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Fitness questions and answers for April 24, 2005

Form & Fitness Q & A

Got a question about fitness, training, recovery from injury or a related subject? Drop us a line at fitness@cyclingnews.com. Please include as much information about yourself as possible, including your age, sex, and type of racing or riding. Due to the volume of questions we receive, we regret that we are unable to answer them all.

Cyclingnews also has the full directory of all Form & Fitness questions and answers to our expert panel in a separate archive.

Carrie Cheadle, MA (www.carriecheadle.com) is a Sports Psychology consultant who has dedicated her career to helping athletes of all ages and abilities perform to their potential. Carrie specialises in working with cyclists, in disciplines ranging from track racing to mountain biking. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University as well as a masters degree in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

Dave Palese (www.davepalese.com) is a USA Cycling licensed coach and masters' class road racer with 16 years' race experience. He coaches racers and riders of all abilities from his home in southern Maine, USA, where he lives with his wife Sheryl, daughter Molly, and two cats, Miranda and Mu-Mu.

Kelby Bethards, MD received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University (1994) before obtaining an M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2000. Has been a racing cyclist 'on and off' for 20 years, and when time allows, he races Cat 3 and 35+. He is a team physician for two local Ft Collins, CO, teams, and currently works Family Practice in multiple settings: rural, urgent care, inpatient and the like.

Fiona Lockhart (www.trainright.com) is a USA Cycling Expert Coach, and holds certifications from USA Weightlifting (Sports Performance Coach), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach), and the National Academy for Sports Nutrition (Primary Sports Nutritionist). She is the Sports Science Editor for Carmichael Training Systems, and has been working in the strength and conditioning and endurance sports fields for over 10 years; she's also a competitive mountain biker.

Eddie Monnier (www.velo-fit.com) is a USA Cycling certified Elite Coach and a Category II racer. He holds undergraduate degrees in anthropology (with departmental honors) and philosophy from Emory University and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Eddie is a proponent of training with power. He coaches cyclists (track, road and mountain bike) of all abilities and with wide ranging goals (with and without power meters). He uses internet tools to coach riders from any geography.

David Fleckenstein, MPT (www.physiopt.com) is a physical therapist practicing in Boise, ID. His clients have included World and U.S. champions, Olympic athletes and numerous professional athletes. He received his B.S. in Biology/Genetics from Penn State and his Master's degree in Physical Therapy from Emory University. He specializes in manual medicine treatment and specific retraining of spine and joint stabilization musculature. He is a former Cat I road racer and Expert mountain biker.

Since 1986 Steve Hogg (www.cyclefitcentre.com) has owned and operated Pedal Pushers, a cycle shop specialising in rider positioning and custom bicycles. In that time he has positioned riders from all cycling disciplines and of all levels of ability with every concievable cycling problem.They include World and National champions at one end of the performance spectrum to amputees and people with disabilities at the other end.

Current riders that Steve has positioned include Davitamon-Lotto's Nick Gates, Discovery's Hayden Roulston, National Road Series champion, Jessica Ridder and National and State Time Trial champion, Peter Milostic.

Pamela Hinton has a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and a doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did postdoctoral training at Cornell University and is now an assistant professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studies the effects of iron deficiency on adaptations to endurance training and the consequences of exercise-associated changes in menstrual function on bone health.

Pam was an All-American in track while at the UW. She started cycling competitively in 2003 and is the defending Missouri State Road Champion. Pam writes a nutrition column for Giana Roberge's Team Speed Queen Newsletter.

Dario Fredrick (www.wholeathlete.com) is an exercise physiologist and head coach for Whole Athlete™. He is a former category 1 & semi-pro MTB racer. Dario holds a masters degree in exercise science and a bachelors in sport psychology.

Scott Saifer (www.wenzelcoaching.com) has a Masters Degree in exercise physiology and sports psychology and has personally coached over 300 athletes of all levels in his 10 years of coaching with Wenzel Coaching.

Kendra Wenzel (www.wenzelcoaching.com) is a head coach with Wenzel Coaching with 17 years of racing and coaching experience and is coauthor of the book Bike Racing 101.

Steve Owens (www.coloradopremiertraining.com) is a USA Cycling certified coach, exercise physiologist and owner of Colorado Premier Training. Steve has worked with both the United States Olympic Committee and Guatemalan Olympic Committee as an Exercise Physiologist. He holds a B.S. in Exercise & Sports Science and currently works with multiple national champions, professionals and World Cup level cyclists.

Through his highly customized online training format, Steve and his handpicked team of coaches at Colorado Premier Training work with cyclists and multisport athletes around the world.

