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calf pain(11 posts)

calf paintarwheel
Jan 15, 2003 12:23 PM
I've had a persistent pain in my right calf since last summer. It feels sort of like a pulled muscle, toward the top of my calf. It doesn't bother except while I'm riding, and seems to get worse if there's a lot of climbing. Doesn't bother me generally if I'm taking an easy spin. Left leg feels fine.

Any theories regarding the cause of the pain and what I might do to correct it? I try to stretch as much as possible, which seems to help some, but it doesn't prevent the pain. It also seems to hurt less if I drink Gatorade during hot weather. I have experimented with my saddle height in an effort to get rid of the pain, with no success. Lowering my saddle caused my knees to hurt, and I don't think I need to raise my saddle any more. (My saddle height is 75.5 cm, center BB-top of saddle, and my inseam is about 83 cm.)
If thy calf offends thee, make veal chops. (nm)onespeed
Jan 15, 2003 12:45 PM
re: calf painUprwstsdr
Jan 15, 2003 1:35 PM
I have a tendency to get severe muscle cramps in my calfs. Feels like I have a golf ball in the upper/outside area of my calf. I do not know the cause, but what works for me is compression. I wear neoprene calf sleeves when I get these cramps and they help tremendously. I used to play competitive Ultimate Frisbee and could not play without them, otherwise my calves would cramp immediately. I generally don't have problems while cycling. Anyway try wearing one when you ride, or at least an ace bandage. The neoprene is better though because it keeps the muscle warm in addition to the compression.
re: calf painmorkm
Jan 15, 2003 2:15 PM
I have calf problems as well. When both running and cycling, I often get pretty bad cramps and can have just 'ongoing' pain in one of my calfs for days. Two things have helped. 1) moving my cleats further back on my shoe. I moved my LOOK cleats back one mark on the bottom of my SIDIs (maybe 1/8") and 2) doing calf raises...HEAVY WEIGHT....3 sets of 2 reps per set. Don't over do it on these. You just want to work the calf with near max load for a TOTAL of 4-6 reps. Do this 2 or 3 times a week, for a WEEKLY TOTAL of 18 reps MAX. It's has worked well for me
Could it be dehydration? And weights don't work well on calfsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 15, 2003 7:21 PM
Could it be dehydration??? I know myself when I get dehyrdrated get the golf ball in my calf feeling. If your urine is yellow and now clear or clear with a tiny tinge of yellow your dehydrated.

As for the weights... doing weights with calfs is in a sense useless at least at lower reps. Studies have been done that show because they are almost completely slow twitch weights at least at the lower end of the spectrum (4-16 reps) do not work as effectively as other muscles. Doesn't mean you can't/shouldn't throw them into workouts though but don't emphasize it.

I keep myself well hydrated I think it's just geneticsUprwstsdr
Jan 16, 2003 8:42 AM
Stretching my calves often also helps prevent it.
re: calf painHigh Gear
Jan 15, 2003 5:25 PM
You may have really strained it and it will take time to heal. I would move the cleats on your cycling shoes back towards the heels 1/8" to start and stay with it for a while to see how your calf heals, you may need to move it more. I suffered with calf pain / cramps for a long time untill an old timer me about the cleat thing. Now my calfs are the last to go on a long hard ride. Let us know how you make out.

Good Luck
could be the cleats ...bianchi boy
Jan 15, 2003 6:07 PM
I did put on some new cleats over the past few months and may have moved them forward a little. I'll give that a shot.
Do you pedal toe down?5ive
Jan 15, 2003 7:15 PM
I do and I believe this particular style of pedalling is more taxing on your calf muscles. Most cyclists tend to be more toe-down when they are climbing out of the saddle, and this might account for your problem while climbing. I think the stretching and drinking gatorade do help so keep at it. And try stretching your calf muscles on your bike while riding too -- you know, standing out of the saddle and putting the heal down one leg at a time. Hope this helps.
toe down + high saddle = stretching the short leg..Spunout
Jan 16, 2003 4:40 AM
not THAT leg, silly...

But your shorter of two. Just for comparison, my inseam is 83 and I ride 74.5 cm saddle height, I may even drop it 5mm for a more neutral ankle position.
thanks alltarwheel
Jan 16, 2003 4:39 AM
I'm thinking it might be the cleat positioning as I changed my cleats and moved them forward slightly several months ago. I'm certain it's not a dehydration problem because I drink a lot of fluids. Not sure about the toe-down pedaling, but I don't climb out of the saddle much. In fact, my calf doesn't bother me in spin cycle classes, where we do a lot of out-of-saddle climbing -- but it does bother me on the road, where I seldom climb out of the saddle. I use different shoes and cleats in spin classes, which might explain why my calf doesn't bother me then.