I have been fortunate to not have many obstacles thus far in my cycling. In the last couple of years I have gradually improved and have become a pretty strong rider. Knock on wood, right? This past week I suffered my first real setback, which I hope will be a minor one, but I am not taking any chances.
After last weekend’s ride, I noticed that my right hamstring was tweaked. It hurt a little more than usual during the ride, which I attributed to the heavy volume of the past couple of weeks. After the ride it remained tight and is still sore a few days later. Flexibility has not returned and it is clear now that I pulled it somewhere along the line.
I think it first happened a few weeks ago when I climbed Richland Balsam Mountain. That was the day after Clingman’s Dome and I started climbing without warming up. Even then I noticed it being tighter than usual and it didn’t warm up until midway through the climb.
It has not been much of a bother and I know I could ride through it, but I also know that hamstring injuries can nag. They can also get worse if not rested. I’m overdue for a recovery period anyway, so I decided to take some time off this week.
First up will be an athletic massage. A friend recommended someone who treats cyclists regularly, who I will see tomorrow. That should give me some relief. Combined with resting during the week, I should be good to go for this Saturday’s mountain ride. Thankfully this one (Tour de Lure) is organized, so I can go at my own pace.
There’s a chance this will be a momentary blip and I’ll feel fine by the weekend. If so, I’ll continue and possibly even ride on Sunday. If not then I’ll balance resting with training. Fortunately I have made enough progress that I can just maintain my current fitness and probably do well. We’ll see how it goes.
April 4th, 2012 at 2:37 am
That’s tough luck, but sounds like you are taking the right steps. The last hamstring pull I had lasted over a year, but I probably did all the WRONG things in that case. Yes, rest is crucial and I think – although I could be wrong – being very careful when stretching it will be a good idea. It’s easy to re-pull. Good luck!
April 8th, 2012 at 9:29 am
I don’t know much about hamstrings and cycling, but I do know a fair amount about hamstrings in general. In general, they take a great deal of time to heal and easily reinjure. If you were a runner, I would advise six weeks of inactivity. I’m not sure anything that drastic is required for cycling. Good luck!
April 8th, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Thanks to Steve and Gerry. I took it very easy this week and got a good massage. So far so good, but I’ll keep an eye on it. It is possible this pull was not as major as it originally seemed, possibly the result of too much activity in a short time.