Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

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Fatamorgana
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Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Fatamorgana » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:03 am

I am left wondering of late if my ride position is as good as I think it is.

Having bought a road bike in May, I have been managing 3x rides a week. About 9hrs in total @ 17.? mph. Two of these rides are with the club.

Some out of the saddle riding on the steepest bits as I have an old niggling quad muscle issue on my L leg that the NHS can't sole / detect, so I tend to avoid riding the hardest sections seated, but that was until recently as some acupuncture sessions seem to be helping (?) the L leg manage longer and harder rides.

In the last 5 rides, I have been feeling a slight twinge in the upper-outer part of my calf muscle, nothing too much and last night's 3hr ride I felt something similar, albeit briefly, on my R calf, which is a worry!

I have a neutral flat foot position and I'm clipped in using Crank Bros' Candy pedals. These have lots of float.

The bike is a basic Trek 1.5, size 54, my inside leg being 840mm (measured correctly) and I'm 5ft 10.5.

985mm to the top part of the nose of the saddle and mid rail position for said saddle.

Own hair and teeth & I can tie my ow shoe laces - really quite a catch, eh?!

Does any of this set alarm bells a' ringing with anyone as the last thing I want is another training injury?

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Coach H
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Coach H » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:24 am

I had this (or sound like this) after changing my saddle. After struggling for a few months, including work based Physio, I went back to Adrian Timmis who sorted it in 10 minutes (Adrian is a 2hr drive away!)

I was seated further back on new saddle and therefore my foot was having to stretch forward at bottom of pedal stroke. Seat was moved forward 15mm(ish) and pain had gone after about 3 rides.

Make sure the front of your knee joint (NOT kneecap) is directly over pedal spindle. Adrian does this with lazers but with care an be done with a plumb line and a helpfull WAG
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Mainsy
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Mainsy » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:27 am

I find standing up uses the calf muscles more, and get twinges in them too, nothing to worry about, just means your working them. Along as you stretch off properly when your finished I see see no problems.

Obviously if the twinges turn into bad pains while riding then there is a problem which may be due to riding position.

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T.M.H.N.E.T
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby T.M.H.N.E.T » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:50 am

Mainsy wrote:I find standing up uses the calf muscles more, and get twinges in them too, nothing to worry about, just means your working them. Along as you stretch off properly when your finished I see see no problems.

Obviously if the twinges turn into bad pains while riding then there is a problem which may be due to riding position.

Absolutely that.

Fatamorgana
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Fatamorgana » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:30 am

The calf was sore this am, not something I am used to.
I used to be out of the saddle & stomping the gears a little before I remained seated and never had an issue before. That was up to 4 or so weeks ago.
I have been undergoing accupuncture treatment for the L quad and, touch wood, so far, so good.
That has resulted in me being more confident and being seated more on hill climbs.
I've tried to remain seated and not stomp as this is slower out of the saddle and makes my knees ache afterwards!

I'll try the seat-forward a tad and take a measurement too and see what the net result is as I have never really found a saddle I'm 100% comfortable with in all my years of cycling!

Mainsy
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Mainsy » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:02 pm

Could it be that because your quads are getting better your try ing a little harder now, and the extra effort is using the calfs more, which you may not have been doing before.
If I'm really going for it on a climb but staying seated again the calfs come into play.

Another consideration could be your foot position on the pedal. Cleats positioned closer to the toes use the calf muscles more too.

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brettjmcc
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby brettjmcc » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:09 pm

You are stretching etc properly?

I had really tight calf muscles earlier this year. It was basically down to not stretching as much as I should, which I sorted and then also throwing in the purcase of a foam roller (£9.99 from Argos) which also highlighted that I now have a fear of the cylindrical round things (but my legs are far better)
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Fatamorgana
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Fatamorgana » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:29 pm

The calfs were getting a harder work out in the out-of-the-saddle riding than ever they do in the seated.

My cleats are way-back as far as they will go.

I have never worked my tiny calfs, never needed to nor with my footfall do I really use them,ergo: if is something else.

My riding is a little more non-stop of late. Riding with a club means recovery in the peloton, so my personal training rides are now up from 2hrs to almost 3hrs, and that's since the end of the Paralympics.

This might be part of the problem, longer rides with no stopping or free-wheeling / recovery.

I do some stretching but I'm as tight as a Scotsman's wallet - always have been.

Fatamorgana
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Fatamorgana » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:36 pm

I've dropped Adrian an email with this link.
Maybe it's time to have a break and consider what's causing this than blindly going on repeating the error until something "goes"!

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dw300
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby dw300 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 01:19 am

+1 for stretching .. you're probably getting tighter than you should be, I guess it a similar effect to getting shorter, meaning your tendons are getting stretched more than they're used to. I had a pain in a tendon at the top of my right calf, turns out that leg is marginally shorter. I moved the seat down a tiny bit and problem solved.

Or maybe you're getting shorter?!
All the above is just advice .. you can do whatever the f*ck you wana do!
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Bordersroadie
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Bordersroadie » Sun Oct 07, 2012 15:00 pm

I had the same problem for months, including calf cramps. Tried everything, including nutrition, mineral intake, stretching. Started feeling desperate.

The solution? Moved my cleats back 5mm. Problem solved, never to reoccur again, even on 100 mile+ rides.

Fatamorgana
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Re: Niggling calf muscle. Ride position error?

Postby Fatamorgana » Mon Oct 08, 2012 17:52 pm

Cheers.
Position seems so critical.
Cleats all the way for me too.
Will try the seat a little forward - when it stops raining and the calf stops twinging.


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