks.




    Should also say my muscles and tendons have been aching for months.

    I took three days off before today, to give them some rest. Then today I stretched all muscle groups and did a few wall squats, nothing intense. And now my calves and quads are very sore. Like a burning sensation deep within the muscles. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
    Last edited by enfilade; 12-01-09 at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I ride a road bike. Never stretched. The only times my knees hurt was when I had raised my saddle Up 2 inches. Rest when you need too. The more you ride the stronger you will become.
    15,550 miles ytd.

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    I wish i could get away with that. Do you do much hill work?

    Any VMO/hamstring exercises?

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    98% of my rides are on flat roads.
    219 rides this year, with an average of 70.7 miles per ride.
    I am retired at 67 y/o and enjoy the rides.

  5. #5
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    http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Exercis...once/show/7891

    ^^Massive medhelp thread about sore, tight calves. This is a major obstacle to my training routine. It's becoming more and more common that rest is my only option!

  6. #6
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I only ride 4-5000, but have many friends who ride more, up to 30,000. The majority of high mileage riders I know just ride their bikes. That how you get high mileage. Other sorts of messing about take time away from biking. Everyone around here does lots of hill work. One buddy is shooting for 1.5M' of climbing this year. OTOH, I do see more injuries among the high mileage folks - esp. knees (RSI) and clavicles and hips (accidental). Ya do what ya gotta do to satisfy your jones.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've ridden that sort of distance for a number of years in the past ... but not recently because of university.

    I created charts of the years I rode a lot, and posted them here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...321906/detail/

    The spikes in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 are 1200K randonnees.

    That's the cycling part of riding those distances. In addition to that, I walked a lot, I did some weightlifting, I did various winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and I attended yoga classes.

    So here's a suggestion ... find a GOOD yoga class, one that does a lot of stretching poses, one recommended by people who do other sports, and start attending once or twice a week. I had a great instructor in Winnipeg whose son cycled so she knew the sorts of stretches and things that would work well for me. And she showed me how to do it all so that I did not hurt myself.

    And another suggestion ... if you're going to do weightlifting, find a GOOD gym and someone who will show you around and show you how to do the various exercises. If you do them wrong you can hurt yourself ... and unfortunately some gyms and their staff don't seem to care. I trained for two years with an amature bodybuilder and learned how to stand (or sit, or lie) properly for each exercise so that I got the most out of it without hurting myself.

    And finally ... have someone who really knows look at your bicycle fit. It still sounds to me that it is not right. Can you take a photo of you on the bicycle and post it here?

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your replies.

    I got a nasty pain in my right Achilles earlier as I was climbing stairs at work, then a veery slow walk back home.

    I may have to quit my job, as I'm finding the walk to work harder each day, it made me a little late today. I'll wait 'til Thursday to make that decision though as I'm off until then.

    I have no idea what to do in the meantime. Two months ago I started physio prescribed stretching and strengthening, to rehab my knees. Then my calves and quads got sore (although they've been sore to some extent for many months, I just biked through it). So I stopped stretching last week. Now my knee pain has worsened (because the muscles have returned to their 'normal' tight state?).


    If I rest ---> tight muscles, gradual muscle atrophy ---> knees continue to worsen.

    If I stretch ---> more damage to the muscles, more strain on the tendons which already feel like they're on the brink.

    I may be very wrong here, this is just my guess based on what I've read online.


    I've taken all your advice on board Machka, but I won't be able to use it for several weeks at best.

    Before I get back on my bike I will do yoga or pilates daily for several months, and I'll post a video so you can see if there are any bike fit issues.

    Physio this wednesday, I need some good news.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    OK, this is all massively bizzare. Something odd is going on. Can you take it from the top, enfilade?

    What do you eat on a normal day - sample menu?
    What supplements, if any, do you take, whether on a daily basis or not?
    What supplements have you tried without results?
    Remind us of the results of your most recent doctor visit.
    What tests, if any, have been done? With what results?
    You're on the NHS, right?
    What seems to make the problem worse?
    Does anything seem to make the problem better?
    Anything else you can think of . . .
    Don't forget to post that photo of you posed on your bike, crankarms aligned with the seat tube, hands on hoods.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    OK, this is all massively bizzare. Something odd is going on. Can you take it from the top, enfilade?

    What do you eat on a normal day - sample menu?

    Pint of water as soon as I get up, every day. then porridge. no prepacked crap, real ingredients. large helping.
    then 2-3 other meals thoughtout the day.

    Plenty of good carbs - Potatoes, wholemeal bread, rice, pasta (white). Oven chips occassionally.

