achy Quads after 40 miles...

tomp87
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Joined: 24 Aug 2020, 4:11pm

achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby tomp87 » 24 Aug 2020, 4:19pm

Hi all, this is my first post on here so hopefully in the right place! I've been a road cyclist for the last 10 years or so so plenty of miles in the legs, but this year i've started ramping the mileage (per ride) up a bit. However, I always find that after about 40-45 miles I start getting a really dull ache in my quads and the ability to turn the pedals drops off a cliff. It always happens around this mileage regardless of how many hills, intensity etc so I am hoping someone on here might understand the problem. I am guessing it could be a few things...

- cleat position?
- saddle height? (general comfort on the bike is good, no aches, saddle sores etc)
- nutrition? I usually take 3 or so large carb cereal bars out with me and eat 1 every hour or so...am I not eating enough and after the 40 miles (2.5ish hour mark) i'm kind of hitting the wall? I also put those isotonic tablets from SIS in my drinks bottles (not sure if this helps or hinders sometimes) and always have a good carby feed before heading out on the ride

Any tips especially on the type and quantity of nutrition would be really helpful

Thanks

Tom

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby Jdsk » 24 Aug 2020, 4:44pm

Welcome.

How long does it take for the ache to go away? And does it then come back quickly if you start cycling again?

Are you on any medication?

Jonathan

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531colin
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby 531colin » 24 Aug 2020, 5:45pm

Hi Tom
If your bike is properly set up for you, you should be using 3 of the biggest muscle groups in the body to propel yourself; glutes, hamstrings, and quads.....maybe not exactly equally, but you should get home tired, not with one muscle group screaming, and the rest blissfully unaffected.
If you like, Google "Neil's bike fit preferential fatigue". Its not brilliant, but its an area of bike fit where I have seen relatively little written. I think Neil undervalues the contribution of the hamstrings; the hamstrings and glutes work mainly to bring the knee down, the quads straighten the knee.
Now for the interesting bit. A forward saddle position will load the quads and spare the hamstrings; I don't know why, but it is so. Also a rearward cleat position will load the quads and spare the hamstrings...I don't know why, etc...
For any other aspect of bike fit, Steve Hogg is my "go to" website.....google "Steve Hogg" and "saddle setback for road bikes" and "seat height how hard can it be addendum" and "cleat position".
Before you change anything, mark, measure and photograph. Put a bit of tape round the seatpost 20mm above the frame; now you can raise or lower the saddle a known amount and get right back where you started. Put a bit of tape round the saddle rail as well, so you know how far back you moved it. Moving the cleats will leave a mark where they were, but a photo is good too, when the mark fades.
Let us know how you get on!

tomp87
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Joined: 24 Aug 2020, 4:11pm

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby tomp87 » 25 Aug 2020, 8:46am

Hi both,

Thanks for the responses. To answer those questions...

- No not on any medication, never get ill etc. Would say general health is very good
- the ache goes away fairly quickly (within hours) and doesnt come back until the next 40+ mile ride.

thanks for the tips on taping seatpost etc, i will have a read of those suggestions as it does sound like i'm overloading my quads. I don't get any aching in my glutes or hamstrings when cycling, only when running and that's usually the DOMs a day or so later. Never get any DOMs in glutes/hamstrings after cycling...

Thanks

Tom

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531colin
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby 531colin » 25 Aug 2020, 12:22pm

DOMs....?

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby Jdsk » 25 Aug 2020, 12:24pm


xerxes
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Joined: 10 May 2013, 7:22pm

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby xerxes » 27 Aug 2020, 4:12pm

Jdsk wrote:Delayed onset muscle soreness:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_onset_muscle_soreness

Jonathan

So that's what it's called! I've suffered from this for years, though mainly after hill walking/running, when I haven't been on the hills for a while. Never had it as a result of cycling though.

Billy007
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Joined: 15 Apr 2020, 8:56am

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby Billy007 » 14 Sep 2020, 8:58pm

tomp87 wrote:Hi both,

Thanks for the responses. To answer those questions...

- No not on any medication, never get ill etc. Would say general health is very good
- the ache goes away fairly quickly (within hours) and doesnt come back until the next 40+ mile ride.

thanks for the tips on taping seatpost etc, i will have a read of those suggestions as it does sound like i'm overloading my quads. I don't get any aching in my glutes or hamstrings when cycling, only when running and that's usually the DOMs a day or so later. Never get any DOMs in glutes/hamstrings after cycling...

Thanks

Tom


Do you look after your body or are you one of these people who just rides or runs until you have to stop because of injury?
Do you do exercises to work and strengthen muscles? Do you do massage on various muscle groups with a Lacrosse/Hockey ball or roller?
There is lots of stuff on YT for treating sore muscles and recovery. A lot is rubbish but occasionally some is good. I would say massaging and doing exercises to strengthen your quads are what you need to do.
Also when you are riding typically what sort of cadence and power are you riding at? Don't push heavy gears. Do you wear proper cycling shoes and cleats?

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foxyrider
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Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby foxyrider » 15 Sep 2020, 3:12pm

Billy007 wrote:
Also when you are riding typically what sort of cadence and power are you riding at? Don't push heavy gears. Do you wear proper cycling shoes and cleats?


I think i know what you mean but what are 'heavy gears'? I know some cheaper Shimano stuff can be a bit weighty but i've never considered that in my gear selection when riding :lol:
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

tomp87
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Joined: 24 Aug 2020, 4:11pm

Re: achy Quads after 40 miles...

Postby tomp87 » 30 Sep 2020, 5:45pm

Thanks for the additional messages. I went out at the weekend and did 65 miles (nothing special, 15mph avg) after having a look at my seat setup. Looked like my knees were a little far forward so as an incremental change I moved the seat back 10mm instead of trying anything radical. It didn't seem to warrant moving the seat up or down (maybe I had it slightly wrong beforehand!) and I definitely felt it more in the glutes/hamstrings during and after the ride (DOMS). The interesting thing was I felt like I could push less power, but my legs felt way more fresher...probably got an extra 10 miles out of them before they started to ache. My avg mph stayed the same as usual (less speed initially, but keeping it up for longer)

To answer a few of the questions:
- I have started to do some leg strength exercises over the last year or so, this was as a result of a running injury and physio advised some quad/glute/hamstring etc exercises. Any recommendations for cycling specific exercises would be welcome! Personally I don't think my quads are weak, but I could be wrong...I can do 30+ single leg squats without much issue
- I don't really massage or foam roll, but usually have a very cold bath after long runs (20+ miles) or big rides
- No idea what power I put out on the bike sorry, only ever worked off HR to be honest. Cadence I would say I'm not grinding the gears, but also not spinning overly quickly...probably a little slower than optimum I imagine
- Yes I wear proper cycling shoes and use road cleats with some float (7deg from memory)

Thanks

Tom