Tuesday, September 05, 2006

D.O.M.S.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Yep, I've got it in spades!

I know what to expect for soreness after running - if I do a lot of hills my mid-quads and my lower back get sore. I'd also expect some thigh soreness from doing a lot of hills on the bike.

But after my 102 flat miles on the bike on Sunday, I've got soreness two days later in sort of weird places. Major painful sites right now:
  • Neck and shoulders - from the head-up aero position.
  • Front of my crotch - bruised from leaning forward in the saddle in the aero position.
  • Forearms - from gripping the aerobars too tightly.
I do take a stretch break out of aero position every 10 minutes on the bike, more frequently when I have a tailwind. I frequently relax my hands consciously, but I still find myself gripping the aerobars too tightly when I forget to concentrate on it. If I have a few extra moments off the bike at pitstops, I lie down flat on the pavement to relax and stretch my back (though it's not something I want to do during a race unless I absolutely have to). I do think my position and saddle fit are pretty good already, but it can always be tweaked.

Any other (non-pharmaceutical) soreness-avoidance suggestions for me from you more experienced cyclists out there?

Or is the answer simply more and more 6+-hour sessions in the saddle? (Followed, of course, by lots of rest and recovery and sufficient quantities of post-workout adult beverages!)

17 comments:

triathlonmom said...

Maybe a little of the hair of the dog that bit you? that's what works for me.

Cliff said...

Nancy,

Do you wear bike gloves? That might help in making the ride more comfortable.

nancytoby said...

Triathlonmom: My crotch is too sore to think about that right now! I am going for a run later today, though....

Cliff: Yes, I do! Sorry, it doesn't seem to be pressure on the nerve or numbness - I get that really fast and that's why I need to use my aerobars most of the time, can't lean on my hands on a road bike very long! Good idea, though!

Laura said...

Have you thought of gettting a professional fitting? Look at serotta.com for dealers near you...

I've had one done by someone Serotta-certified - it rocked. Helped relieve a lot of neck/shoulder pain.

It could be that your aero position is too aggressive and makes your neck sore.

Have you thought of trying a tri-specific saddle that has extra padding on the front?

Just some thoughts...

nancytoby said...

I've thought about it, but haven't made the trip, I think the closest certified one is a couple hours away.

This is my 4th saddle on this bike - the first 2 were tri-specific and didn't work, were even worse than this one. This is the best of the lot, so far:
http://nancytoby.blogspot.com/2006/08/fix-two-things-break-one.html

TriFeist said...

I get sore crotch from aero, too. Hate it. Always figured it was a fit thing. The fact that your DOMS is in aero related muscles, how much time did you spend in aero compared to other long rides? Would spending a less time in aero help?

nancytoby said...

I don't know!!! I try to stay in aero as much as possible, unless I have a tailwind strong enough to keep the speed up without aero.

But yeah, I think that part of my anatomy needs its circulation. Being hammered for 6+ hours does not make it happy.

Iron Pol said...

Well, I can't specifically speak to some of this issue (not being equipped the same), but the general muscle soreness is something I fight with all three disciplines (having pretty well destroyed my back in the Navy).

I've spent some time working core body strength (and need more) to improve the stomach's ability to help the back. And I focus more of my streching on back issues then even my legs.

Finally, I can't say enough for ice baths. For the cold-averse, Runners' World just had a note that cold water is actually better than ice water, so just sit in cold water for a while. I tend to use ice baths for any running over 15 miles and any other training that might cause back pain. Ten minutes of cold is better than days of pain. And B-Boy loves to watch my faces when he pours ice into the tub.

Julia said...

I just bought a lady's seat (it's so fancy it even has "Lady" written on the side :-P) and it really really saved me. It has a wider rear so that my lady hip bones sit right on the seat and the front is shorter. Made by Sella Italia. Haven't had crotch bruising since. OTOH I don't ride for 100 miles either...

runr53 said...

Gotta go with Iron Pol, on the ice, ice is nice, ice is our friend! Run Good!

TxSkatemom said...

I've never ridden more than 15 miles at a time, so I can't speak to the cycling, but I wasn't sore at all after my not-quite-16-miler thanks to the cold bath immediately afterward.

And I've yet to find anything that works as well as Dr. Hoy's for relieving the muscle soreness. Saved my quads more than once.

Dianne W. said...

I agree with the cold bath. As cold as you can for as long as you can stand (20 min. max). I like the back stretch idea! Take advantage while you're off the bike anyway. Also try bending farther over past the sore spot.

C Wait said...

Couple thoughts...

I'll echo the proper fit remarks. Absent a profesional fitting, try lowering the nose of your saddle one detent to remove some of the pressure from the horn. (measure first to give you a reference in case the saddle moves too much or you do not feel comfortable and want to go back). You may feel like you are sliding off the saddle, but since you are leaning so far forward it may help you re-find your sits bones.

Also, consider trading some of your aero position for comfort by raising the bar a fraction. This will take a little weight off the arm/shoulder complex

Second. Look at performing row (upper back) and tricep exercises as you walk through the gym. I know that your schedule is jam packed during the peaking part of your training, but it would only take 15 minutes to hit the gym floor if you are already there. In addition, stretch out the upper back regularly thoughout the day; arching your shoulders and neck backwards. Much like running the shoulder and arm issue could be created from fatigue created tension in the upper body.

Absent all the above, a few more 70-80 mile rides may condition you to the long term aero position.

Good luck

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

You know, I've never done that distance either, but I can remember that kind of discomfort the first time I even got on a bike. And next time. And thereafter, each time I broke the last mileage barrier.

I'm guessing time will be your best cure - do that ride a few more times after you recover, and your crotch won't remember.

Also, I can't say enough nice things about Vitamin C, and its ability to help restore your broken parts. You can take up to 5000mg a day.

You're doing great - you're going to rock IMFLA!

Chris said...

I think time in the saddle goes a long way. But that supplemented with some chamois cream is golden. I used to get some chafing/burning trying to ride long without cream and now I can't imagine going for a ride without it.

jeanne said...

ouch. no advice, but ouch!

triathlonmom said...

Ok, I guess I should clarify, I was thinking maybe you should go for a short run or a swim...NOT get back on your bike. Hope you feel better by now.