    Protein - Cut meat (exc. fish) from my diet one year ago. Milk daily (in porridge), eggs, fish (mackerel, tuna), baked beans, cheese, vege sausages (not Quorn). I don't have many sources of protein, so I usually just choose the one I had longest ago (usually 2 or 3 days ago! )


    Fruit and Veg - Apples, oranges, bananas, etc. Whatever's cheap and in season. Too many fruits to name.

    Fewer sources of veg, but still several things. Peas, sweetcorn, carrots. A few others every now and then... lots of spring cabbage today.

    Not perfect but I think I have a pretty good diet.


    What supplements, if any, do you take, whether on a daily basis or not?

    Daily.. glucosamine and cod liver oil, for the past 2 months.

    What supplements have you tried without results?

    Even if things improve fast, how will I know whether it's the supplements? It's always puzzled me that, when people say, 'I took this for 2 weeks and my problem dissappeared' ..'Well it might have dissappeared anyway, right?'

    Remind us of the results of your most recent doctor visit.

    I was given a balancing exercise to do. She went through it with me, but it was a short session. The knee was improving then, so she just told me to keep doing what I'm doing.

    What tests, if any, have been done? With what results?

    Nothing as of yet. However the doctors clinic said today that I can book an appointment to get my blood tested, just to rule out any condition.

    You're on the NHS, right?

    Yep.

    What seems to make the problem worse?

    Sitting for too long.. always made the knees (top of tibia and medial area around patella) painful. Past week - sitting for too long gives me pins and needles in my feet and lower leg (both sides). Also have pins and needles when I step out of bed in the morning.

    Walking or standing too long

    Stairs - currently walking down backwards because of calf pain.

    Did something stupid last night. I took a hot bath, as it helped the knees a few weeks ago. However the calves didn't like it one bit. Live and learn I guess.. (could this mean swelling in the calves?). I iced them after this.


    Does anything seem to make the problem better?

    With the knees it's pretty hit and miss. They'll feel much improved one day then take a turn for the worse without me changing anything.

    I noticed, my knees felt as if they were tracking better right up until I stopped stretching leg muscles. With the lack of stretching recently they seem to have gotten worse again.

    Anything else you can think of . . .

    Yeah actually, I've got a massage booked for this Wednesday. I'm going to call and move it back a few weeks though to allow some healing first


    Also, big point, I did some foam rolling before the calves started playing up. It wasn't intense but probably too much. Calves have felt 'sore' for many months. I thought rolling would aid the healing process?


    Don't forget to post that photo of you posed on your bike, crankarms aligned with the seat tube, hands on hoods.

    I'll do that before any riding

    (have to include this because it's saying the message entered is too short to post, and it needs lengthening beyond 2 characters)

  11. #11
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    Also, maybe I was stretching too aggressively. My flexibility improved very quickly up until calf injury. Perhaps I was stretching too much/often for tissue to regenerate.


    I'm going to start Yoga too. Too poor for actual classes but I've found a good channel on youtube if anyone else is interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS-9f...7FDD83&index=0

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
    (have to include this because it's saying the message entered is too short to post, and it needs lengthening beyond 2 characters)
    Yes, the inablility to easily interleave comments is a problem with this posting system. You have to copy and paste the beginning and ending "[QUOTE]" bits at the beginning and ending of each separate comment to which you wish to reply.

    OK, enough of fooling around on message boards like this. I think it's time to get terrified and start camping out in your doctor's waiting room. The pins and needles thing is what got to me. Also the hot bath story. Your diet looks great, especially for living in the UK! Everything you're doing is great. The results you are getting from even the slightest attempts at self-help are scary. None of this should be happening. You are not nor have you been doing anything wrong. The fact that it's getting worse the more you rest and attempt to intermittently exercise is not good, not good. Take a look at this:
    http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/...page_ninds.htm
    Get thee to a physician! I'd start with an emergency walk-in clinic if necessary. Get yourself into the system as someone who has a serious problem that needs diagnosis. And let your friends here know how it goes.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Carbonfiberboy;10108837]Yes, the inablility to easily interleave comments is a problem with this posting system. You have to copy and paste the beginning and ending "
    " bits at the beginning and ending of each separate comment to which you wish to reply.

