Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoyed

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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:16 pm

clackers wrote:As a physio was explaining to me, coming out of the saddle gives the calves a rest and brings the glutes into play, but that's hard to do TT.

Moving the cleats back from the neutral position puts less leverage on your calves, which in your case may be worth the performance compromise ... less leverage!


Yeh i have side it back a few mm, (kinda hard to determin on my shoe... as the lines for measurement are quite faint.. unlike some) not all the way back and will give that a test this week (if the weather permits)
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by BNA » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:21 pm

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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:21 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
winstonw wrote:- get your lower back looked at by a musculoskeletal or sports physio.

- 3x a week, core strength exercises (plank aim for 3+ minutes alternating leg lifts, 1 minute side planks, bicycle crunches)
- 3x a week for 2 mths, stretch your hams, gluts, piriformis, calf, lumbar and thoracic spine.
- get the physio to check your calfs and hams for old deep fibrotic scarring, then get it massaged loose.


DoubleSpeeded wrote:Yes i like winstonw's reply.. these are things to be considered.

And yes, the Aero position is pretty harsh i find. I only ride in that position once a week or so... perhaps im not getting my body used to that position enough.
I never have any problems on the upright/MTB position on road riding.
And i noticed, no matter how many times a week i ride in the Upright position on the other bike... getting into the aero position on the TT bike, it feels very taxing. Fatigue on the legs & Lactic build up galore.

I agree with winstonw too. I have occasional lower back problems and find my calves getting very tight after cycling. If I don't stretch my calves end up feeling like concrete and feel very sore and tight. But I have found I can't just stretch my calves, I have to stretch hams, gluts, calf, lower back and hip flexors. There's an order too... but I forget it. There is a guy on youtube that shows how to self massage for lower back pain which starts with some of those muscles in a particular order and works around to lower back. I will see if I can find it when I get home.

The other point is that if one side is cramping more than the other then you either have an imbalance (muscle imbalance, one longer leg etc) or a bike fit issue.

I notice that I'm fine if I ride on the hoods or the bars but if I go to the drops for too long I get sore along the backs of my legs. It's because I am not used to riding in that position. Anyway, I hope you can track down the issue and resolve it.



i think you nailed it there champ

well my left leg is slightly longer than my right.. the slight difference in height is due to a fracture of the left knee when i was in primary school.

well as mentioned when i get the new carbon; aero, Handle bar & Brake levers fitted which is different adjustments to the current one ill look into a professional computer bike fit.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:07 am

DoubleSpeeded wrote:well my left leg is slightly longer than my right.. the slight difference in height is due to a fracture of the left knee when i was in primary school.

well as mentioned when i get the new carbon; aero, Handle bar & Brake levers fitted which is different adjustments to the current one ill look into a professional computer bike fit.

That should help a lot!
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:45 pm

Xplora wrote:If your cleats are quite forward, then you'll be putting enormous strain on your calves - the deadness could just be an accumulation of lactic acid from overusing your calves.

My experience with my homebrew TT setup is that you get a lot more work through the glutes and hammys because I'm stretched down and out more. Would prefer to be even lower LOL Anyways, because of that more flat foot pumping style with the TT position you'll be forced to use your calves more if your seat isn't in the right spot - you mentioned it is worse on the hills, you'll find your calves are working much harder to keep up the power, as you'll already be maxing out with the rest of your legs on the flats. It is different on a MTB or roady because you are free to stand, rock the bike side to side, flatten or bend your back - but when you're on the rivet, you are essentially locking yourself into a single position and forcing otherwise weak muscles to join the quads party. Calves are good, but generally you won't use them much when riding. TT can strip your ability to remove the calves as you lack the core stability that you have on the MTB or roady. The only way to resolve this is to ride slower while you improve at the position, and a bike fit will be very helpful if you haven't actually been fit to the TT bike before. Stretching and physios etc will be helpful, but I know the kind of strains you are talking about and I think it's going to be harder to resolve without being more long term in your approach to resolution. If you've only got onto this bike once a week for 2-3 months, I would not assume you had adapted yet if you are still punishing the MTB and roady. In fact, it might make it even harder, and you develop extra core stability from the TT position and then use that extra stability to develop even stronger MTB/Roady muscles, thus taking you out of adjustment all over again LOL
clackers wrote:As a physio was explaining to me, coming out of the saddle gives the calves a rest and brings the glutes into play, but that's hard to do TT.

