Tight hamstrings

I have just returned back from a 30 mile ride and could hardly walk up the stairs. I cycle regularly and do not normally suffer. The route is reasonably flat (it would be living in Lincolnshire) I only did the same route 3 weeks ago with no side effects, I have also notice that my average was 2mph slower than when I last did this route. The main problem I had when getting off my bike was that my hamstrings were tight and sore as I sit here writing this I can feel them seizing up, this is not normal and cannot understand what is different to cause this. Any suggestions please

  1. Our bodies have a way of letting us know if we're not in peak condition. I suffer quite a lot with cramp in the calf muscles; and I found that Tonic Water helped, I still get cramp while riding on the hills; but, not as bad; and not nearly as much as I used to. Lots of riders recommend High5 Zero Tabs in their drinks.

  2. Can I ask do you do any stretching after? I stretch my calves, while on the last part of the ride & then the rest of my legs when back home. I also stretch again, while taking a hot bath. I use a foam roller too as much as I can. Painful but does the job

  3. Stretching before exercise and again after, would be at the top of my list. I stretch for a good 30, minutes before going out for a run (running) or a ride on the bicycle. Although, your level of fitness will dictate how your body recovers from any form of exercise.

  4. Have you moved your saddle or has anything else changed on your bike set up? Is your saddle to high? I found that when I raised my saddle to much (only a few mm I thought) my hamstrings seemed to feel the effect - especially when I did a lot of climbing. I couldn't work out what was wrong - lowering the saddle again has solved the problem for me.

  5. These are quite interesting in regard to stretching.
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/phys-ed-does-stretching-before-running-prevent-injuries/
    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--7001-0,00.html
    I read a few peices a few years ago about stretching being of no use so I stopped and have suffered no ill effects.

    About a year ago my average speed suddenly dropped and I got sore knees, it turned out my seat post had slipped down about 3 cm.

  6. andrewj100 These are quite interesting in regard to stretching.
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/phys-ed-does-stretching-before-running-prevent-injuries/
    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--7001-0,00.html
    I read a few peices a few years ago about stretching being of no use so I stopped and have suffered no ill effects.
    About a year ago my average speed suddenly dropped and I got sore knees, it turned out my seat post had slipped down about 3 cm.

    I agree that a seat too low will give your Knees some discomfort, as for stretching? Everyone needs to stretch out the muscles! Anyone running a marathon without a good deal of stretching before hand, is asking for pulled and strained mucle problems.

  7. Have you thought about Pilates as a way of loosening tight hamstrings? Mine used to be fairly shocking until recent years and I couldn't get anywhere close towards touching my toes (it's a little thing between me and Mrs Nobby!) I took it up in 2010 in conjunction with a light weights regime and have improved my spinal flexibility by three inches in the last two months (I've got a scoliosis so I'm trying to compensate for it with better muscle balance). It's also helped my climbing out of the saddle. I was recommended it by a sports physio so it might be worth a try? Good luck with whatever works for you.

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