Author Topic: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride  (Read 4597 times)

αdαmsκι

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Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« on: June 22, 2008, 05:34:39 pm »
Dear yacf-ers

I did my first 400 km bike ride yesterday and this has resulted in pain in my knees and achilles tendon on both the left & right both sides. Details below:

Achilles pain

This started during the ride and they feel swollen (but seeing as it's both tendons it is difficult to be sure about this).  The pain during the ride wasn't enough to make me stop (or even think about stopping).  I was wondering if the saddle was too high, causing me to search to reach the peddles (not that it feels to high, mind you).  Any other ideas?

Knees
Pain came on after I'd finished the ride.  It's at the front of the knees.  My problem is going up & downstairs, but walking on the flat is OK.  I've got a few ideas as to the
1) Saddle poistion - if so, does it need to go forwards / backswards / higher / lower?
2) Pushing too big a gear - Tho I thought I was spinning at a decent cadence

My weekly cycle to / from work etc. is about 150 km. Over the last 6 weeks or so I've been doing longer rides.  My longest ride of the year (which were during the past few weeks) were about 130 km, which is a fair way off 400 km.  While I'm unlikely to be doing another 400 km in the near future it would still be good to have some idea of what caused the pain and I can then ensure if wont happen again. Or maybe I just need to get use to this sort of distance?
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

annie

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 05:40:24 pm »
It sounds as though your achilles and tendons are extremely inflamed due to the increased amount of work they were required to do to finish your 400km.  As you said yourself there is a big difference between 150k and 400km.  I am no expert but I would have thought a few 200km rides and then progressing would have been advisable.

Well done anyway, an amazing achievement.

Get some ice on there if you haven't already and take some anti-inflammatories if they agree with you.  Rest as much as you can, you still need to walk around though.  Also make sure you stretch or you will seize up.


αdαmsκι

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Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 05:54:34 pm »
Yip, I've already taken the ibuprofen and I'm not doing anything at the moment, bar walking around a bit.* 

I am no expert but I would have thought a few 200km rides and then progressing would have been advisable.
Yip, that's true but I have been thinking about doing the Zuiderzeeroute in a day for the last year (ride report to follow now here).  I am currently in The Netherlands, along with my bike, and I just kinda decided to have a bash at it (with encourage from Nienke, I should add!).  It's also got the advantage of being the flatest cycle route possible :-)  Hopefully the pain is from the lack of experience at this sort of distance and if I were to train up for a 400 km then I would be OK, tho I dont know this for sure.


*Nienke & i tried going for a walk but we couldn't walk at one place because the bridge across the river was closed.  Then drove to some woods and were looking at the trees that had recently blown over when we heard a "crack"and another one snapped. While we ran back to the car another two trees came down.  I hadn't realised it was that windy!
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

annie

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 05:58:40 pm »
Get Nienke to bring you ice and beer.  I am sure you will be fine in a few days.  Much admiration to you for doing this, amazing what one can do with the right frame of mind.  I look forward to reading the ride report.


Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2008, 06:01:27 pm »
id highly recommend a cryo cuff for a sore knee. I was given one when I had knee surgery and the consultant got me using it after increasing exercise to reduce inflammation.

Aircast Knee Cryo/Cuff with Cooler

Wowbagger

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Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 06:03:40 pm »
Well done for a very long ride. My longest is only just over half that distance, but it seems perfectly reasonable for your body to start objecting a bit when you put it through such a lot.

Take a look at the number of absolutely mega-audaxeers on this forum who, from time to time, complain about joint injuries and pain. It's got to be a bloody silly pastime, but its adherents keep on coming back for more. :thumbsup:
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2008, 06:19:34 pm »
Were you on fixed, adamski?

I did my left knee last week, which I think was due to a combination of pushing too high a gear, too hard up a hill, at a time when I'm a bit heavier than I should be.

I've often had knee twinges after long rides on fixed, and for me rides over 300km on one gear are officially Hard Work.

If you were on gears - are you upping your distances too quickly, or are you used to these kinds of distances?

αdαmsκι

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Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2008, 06:27:36 pm »
Were you on fixed, adamski?

....

If you were on gears - are you upping your distances too quickly, or are you used to these kinds of distances?

Unlike the Blue Moon ride I was actually using gears as since that ride the n+1 rule has been applied and I've got a Ribble Audax bike.  Yes, I am happy to admit this doubled the maximum I've done on a single ride, but I wanted to give this route a go.  Maybe it wasn't the wisest thing to do, but hey ho.  The pain may be caused by the lack of experience of 400 km of cycling in a day, but then again it may be some set up of the bike that isn't serious enough to affect me on shorter rides.

Get Nienke to bring you ice and beer.  I am sure you will be fine in a few days.
Some how I dont think she'll agree to that!  And yes, it'll be fine in a day or so.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2008, 06:29:39 pm »
The pain may be caused by the lack of experience of 400 km of cycling in a day...

I think that is most likely. It takes connective tissue much longer to adapt to changing demands than muscles and metabolism.

annie

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2008, 07:34:31 pm »
I suffered with pain in my right knee yesterday after using big gears, I was comfortable using them to tackle the hills and whereas I have been spinning up the hills over the past few months I went back to my old style of honking up and paid the price.  My knee is fine today.

LEE

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2008, 07:47:47 pm »
My knees, although trouble-free during the rides, were very sore after 400km & 600km rides once I got home, sat down and put my feet up.  After the 600km I would go as far as to say they almost locked up.

Going up and down stairs was a bannister-holding affair for a day or two.

I put this down entirely to riding 400km and 600km in one go.  It's unnatural.

I don't have Achilles issues but they can be stressed by over-reaching with your toes, maybe saddle is too high.  400km is a long way so a slight set-up problem on a 150km can become serious after 400km. 