Moving the cleats back from the neutral position puts less leverage on your calves, which in your case may be worth the performance compromise ... less leverage!



update... new cleat position... slightly past the centre of the ball of the foot. didnt touch the seat...

made a world of difference in lactic build up...

calf issue no-more!!!!!

genius!!!
thanks guys
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby NeillS » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:33 pm

To save me typing it all out again;

http://www.neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364

Read the "seat height and setback" post first, then "the importance of cleat position" which should give you a good idea of why it is in your interests to minimise your calf muscle recruitment, especially for time trialling. Large numbers of TT specialists are now going midfoot for this very reason. It makes plenty of sense to me as a musculoskeletal specialist.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby g-boaf » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:40 pm

DoubleSpeeded wrote:
Xplora wrote:If your cleats are quite forward, then you'll be putting enormous strain on your calves - the deadness could just be an accumulation of lactic acid from overusing your calves.

My experience with my homebrew TT setup is that you get a lot more work through the glutes and hammys because I'm stretched down and out more. Would prefer to be even lower LOL Anyways, because of that more flat foot pumping style with the TT position you'll be forced to use your calves more if your seat isn't in the right spot - you mentioned it is worse on the hills, you'll find your calves are working much harder to keep up the power, as you'll already be maxing out with the rest of your legs on the flats. It is different on a MTB or roady because you are free to stand, rock the bike side to side, flatten or bend your back - but when you're on the rivet, you are essentially locking yourself into a single position and forcing otherwise weak muscles to join the quads party. Calves are good, but generally you won't use them much when riding. TT can strip your ability to remove the calves as you lack the core stability that you have on the MTB or roady. The only way to resolve this is to ride slower while you improve at the position, and a bike fit will be very helpful if you haven't actually been fit to the TT bike before. Stretching and physios etc will be helpful, but I know the kind of strains you are talking about and I think it's going to be harder to resolve without being more long term in your approach to resolution. If you've only got onto this bike once a week for 2-3 months, I would not assume you had adapted yet if you are still punishing the MTB and roady. In fact, it might make it even harder, and you develop extra core stability from the TT position and then use that extra stability to develop even stronger MTB/Roady muscles, thus taking you out of adjustment all over again LOL
clackers wrote:As a physio was explaining to me, coming out of the saddle gives the calves a rest and brings the glutes into play, but that's hard to do TT.

Moving the cleats back from the neutral position puts less leverage on your calves, which in your case may be worth the performance compromise ... less leverage!



update... new cleat position... slightly past the centre of the ball of the foot. didnt touch the seat...

made a world of difference in lactic build up...

calf issue no-more!!!!!

genius!!!
thanks guys


Thought it might have been that. This is what caused me heaps of calf cramping issues when I started out.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:56 am

DoubleSpeeded wrote:

update... new cleat position... slightly past the centre of the ball of the foot. didnt touch the seat...

made a world of difference in lactic build up...

calf issue no-more!!!!!

genius!!!
thanks guys


The "average" position for the centre of cleat/pedal spindle is approx 10mm behind the 1st MTP joint (ball off foot) assuming an average sized male foot (uhuh lots of assumptions)... U musta been a long way forward... Glad to hear u have somewhat rectified your issues...
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:06 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:
DoubleSpeeded wrote:

update... new cleat position... slightly past the centre of the ball of the foot. didnt touch the seat...

made a world of difference in lactic build up...

calf issue no-more!!!!!

genius!!!
thanks guys


The "average" position for the centre of cleat/pedal spindle is approx 10mm behind the 1st MTP joint (ball off foot) assuming an average sized male foot (uhuh lots of assumptions)... U musta been a long way forward... Glad to hear u have somewhat rectified your issues...


Not sure, i wouldnt say a long way forward. but it was pretty much just before the centre of ball of the foot.
Very happy with the result.
its a few MM behind the ball of the foot.

NeillS wrote:To save me typing it all out again;

http://www.neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364

Read the "seat height and setback" post first, then "the importance of cleat position" which should give you a good idea of why it is in your interests to minimise your calf muscle recruitment, especially for time trialling. Large numbers of TT specialists are now going midfoot for this very reason. It makes plenty of sense to me as a musculoskeletal specialist.


what do you mean by Midfoot? as in as far as the cleat slides back?

Although this position is great... i didnt feel tired this time and no cramping.... dunno if its worth sliding it back any further?
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Awesome!

Don't change anything for a month; just let your body adapt and create a neutral position. Then play around once you are sure this latest position is the way you want to go. Worth remembering that you're probably going to lose a fair bit of "spring" on the bike going backwards on the cleat. That's a good thing since you couldn't survive the more aggressive position.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:56 pm

Xplora wrote:Awesome!

Don't change anything for a month; just let your body adapt and create a neutral position. Then play around once you are sure this latest position is the way you want to go. Worth remembering that you're probably going to lose a fair bit of "spring" on the bike going backwards on the cleat. That's a good thing since you couldn't survive the more aggressive position.


