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Old 06-16-11, 10:16 AM   #1
teresamichele
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My quads are killing me!

I'm training for a triathlon currently and I'm more active than I've ever been. I'm a big gal - over 260 (for now) - so this constant cycle of swim/bike/run is doing all sorts of great things for my body.

What isn't great? The tops of my thighs (which Dr. Google has identified as the quadriceps femoris muscle) hurt. A lot. When I get on the bike, that's what starts hurting almost right away. After a hard swim with a lot of kicking, that's what burns like crazy.

What concerns me is that the pain doesn't go away. I swam on Sunday morning and when I went to ride on Tuesday evening, I could tell I wasn't healed from Sunday. It got better as I rode longer but is this something where I'm just going to have to keep at it or should I be doing something to lessen the recovery time?

I just don't want to do the wrong thing and end up really hurting myself. Thanks!
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Old 06-16-11, 11:01 AM   #2
PatW
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When you exercise HARD especially if you are new to that level of intensity, your muscles or the exercised parts of muscles will be sore for a few days. Now most of the time, if I have something like this (almost never), I can just warm up a bit more slowly and then at a slightly lower intensity and do fine.

You can try that. I don't know if it will work for you. I suspect that I recover really well because I never seem to need days off the bike.

I think you might need to just take a short break from the kind of swimming and riding you are doing. You may need to give your quads some time to heal. You could be just beatng them up and making things worse. You could try an alternate form of exercise in the mean time like walking at a moderate pace until they recover.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:40 AM   #3
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You don't mention it but age does have allot to do with recovery time. I am now in my early 40's and I no longer bounce back like I did in my 20's. It starts going down hill at about age 34. And I am a super clyde at 360 lbs and 6'6". That said some things that help me are:

Using ice on the areas of pain right after the ride/workout. Alternately a cold shower will work also but not as effectively. This reduces the inflammation in the area and allows for a faster recovery and less pain. When I was playing rugby we wouldn't fight over the jacuzzi tubs we would fight over the ice tubs. Jacuzzi was for "off" days and relaxing.

Stretching at the mid point of my ride and afterward.

Making sure I am properly hydrated before, during, and after my workout.

Making sure I am good to go in terms of potassium. Banana's are good for this.

Proper down time between workouts. You need to rest and allow the muscles to recover during training. I use a 5 on 2 off and then a 4 on 3 off riding schedule right now with one of the days on the 4/3 being the middle point of the workout regimen and one of the 5/2 days being a light training day. This is what works best for me in terms of balance between exercise and recovery. What may work for you is different.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:41 AM   #4
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I should also add that you need to watch out for burning the skin and even frostbite when using ice. Wrap it in a towel and do 15-20 on then 10 off.
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Old 06-16-11, 08:27 PM   #5
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If your quads are hurting and your glutes are fresh, you can move your saddle back. That will engage the glutes more and spare the quads a bit.
However triathletes often use a far forward seat positon to save their glutes for the run.

If you want to try it, move no more than 5mm at a time, and lower it 1mm for every 5mm you move it back.
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