    OK, enough of fooling around on message boards like this. I think it's time to get terrified and start camping out in your doctor's waiting room. The pins and needles thing is what got to me. Also the hot bath story. Your diet looks great, especially for living in the UK! Everything you're doing is great. The results you are getting from even the slightest attempts at self-help are scary. None of this should be happening. You are not nor have you been doing anything wrong. The fact that it's getting worse the more you rest and attempt to intermittently exercise is not good, not good. Take a look at this:
    http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/artic/...page_ninds.htm
    Get thee to a physician! I'd start with an emergency walk-in clinic if necessary. Get yourself into the system as someone who has a serious problem that needs diagnosis. And let your friends here know how it goes.
    Thanks for the good support. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about some chronic condition, but more than that I'm kicking myself for the months of improper training. Won't that explain the state I'm in now? I mean, I didn't have a training routine back then. I'd done lots of reading about nutrition, I hadn't done much reading about cycling technique, and I'd done none on stretching/strengthening/anatomy/injuries, etc. If I had, I would've seen this injury approaching months beforehand.

    I thought, I'm young, healthy, good body weight, great cardio system. Injuries? I'll worry about that when I hit 40. I was in some degree of pain most days after my first 'big' ride 3 months ago. I didn't condition myself for it at all. I thought, because I'd done a 30 mile ride three days ago, my body's had time to heal. I can go out and do a 35 mile ride now. I thought that was the basic principle behind building bodystrength. I didn't even know what the muscles were called and which ones were used in cycling.

    It's ignorance that's got me into this mess, but the silver lining is that I know more about training now. When I get back on the bike, I'll start with a two mile ride around town, with good warm up and stretching either side of it, then take a 4+ day break. I don't care if the whole of 2010 is spent in this way, as long as I regain my full strength eventually.. something which I've never had, due to years of abuse.

    That's just reminded me of another thing.. technique, I was mashing up hills with platform pedals, using muscles that were burning and probably full of microtears, I didn't know this was a bad thing, I though 'push on, this will make you stronger'. I could go on, but the main point is that I overtrained (even when doing my physio stretches).

    Yes, I'm in a bad way, I'm worried and nervous, but the doctors have said that they're not worried about a serious immediate problem. If I get worse, I will go to the docs straight away. Apart from that there's nothing to be done but wait it out. If my calves are partially torn it'll be weeks before I feel better again. If after several months of rest/stretching etc my muscles are sore I will be pressing them for answers.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I don't know, enfilade. I don't like the sound of it, simply because I've never run across these kinds of complaints outside of a disabled athletes facility. I know people with these sorts of complaints and some of them go to the disabled world championships. If you think you should continue to self-medicate, please try whey protein, about 50-60g/day, distributed in small doses. What you are going through could perhaps be attributed to inadequate protein, considering the amount of rebuilding you are asking your body to do. Maybe it won't make any difference, but it can't hurt you to try it. Go out an buy a pound of some flavored stuff you can just mix into water with a spoon. More self-medication: selenium - 100mcg/day, 2 ea. 500mg calcium/250mg magnesium/200IU vit. D per day and the biggest multiple you can find.

    If those interventions don't make a noticeable difference in a week, there is something wrong.

    Your theory of how to get in shape should have worked. Like you say, you're pretty young. I'm just saying, IME improper training does not explain the state you're in.

  15. #15
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    I'll up the food intake a bit. I think I get enough calcium, etc. Plenty of milk daily and cheese every 2-3 days.

    I don't think there's anything else I can do except go to Accident and Emergency. They'd triage me and I'd have to wait 4 hours before I saw someone, then they'd send me home with Ibuprofen or something. It's happened before, when I had a head injury.

    Everyone sais 'go to the doctors' too often. I've lost my faith in the NHS, there's nothing they will do. I'm going to spend this whole weekend in my room, doing very gentle stretches on my upper legs, maybe start doing yoga on the upper body. Gentle rehab. I think this has the greatest chance of success, even if it does take months.

    If my pins and needles persist though I'll go to the hospital. Although what do they do about that? They'll tell me I've got growing pains or something equally patronizing.

    I'll also get a good multivitamin like you say, although, I'm afraid I'll be overdosing on the Vitamin C (500mg with the glucosamine, glass of orange/pink grapefruit juice, apples, oranges, peas, etc, and most likely another 500mg with the multivitamin. I'd be getting over 2000% of my RDA :/ )

  16. #16
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    Yeah it's getting worse, and my heartbeat's irregular. I'm gonna go to the hospital.

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    NHS will help you, but it's like any medical system: they want to help people, which means not wasting time on those who show up and demand treatment, but who aren't sick.

    I forgot to mention that it's possible that it's something as simple as vitamin B12 deficiency. You did quit eating meat and as far as I can tell, didn't replace it with another good B12 source. Though B12 deficiency usually takes a long time to present, some people seem more sensitive than others. My diet is about like yours, though I take a good multiple and during high training stress, I sometimes add a B complex with 50mcg of B12. Recommended.