Brett Aitken (www.cycle2max.com) is a Sydney Olympic gold medalist. Born in Adelaide, Australia in 1971, Brett got into cycling through the cult sport of cycle speedway before crossing over into road and track racing. Since winning Olympic gold in the Madison with Scott McGrory, Brett has been working on his coaching business and his www.cycle2max.com website.

Richard Stern (www.cyclecoach.com) is Head Coach of Richard Stern Training, a Level 3 Coach with the Association of British Cycling Coaches, a Sports Scientist, and a writer. He has been professionally coaching cyclists and triathletes since 1998 at all levels from professional to recreational. He is a leading expert in coaching with power output and all power meters. Richard has been a competitive cyclist for 20 years

Andy Bloomer (www.cyclecoach.com) is an Associate Coach and sport scientist with Richard Stern Training. He is a member of the Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) and a member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). In his role as Exercise Physiologist at Staffordshire University Sports Performance Centre, he has conducted physiological testing and offered training and coaching advice to athletes from all sports for the past 4 years. Andy has been a competitive cyclist for many years.

Michael Smartt (www.cyclecoach.com) is an Associate Coach with Richard Stern Training. He holds a Masters degree in exercise physiology and is USA Cycling Expert Coach. Michael has been a competitive cyclist for over 10 years and has experience coaching road and off-road cyclists, triathletes and Paralympians.

Kim Morrow (www.elitefitcoach.com) has competed as a Professional Cyclist and Triathlete, is a certified USA Cycling Elite Coach, a 4-time U.S. Masters National Road Race Champion, and a Fitness Professional.

Her coaching group, eliteFITcoach, is based out of the Southeastern United States, although they coach athletes across North America. Kim also owns MyEnduranceCoach.com, a resource for cyclists, multisport athletes & endurance coaches around the globe, specializing in helping cycling and multisport athletes find a coach.

Advice presented in Cyclingnews' fitness pages is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for individual athletes. If you follow the educational information found on Cyclingnews, you do so at your own risk. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Muscle warming gel Knee warmers Testicular Pain Knee problems - coach needed Lower back pain Shoulder-tendon pain Arm pain Weight loss Sports drinks Overtraining Saddle choice Heel rotation and power Cleat setup and position Hip flexor problem Lower leg and foot pain More energy use

Muscle warming gel

At age 62 I am relatively new to road biking/spinning. And I have noticed that it takes me a while to warm up my legs and knees before I ride/spin. I can control the warm-up phase when spinning.

However, warming up in advance for a ride is difficult, especially when I am riding with conditioned riders. If I start slow, I get dropped and I see my riding partners fading into the horizon.

Is there any value to using a muscle warming jell before I start riding? If yes, do you have any suggestions for a warming jell that does not have an odour?

Nick Treseder

Andy Bloomer replies

Nick

Knee warmers

I'm from a climate that temperatures are frequently 60-70 degrees. I dislike these temperatures because if I wear knee warmers I am too hot, and without them my knees get a little cold and ache. I tried cutting up a pair of old shorts and taping a small piece of them to my knee, but it has not worked very well. I've seen pictures from the Eddy Merckx era of guys have small bandage-looking covering on there knees. I'm not sure if warmth was their reason, but it looks like a good idea. Are there any good products or alternate ways to stick a thin piece of cloth to the kneecap area? Any suggestions (even long shots) are welcome. Thank you

Matt Appleman

Steve Hogg replies

Matt,

Testicular Pain

I am a 51 year old male recreational road cyclist who's been riding for over 20 years. I've had all the usual aches and pains over the years but have encountered a new one that concerns me.

When I first get on the bike, I get a very sharp shooting pain in the upper right area of my right testicle. After squirming around on the saddle a bit and cocking my right leg away from the bike, the pain goes away.

There is a small spot on my right inner thigh to the inside of my pelvis that triggers this pain. When I press on it, I can trigger the pain, and the harder I press, the more it hurts. No numbness and no testicular pain when I'm off the bike...just the quick stabs of pain until I get resettled. Is this pain something I should be worried about?

I've done almost 10,000 miles on my current saddle, but think I may need to go with something wider, thinking if I can get better support for my "sit bones" I will be able to avoid grinding the saddle into that touchy spot. Any saddle or set up changes you would recommend?

Kelby Bethards replies

Hello,

Knee problems - coach needed

Hi, I'm a 28 year old cat. 4 racer here in NYC. I raced as junior but quit when I was 22. I returned to the sport late last season and have gradually increased my work load. My problem is with my left knee - when I ride in my 53 for even over two or three minutes I undoubtedly feel a pain on the upper part of the inside of my knee after the ride. The pain continues through the next day. After an anti inflammatory and elevation and ice the pain goes away.