NeillS wrote:To save me typing it all out again;

http://www.neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364

Read the "seat height and setback" post first, then "the importance of cleat position" which should give you a good idea of why it is in your interests to minimise your calf muscle recruitment, especially for time trialling. Large numbers of TT specialists are now going midfoot for this very reason. It makes plenty of sense to me as a musculoskeletal specialist.


well if HEAPS of TT riders are sliding thier cleats back.. then what is the drawback of having it centre?
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:56 pm

DoubleSpeeded wrote:
Xplora wrote:Awesome!

Don't change anything for a month; just let your body adapt and create a neutral position. Then play around once you are sure this latest position is the way you want to go. Worth remembering that you're probably going to lose a fair bit of "spring" on the bike going backwards on the cleat. That's a good thing since you couldn't survive the more aggressive position.


NeillS wrote:To save me typing it all out again;

http://www.neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364

Read the "seat height and setback" post first, then "the importance of cleat position" which should give you a good idea of why it is in your interests to minimise your calf muscle recruitment, especially for time trialling. Large numbers of TT specialists are now going midfoot for this very reason. It makes plenty of sense to me as a musculoskeletal specialist.


well if HEAPS of TT riders are sliding thier cleats back.. then what is the drawback of having it centre?


Very few people only ride TT's. To go to the other extreme, how many track sprinters have a mid-foot position?

Cheers,

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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:28 pm

ironhanglider wrote:
DoubleSpeeded wrote:
Xplora wrote:Awesome!

Don't change anything for a month; just let your body adapt and create a neutral position. Then play around once you are sure this latest position is the way you want to go. Worth remembering that you're probably going to lose a fair bit of "spring" on the bike going backwards on the cleat. That's a good thing since you couldn't survive the more aggressive position.


NeillS wrote:To save me typing it all out again;

http://www.neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364

Read the "seat height and setback" post first, then "the importance of cleat position" which should give you a good idea of why it is in your interests to minimise your calf muscle recruitment, especially for time trialling. Large numbers of TT specialists are now going midfoot for this very reason. It makes plenty of sense to me as a musculoskeletal specialist.


well if HEAPS of TT riders are sliding thier cleats back.. then what is the drawback of having it centre?


Very few people only ride TT's. To go to the other extreme, how many track sprinters have a mid-foot position?

Cheers,

Cameron


you didnt quite answer the question

i was wondering what is the disadvatage of having a midfoot cleat... does it cause more strain on the knee joint, loss of power...etc etc?
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby NeillS » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Did you read the link I posted? It is all explained in there.

Cleat positions are a compromise. Further forward = greater ability to change speed rapidly = more useful for short burst efforts. Further backwards = less calf recruitment, lowered sprint speed change ability but no difference to top speed = greater fatigue resistance under submaximal endurance efforts.

For midfoot I just place the cleat directly under the joint line between the first ray and the navicular, then fine tune from there if the rider feels the need to go forwards slightly. The strain on the knees is the same obviously, as it doesn't increase your power output dramatically. Peak torque drops but average torque goes up.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby vander » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:12 am

Neil any thing to back up your claims here? I am after some evidence here.

I stopped reading your little blog when you said the calves (I assume you mean triceps surae as a whole) are heavy in type 1 fibres (quite true for soleus especially) but then you say they are great for sprinting and high power, the exact opposite of type 1 fibres. The soleus is one of the most aerobic muscles in the body (one of the most dense in type 1 fibres), yet you say firstly it isnt and secondly you dont want to use it.

I wont go into your conclusions about muscle efficency in certain positions, I would like to see your evidence for these because they are to contrary to what I have read.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby winstonw » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:29 am

EMG studies show the calf is not concerned with generating downards pressure on the pedal so much, but with stabilizing the ankle joint for the transmission of power generated by muscles more proximally.

The gastro mm is certainly known for having a high portion of Type IIB 'white' fibres. However, these fall off rapidly in number in many individuals with age, and leave the muscle more prone to tears in middle age. I haven't seen studies that explore the influence of regular exercise to preserve gastro fast twitch fibres.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby dungee » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:53 am

Ugh, I feel your pain. I've battled calf pain for the last 10 years. Have a history of repeat calf tears that hasn't helped, spent thousands on physio last year to try and keep running. Had to stop reffing football because of it.

I find that after 30+k's of hard riding I start to feel it tighten. I've worked out that if I get out of the saddle on every hill right from the start I can hold off the cramping as it extends the muscle. Also plenty of fluids, the second I start to dehydrate bang - tear.