    Don't worry about ODing on Vit. C. A gram a day is not that much. Some people take 3g/day with no ill effects. It is possible to OD on calcium, but it takes a while for it to build up. The magnesium and vitamin D are actually more important.

    When I was young and training for Nordic skiing, for breakfast I'd have 2 pieces of toast and jam, 3 eggs, 12 ounces of OJ, and two 12 oz. glasses of whole milk. That's the scale I'm talking about. Whey protein and pills can give a lot of that nutrition without the calories, if that's what's necessary. But eating food is good.

    I hope things go well at the hospital.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-05-09 at 08:22 AM.

  18. #18
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    They said there's nothing they can do for me immediately. They didn't rule out a more serious cause, but they said the next step is to do some tests. So hopefully that'll be on Monday. Very small hospital so I might have to wait longer for appointments/results

    Is vitamin B found in any of my regular protein foods? I checked the butter tub and there's a fair amount of added vitamins and minerals in there. I get about 50% of my B12 RDA in that alone. Still, next time I'm at the health food shop I'll pick up a B complex vitamin.

    What you said in the last paragraph - Calories aren't an issue at all, the more the better, for me. I'd rather take bigger portions of natural protein foods than supplements where possible. I'm not too worried about protein deficiency. I'm only 125lbs and I get a decent amount of protein with each meal (typically: porridge in the morning.. 2 eggs for lunch.. lots of beans, cheese or fish in the evening - That's an average day. When biking I'll have some more)

    They said up at the hospital they'll do the blood and urea tests, etc. If they all come back negative. They'll take it further and do an MRI (That'll be several months away). If that finds nothing wrong with ligaments, tendons and cartilage then it's likely that the muscles are the problem. It could take 6 months to heal if that's the case. And about the pins and needles, she said it could be any number of things, but is rarely caused by a chronic condition. I'll report back when I have my test results. Cheers.

  19. #19
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    My plan. Just put in the miles. . Each ride get in some miles with higher cadence....
    .. . At least once a week , should the weather permit, get in a really tough climb of at least 1000 feet or more of grades no less than 6 %..
    that should be enough to not make me feel like a stranger on the bike...
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    B12: http://dietary-supplements.info.nih....vitaminb12.asp
    So check your porridge to see if it's fortified with B12.

    So you're in the system! Great.

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    I've been reading up on Compartment Syndrome and it looks like a real possibility. I have all the common symptoms of CCS (Chronic Compartement Syndrome). I thought for a while I just had 'strained calves', but it's been 10 weeks since I cycled and I've done little exertive exercise since then. Past 3 weeks I've only been doing mild stretching. It's very bad when I put weight on my legs or stretch a little bit too far (by accident) .. I stopped stretching calves 1 week ago.

    Walking is difficult now and I have to go downstairs backwards to avoid pain. Majority of pain is in the Gastrocnemeus. There's no pain when I take pressure off the calves, like when I'm lying in bed or sat on a chair.

    Also I've been waking up with pins and needles for the past few weeks. I've told my physio this, and my doctor, but they weren't too concerned, they didn't do an examination. I can't really blame them for this, because there's nothing to see. Everything looks fine, but it feels very bad . I'm up for blood tests on the 17th, but I'm going to go to the docs again on Monday, and again that week if nothing changes.

    Anyway, if you could tell me your experiences with this type of injury and what to expect..

    Thanks
    Last edited by enfilade; 12-11-09 at 07:52 PM.

  22. #22
    umd
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    You don't need a "training program" to ride a lot... just ride a lot. You only need to train if you want to ride fast.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    You don't need a "training program" to ride a lot... just ride a lot. You only need to train if you want to ride fast.
    That's what I was doing before, and it's the reason Im injured. I wasn't training for a race or anything, I was just going out on a ride every few days. I need to "train" so I can avoid injury in the future.

  24. #24
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
    That's what I was doing before, and it's the reason Im injured. I wasn't training for a race or anything, I was just going out on a ride every few days. I need to "train" so I can avoid injury in the future.
    From the rest of the thread it sounds like you have some medical issues, not a "training" thing.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    From the rest of the thread it sounds like you have some medical issues, not a "training" thing.
    Yeah, it's a medical issue now, but it was bought on by improper training/conditioning

    I want to know more about it.. like, how have I ended up with it, when many people cycle every day and continue getting stronger. Are they doing something differently, or are their genetics more suited to cycling.

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