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2008, 09:19:48 pm »
I did my first 400 last week,and allthough I have no knee pain my left achilles is painfull and a bit swollen,I think this is a old running injury agrevated by honking up hills I allso have a habbit of ankling quite violently up hills.When I get over this plenty of 200k rides I think.Well done on your acheivements :thumbsup:

Tiger

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2008, 05:03:12 pm »
Well done for the 400. It is well hard and a real achievement.
I had swollen achilles after my first 400 - be very careful with them - and don't rush straight back onto the bike as you might make them worse.

Ice is really good. Feet in bowl of ice water.

For ther knees - the problem is fluid buildup which can be alleviated by draining the joint. To do this all you need to do is insert a needle gently into the knee joint until the clear fluid runs out.  Then you will need to lie down for a few days which will allow your body to recover.

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2008, 05:16:24 pm »
The pain is symmetrical, so you're doing something right.

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 05:39:29 pm »
For ther knees - the problem is fluid buildup which can be alleviated by draining the joint. To do this all you need to do is insert a needle gently into the knee joint until the clear fluid runs out.  Then you will need to lie down for a few days which will allow your body to recover.

 ;D

αdαmsκι

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Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2008, 11:09:52 am »
Thanks for the offers of support.  The knee pain had gone by yesterday (so no needles required - phew!).  Today, after more rest and ibuprofen the achilles are a lot better.  I've not had the chance to get back onto the bike, which is probably a good thing as it means I haven't been tempted by more cycling.


I don't have Achilles issues but they can be stressed by over-reaching with your toes, maybe saddle is too high.  400km is a long way so a slight set-up problem on a 150km can become serious after 400km.

While I wont be doing this sort of distance again for a long time, I'll still take a good look at the set up of the bike to see if there's anything obvious that is amiss.  And maybe next time I consider doing 400 km ride, I'll do a bit more preparation before hand
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

DanialW

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2008, 03:01:33 pm »
I went to see a physio about knee pain. She advised that my leg muscles were so stiff, and that all the muscles were so adhered to each other, that they were pulling on the patella. The result was a persistent knee pain whilst cycling and a dull ache for about 48 hours after a big ride.

I followed her advice, and now get a sports massage every fortnight. It's incredibly painful, and costs £30 a pop, but the knee pain has gone completely, and I never get sore legs, even when riding 400km or 600km audaxes.

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2011, 11:36:11 pm »
Just resurrecting this thread as for the first time yesterday I experienced a bit of pain just in my left achilles. It wasn't enough to effect my speed but since I was only riding 160k I am wondering if this might get worse on the longer rides I am soon to do. I have just radically altered my riding position with my new bike- using drop bars not flats and the saddle is a bit higher than my other bike (but that is probably too low). Is this likely to just be my body getting used to a new riding position or is it something I should be worried about? My next 200k Audax is on 27th so I have 3 weeks to either take it a bit easy or try something different.

border-rider

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2011, 11:39:57 pm »
Achilles pain is often a sign of the saddle being too high or the cleats being in the wrong position

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2011, 11:42:23 pm »
Achilles pain is often a sign of the saddle being too high or the cleats being in the wrong position

Is it possible for the cleats to be in the wrong position for one bike if they are not on another?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2011, 11:44:08 pm »
Same shoes/cleat position?

I think that's usually a foot extension thing, so probably saddle height related, but the feel of the new geometry may have caused you to change your pedalling technique slightly.  Front/back cleat position will also affect it (as I've recently discovered, a handy way to fudge for leg length differences).

IIRC you've got a trainer - try both bikes on it at a variety of cadences (giving yourself a few minutes to settle into the rhythm first) and think about what you might be doing differently.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2011, 11:45:02 pm »
Achilles pain is often a sign of the saddle being too high or the cleats being in the wrong position

Is it possible for the cleats to be in the wrong position for one bike if they are not on another?

It's possible that the pedals are in a different position relative to the saddle, cleats also will affect where your foot is in relation to your hips. Are the cranks the same length as on the other bike ?

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2011, 11:47:19 pm »
Same shoes/cleat position?

I think that's usually a foot extension thing, so probably saddle height related, but the feel of the new geometry may have caused you to change your pedalling technique slightly.  Front/back cleat position will also affect it (as I've recently discovered, a handy way to fudge for leg length differences).

IIRC you've got a trainer - try both bikes on it at a variety of cadences (giving yourself a few minutes to settle into the rhythm first) and think about what you might be doing differently.

It took about 120k for the pain to start so it isn't easily reproduced, but I rode a 200k last week in the same boots and cleats without experiencing it. I was hoping to keep my saddle at the height it is because I think it gives me a better power output, but I might have to very slightly lower it and try a long ride to find out.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2011, 11:47:32 pm »
Is it possible for the cleats to be in the wrong position for one bike if they are not on another?

Absolutely, if there are other geometric differences.  Saddle height can change leg extension, Q-factor of the crankset changes tread width.  For fairly obvious reasons, you really want to resolve this by fiddling with something on the bike rather than the cleats, otherwise you'll have to go shoe shopping, and everyone hates shoe shopping.

My bet's on saddle height.  Suggest you try to reproduce that of your known-good bike, and go from there.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Pain in knees and achilles tendon after a long ride
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2011, 11:48:09 pm »
Achilles pain is often a sign of the saddle being too high or the cleats being in the wrong position

Is it possible for the cleats to be in the wrong position for one bike if they are not on another?

It's possible that the pedals are in a different position relative to the saddle, cleats also will affect where your foot is in relation to your hips. Are the cranks the same length as on the other bike ?

Yes, same crank length and same pedals too. They have a reasonable amount of float in them too.