Back pain after a long ride with lots o' climbs-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: upstateSC-rider's Avatar
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    Dec 2003

    Back pain after a long ride with lots o' climbs

    Just thought I'd throw this out there to see what you guys think. I did the 25-mile Tobacco Free For Life Challenge on Saturday so I could learn more trails at Dupont State Forest. It wasn't a race but I went as fast as I could, 157avg-hr (90%hrmax) for 2hr 40mins. (Just throwing those numbers out there because I'm pretty proud of myself )
    According to my Polar, total ascent was 2800'. To say there was lots of climbing is an understatement.
    At about mile 14 my calves were starting to really hurt but never actually cramped. They stayed that way the remainder of the ride.
    Near mile 19 my lower-back really started hurting and stayed that way the rest of the day but was gone (for the most part) the next morning.

    2 questions:
    1) Was the pain with my calves and back due, primarily, to all the climbing in your opinions?
    2) If so, I'm sure some core-training could help with my back but what about the calves?

    Thank you.

    PS -Special thanks to ashwinearl and, of course, MTBDOC. With those re-posted training tips I was motivated to start intervals again about 4 weeks ago, after 6 months of no intervals. They REALLY helped.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no problem

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Evil Patrick's Avatar
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    Sep 2004


    climbing changes your position on the bike. Your back is most likely hurting from this
    added stress.

    I would recommend off-the-bike stretching/strength exercises for your back and stomach.
    Get into a nightly routine while watching the news (or OC, if that floats yer boat )
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    The trail...shall set you free.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    definately do back and ab work... And stretch. Ab crunches and bent rows help lower back pain fatigue a lot.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    I'll second all of the advice, and add...

    also stretch your calves and hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can contribute to low back pain.

    Sounds like it was a fun ride for a good cause!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: upstateSC-rider's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Thanks for the replies. That ride is a blast, I recommend it to anyone within a days driving distance.
    This winter will start with core-training for me.
    Will doing ankle drops (hanging my ankles from a step while holding weights) help calf strenght?

    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no problem

  6. #6
    jrm is offline
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    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    It happens to me..

    especially if i go to hard trying to push a tall a gear or spin real fast. Then fatique settles in and i use my hips and back to stay on top of the gear im turning or keep the rpm up. It really helps me to adjust my cadence. I'll go hard and then back off and relax. And ive found that when i do this i lose little or NO time or speed.

    I do ab, oblique and back exercises twice a week as my weight lifting "program". It helps but i still find backing off as being more productive.

  7. #7
    Reputation: voodoochild's Avatar
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    Feb 2004

    Back pain...

    Ditto all the comments regarding stretching and ab/back exercises.

    Also have to stress hydration. You didn't mention what your pre-ride/race hydration regimen is. Proper fluid intake before and during a big effort is critical. Without properly hydrating, it's not surprising that you'd experience cramping during a long, hard effort.

    Finally, if you're doing all of the above, you might have someone take a look at your riding position.


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