Suffered badly on Sundays TTT and am still limping now. Hope you work it out.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby twizzle » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:57 am

DoubleSpeeded wrote:More often than not... my calf muscle tightens, goes numb and then a dead-leg feel... and impedes my performance...


Mate - numb/dead leg feel is NOT normal, get your back checked ASAP!

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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby vander » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:58 am

winstonw wrote:EMG studies show the calf is not concerned with generating downards pressure on the pedal so much, but with stabilizing the ankle joint for the transmission of power generated by muscles more proximally.

The gastro mm is certainly known for having a high portion of Type IIB 'white' fibres. However, these fall off rapidly in number in many individuals with age, and leave the muscle more prone to tears in middle age. I haven't seen studies that explore the influence of regular exercise to preserve gastro fast twitch fibres.


Gastrocs has a higher proportion of type 2 fibres but from what I have read they are still more type 1 than a lot of muscles (such as the quadriceps), eg http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 594#page-1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9760325
No changes in fiber type were evident with age in either muscle looking at gastrocs and VL.

Now you bring up calf tears, first muscle tears are extremely unlikely to happen in cycling because of the nature of cycling. In all the cycling injuries studies I am yet to find reference to a calf tear, achillies issues are somewhat common but not calf tears.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby Dragster1 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:55 am

Used to suffer from a similar thing calf and knee pain lowered the seat, moved the cleat back and adjusted the angle. Felt like I lost a lot of power for sprinting after this but a couple of weeks later it improved a bit.

Also came across a site that said when setting up cleats to sit on something high and let your feet dangle naturally and take note of the angle they sit on. Replicate the angle on your shoes to the pedals.
I have broken one of my legs years ago and it has a lot more toe in than the other this helped a bit also feels like a lot less strain on my knees and more comfortable in the longer rides.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:23 am

Cleat angle plays a large role in calf pain, as well as for/aft position....

Medial calf pain (google all the muscles involved here) is quite prevalent in those who need some degree of varus cleat wedging (thick part of the wedge toward the midline). Also prevalent in those who arch is under supported, or where stance width (pedal separation) is too narrow.

Conversely, lateral leg/calf pain is prevalent in those who (less commonly) need valgus wedging, or those who are over varus wedged, or stance width too far apart... I find Sidi shoes have soles with quite an inherent varus cant, so for those who need a neutral cleat may need some degree of valgus wedging to return the cleat to neutral...
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby winstonw » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:22 am

vander wrote:Gastrocs has a higher proportion of type 2 fibres but from what I have read they are still more type 1 than a lot of muscles (such as the quadriceps), eg http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 594#page-1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9760325
No changes in fiber type were evident with age in either muscle looking at gastrocs and VL.

Now you bring up calf tears, first muscle tears are extremely unlikely to happen in cycling because of the nature of cycling. In all the cycling injuries studies I am yet to find reference to a calf tear, achillies issues are somewhat common but not calf tears.


- cf other leg muscles, gastro is highest in FT. i.e. soleus ~10%, peroneal ~40%, gastro av ~50%.
- many other studies show loss of FTs with age.
- clinically, as opposed to theoretically, the majority of calf tears are due to ramping up intensity and volume too quickly after a lengthy period of deconditioning, and/or tearing old tears (indicative of poor rehabilitation). Hence, why this year I've seen several elite cyclists under the care of a Cycling Qld coach have over 6 months off the bike with chronic calf tears. Whether a tear is initiated on the bike or elsewhere, they can certainly be exacerbated by high intensity efforts on the bike. And as I alluded earlier, I always suspect a neural component in chronic calfs in road cyclists. The spine just wasn't designed for bicycles.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:27 pm

Step 1. Professional bike fit
Our Website is: http://www.pro-liteoz.com Find us on Facebook by searching for "Pro-Lite Australia"
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby Dr_Mutley » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:33 am

jacks1071 wrote:Step 1. Professional bike fit


lots of people with "professional" bike fits are set up poorly and have nothing but trouble... then what do u do? ;)
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby winstonw » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:31 am

jacks1071 wrote:Step 1. Professional bike fit


of 4 of the highest profile 'professional' bike fitters I know of in Brisbane, none personally fit cleat wedges, but tell you to go buy some and do it yourself.
it's not what I'd do if I marketed myself as a pro bike fitter.
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Re: Calf muscle... again, again and again... extremely annoy

Postby VRE » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:48 am

Dr_Mutley wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:Step 1. Professional bike fit


lots of people with "professional" bike fits are set up poorly and have nothing but trouble... then what do u do? ;)

Find a better bike-fitter? Would you stop buying things because you had bad luck and bought from a dodgy vendor? Of course not.
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