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  1. #1
    Senior Member smessvader's Avatar
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    Long term muscle damage?

    I was wondering whether you can cause long-term muscle damage to your legs if you really push yourself beyond your limits.

    I'm a pretty consistent rider; in the fall I averaged 120+ miles a week, including some serious hills on teh weekend. I live in the DC area, but over Xmas week, I was visiting my folks in Tucson, and tried to climb Mt. Lemmon -- I made it up 10 miles. It was my first time really climbing a mountain -- it was one of the hardest but best things I've ever done. That said, because my time was running out that week, the next day I went on another tough ride (probably stupidly). Since then, whenever I do a ride of moderate intensity, I start to feel this mild but deep pain in my left quads. I am getting some PT on my IT band which is tight, but this seems different. Does anyone else have an experience like this, and it is not unusual after a really killer event like what I did, for leg pain to linger for over a month? Did I do long-term damage to my muscles?

    Thanks!!
    Bikes: Specialized Tarmac Elite (2009), Bianchi Vigorelli (2011), Focus Mares CX, Dahon 7 folding bike.

  2. #2
    Bulimic Arsonist. Lamp-Shade's Avatar
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    Long term damage is a symptom of overtraining I would suppose, and having experienced such I can tell you that no, it is not fun.
    Fortunately you are being honest with yourself that you are hurting, and not pushing past the pain anyways (I hope).
    The fact that your muscle is hurting means yes, you did push yourself too hard, and that yes, you do need to let it rest, stretch it and such. The laws of humanity still apply to you, even though you are a super fit bike rider you are still a human being, and the balance of activity/rest still applies to your physiology. For now, focus on healing before it becomes a glandular problem and you really wreck yourself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I overtrained four months ago. Exact same feeling in the quads. I ignored it and pushed on for several more weeks untill it affected my knees. That's when I stopped.

    I'm just getting back into it now, so regarding long-term damage, it's definately possible. Chronic damage.. I hope not. Be smart about this one.

  4. #4
    carbon is too light procrit's Avatar
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    Pushing through the pain is easily the worst thing you can do. Forget the romanticized bs you see advertised about athletes just dealing with pain. They don't. Their trainers wouldn't let them.

    take some time off until your legs feel very fresh.
    Cat 2+*--------------+Cat 1

  5. #5
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    I quit playing softball about 10 years ago because I kept blowing out my quad whenever I tried accelerating while running the bases, hustling to cover 2nd (I played SS), or when going after a ground ball.

    The experience was quite depressing. I actually cried in the hot tub after about the third tweaking because I knew my baseball playing days were over. After all, I had just spent 2 weeks rehabbing my thigh and I blew the sucker out within 30 minutes out on the field. No amount of stretching helped, btw.

    Of course, I should add, I smoked cigs at the time. I'm sure that didn't help, but I was too addicted to see it.

    Anyway, that was around the time I began to spend more time on a bicycle. And, I have been ever so careful not to blow out my quad. I do, however, often feel my quad protest. I just lay off a bit, find a lower gear and work on my spin cadence, when that happens. Since I remember the horrible feeling of having a sport denied me because of frequently blown out quads, I avoid tweaking them like the plague.
    Last edited by baron von trail; 02-14-10 at 10:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Tell a thousand lies... BurnMyEyes's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "blowing out" your quads?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurnMyEyes View Post
    What do you mean by "blowing out" your quads?
    oh, probably way over-stated it. It's not like I couldn't walk or needed surgery to repair a tear.

    I basically pulled the big muscle in my left quad at age 32 or 3 and since then it never really loosened up again. I kept pulling it, over and over again, even after stretching, rehabbing, warming up, you-name-it (well, did it all except quit smoking cigs). I would pull it again today, btw, if I tried to rapidly accelerate, say up a flight of stairs, or tried too sprint in to high of a gear.

    The only good thing is that I can feel usually feel it just before she's about to give, and can then lay-off before the real pain sets in. For my level of fitness and activity, this tightening of the quad still happens all too frequently (and, I don't even smoke anymore). It's definitely my weakest link ---- after the lungs started healing, that is.

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