Why Am I So Sore? - CyclingNews Forum

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Old 06-01-09, 22:27
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elapid elapid is offline
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Default Why Am I So Sore?

I am training for a week long tour in the mountains. I am coached by Carmichael Training Systems with this tour being my main goal for the year.

I was training well by the end of April in Australia with 80-90 km rides, 1200-1800 m of climbing, and the legs feeling half decent at the end of the ride.

I took 10 days off for vacation after returning to Canada and returned to training in the local hills. I was up to 80-90 km after a week with 1800 m of climbing, but my legs were awful (especially hamstrings). I am also not able to sustain steady state intervals as well as when I was training in Australia. In addition, my recovery is longer as it takes me a good 2-3 days to recover from these rides compared to right to ride the next day in Australia.

Other than the time off the bike during my vacation, the main differences between training in Australia and Canada are:

1. I am now mainly riding a new bike (Cervelo R3) rather than my custom Lynskey (based on a Serotta fitting). The R3 was setup the same as the Lynskey, but I noticed that with the same setup (seat position relative to the stem, and seat height), I am too far back when doing the plumb line test.
2. The R3 has a Prologo saddle and the Lynskey has a Selle Italia SLR saddle.
3. Perhaps diet. I am eating less pasta/rice and more vegetables.
4. Hills are different. In Australia, they were more 4-8% over 6-10 km, while in Canada they are more up and down with 8-12% over < 2 km.

Do you think I am sorer in the legs, particularly the hamstrings, and have a longer recovery because of different fit/bike, different saddle, different hills, different diet, or the break off the bike?

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by elapid; 06-01-09 at 23:03.
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Old 06-02-09, 00:51
lostintime lostintime is offline
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10 days off the bike is a lot. To go right back to where you where before, with steeper climbs may be too much, too soon.

The bike difference may have some to do with it, but many people change bikes(road to mtb even) during the season and don't experience any issues. You could go back to your custom bike and see what happens. If everything goes away, then you know it's likely the fit of the Cervelo. You say the two bikes are set up the same... but do they really fit the same? .... (the angles, TT length, stem length, saddle height, saddle length etc.)

I never use seat distance to the stem as a guide unless the two seats are exactly the same. Different seats put the rider in slightly different positions(the sweet spots vary) so when comparing them you can't use the tip to stem measurement with any accuracy. You could also move the saddle on the Cervelo forward a bit, and see what happens. I also suspect the saddle heights may not be the same, even though they are by measuring. Again ... different seats.. ...different sweet spots.

Either way ..... Do you stretch your hamstrings? Check out this thread: http://www.thehubsa.co.za/forum_posts.asp?TID=34397
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Old 06-02-09, 11:24
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elapid elapid is offline
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Thanks for your reply lostintime and for the link. I do stretch my hammies, as well as quads and calves. I also don't have any soreness in the lower back or hip flexors.

I have moved the saddle forward and will try this new position on my intervals tonight. I was also going to ride the Lynskey this weekend on a longer ride to see if I have the same problems during and after the ride.

I totally agree with the positioning/fitting and am wondering whether it is worthwhile to get another fitting for the R3.
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Old 06-02-09, 14:06
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Bala Verde Bala Verde is offline
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Well I think you have highlighted most issues that could be the cause of your problem.

1) different bike.

Could be that you have to get used to the new geometry, and saddle fore/aft, perhaps handlebar height and your (slightly) new position. I guess that any (intensive) training on a new bike/position, which results in a slightly different use of muscles, will reinforce soreness. If you do lots of hills/mountains, I'd reckon it impacts especially on the hamstr.

You could perhaps swap the saddles (why get rid of the one that you were used to, and which fits your buns like a glove) and play a little with the exact position of the saddle so that it feels right.

2) different hills.

If you climb alot in the saddle, 4-6% gradual 6k climbs, at one point your body is well adapted to that specific type of climb using that position. If you then go to 2k 8% climbs, still staying in the saddle, obviously your body needs to adapt to the changed circumstances. To me it seems it's comparable to doing 3x20 reps 75kg while then, out of the blue doing 1x20 reps 120kg. Is your cadence the same, do you have the right gears etc,

3) Nutrition.

Since the duration is shorter and the gradient steeper, it seems you are mainly building muscles, so perhaps add some protein to your diet?
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Old 06-02-09, 16:26
nightfend nightfend is offline
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The only other thing is you might be riding too hard after being off for 10 days. You might be overtraining your body. I'd back off and do some longer easy rides for a few days and see if the legs recover.
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Old 06-02-09, 22:56
yetanothergreenworld yetanothergreenworld is offline
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Best thread title ever!
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Old 06-07-09, 20:15
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elapid elapid is offline
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An update: I changed the saddle and did a basic homestyle fitting on the R3 and still had some soreness during, but not after, my interval session during the week. Rather than persisting with the R3 as is, I rode my custom Lynskey this weekend. Two 120 km rides with 1800 m and 1350 m of climbing, and feeling great. Some soreness, but to be expected and no prolonged recovery. I am getting a fitting on the R3 this week.

Next question: would you take the R3 or the Lynskey on a week long tour through the mountains (850 km over 6 days with 40,000 feet of climbing)? I haven't much time to decide, because this tour starts in a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-08-09, 12:22
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Bala Verde Bala Verde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elapid View Post
An update: I changed the saddle and did a basic homestyle fitting on the R3 and still had some soreness during, but not after, my interval session during the week. Rather than persisting with the R3 as is, I rode my custom Lynskey this weekend. Two 120 km rides with 1800 m and 1350 m of climbing, and feeling great. Some soreness, but to be expected and no prolonged recovery. I am getting a fitting on the R3 this week.

Next question: would you take the R3 or the Lynskey on a week long tour through the mountains (850 km over 6 days with 40,000 feet of climbing)? I haven't much time to decide, because this tour starts in a couple of weeks.
I'd take the one with the best fit, the one you feel most comfortable on. A week is pretty long to dread the idea of being on that bike you haven't gotten used to.
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Old 06-08-09, 14:46
euphrades euphrades is offline
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This is a great thread, not trying to highjack but i have a similar issue. I am sore even after easy fat burning rides.

I used to race a lot, never more than a local CAT3 racer in Michigan, but after a 4 to 5 year layoff because of having kids I am trying to get back into riding shape. I know its going to take more than a season to get close to where I used to be so I am trying to be under no illusions.

No changes to the bike, position or etc. Same bike as I used to ride.

I am riding between 70 to 80 percent of HR so easy rides. Because of hills I do go over that but not extreme. The problem is even if i take a rest day I am finding that I am still sore, same soreness if I did a fast training ride.
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Old 06-09-09, 21:30
nightfend nightfend is offline
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70 to 80% of your max heart rate is not an "easy" ride. Even if you feel fine, your body is going too hard to recover properly.

For an average amateur racer, you should be riding under 120 bpm on recovery rides. Maybe use only the small chainring on your recovery rides to promote a lower heartrate.
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