I've worked on my cleat positioning, saddle for/aft and height, and make sure I stretch properly before training. My pedals have a proper amount of float. Here's the strange part: I don't have any problems when riding hills (neither short and steep nor long and gradual) though, and I can't make sense of it. Wouldn't the lower rpms and stress on ligaments and tendons affect me equally on hills as they do when riding bigger gears? I am quite lean: 5'10 and 140 lbs, and I imagine that the lack of more muscle mass may contribute to my problem.

I can do three hour plus rides in hilly terrain without problems as long as I don't push a gear bigger than a 53 x19 on the flats for anything but a short amount of time. I'm extremely frustrated that I can't take my training to the next level. I have even put off racing so far this season because I know I can't hang by riding in my 39x17. I started increasing my training beyond roller sessions quite late (late Feb.) and I'm thinking maybe it is related to doing too much too soon. The upside is that I can spin high Rpms very smoothly! The advice your team has given in the past has helped me considerably.

Also, can you recommend a good online coach? Price isn't a consideration (within reason), but I'd like someone that can tailor specific workouts for me. Thank you for you time!

Daniel-Martin Armstrong
New York City

Steve Hogg replies

Daniel,

Lower back pain

Hi,

I race my road bike at the collegiate level. However, I've been having recurring pain in the lower back, 2-3 lumbar region of the spine, right-side. It usually kicks in around 1 hour into the ride, depending on the intensity, and becomes much worse when climbing is involved. The pain is a shooting pain that feels like a nerve is pinched. I've been to multiple bike fitters, who have adjusted my fit to the point where I feel like the fit is great (sitting squarely on the saddle, in a not-overly aggressive posture, all the other usual stuff - knee over pedal spindle, hands relaxed on the handlebar, legs extended at the bottom of the stroke).

The pain is only on the right side, but it can become unbearably painful, to the point where I only want to pedal with my left leg. Like I said, it's a nerve-type pain, possible the sciatic nerve getting pinched. I went and saw a sports doctor, who said I may have a slipped disc, so I took it easy for two months, doing physical therapy; after feeling pretty good and returning to the bike, it felt good for a month, but the pain is starting to return. X-rays are negative for any bone issues (MRI is fairly cost prohibitive). I've noticed (as you discussed with a previous reader) that my right knee turns in towards the top tube when riding, and am wondering if this has anything to do with it; strangely, I have little/no knee pain. In any case, I feel like I've been to doctors, physical therapists, and bike fitters, all of whom are puzzled. Do you have any insight? Any response is appreciated. Thanks.

Ing

Steve Hogg replies

Ing,

Shoulder-tendon pain

Apologies for my not so very good English, hope I can make myself clear!

I'm Swedish, male, 30 years old and quite new to road cycling. I'm only into my second season as a road cyclist. By the end of my first season I started getting pain in my right shoulder. It's located in the tendon that I guess is either "infraspinatus" or "supraspinatus". It started getting more and more inflamed so I took a long break. The pain stayed for several months - I could not swim properly or lift heavy stuff without making it worse.

My general practitioner has just ordered rest and some gymnastic exercises, but now I'm eager to get on my bike again as spring is coming (even to Sweden.) I've been doing short rides on rollers; 30 minutes maximum, but I can feel the tenderness the day after. (Although not even near as bad as last fall). I've tried to pay attention to my position on the bike, ("experts" tell me the size is right and the saddle position is correct) the pain is located to my right shoulder, but I can feel the tendency in my left shoulder as well. I'm left-handed and my left arm is stronger than the right. Could be a clue to why it's worse on the right side?

The reason why I'm asking you is because I can't seem to get any sensible information from any person I've asked about this. Shoulder problems seem to be quite unusual? Ok, hope I didn't get too much into details.

Jakob

Steve Hogg replies

Jakob,

Arm pain

Hi,

I'm a 38 year old woman new to bike racing. I've been biking forever and last year finally trained for and completed a couple of centuries. I joined a racing team in January for the coaching and training plans. So far it's been great - it's gotten me off my trainer and I'm putting in the miles outdoors, which has cleared up some overuse issues with my right hamstring. I'm averaging about 200 miles per week right now - although its more about the hours than the distance. I've done two races, a crit and a road race, and had a good time. Actually did OK in the road race. I'm starting to work on developing [some, any] explosive power.

My problem is this, I developed an ache in my right arm just above my elbow, below my tri, in early March - about a week after getting my bike fit. My ART guy [Active Release Technique - it did wonders for my overuse injuries] advised me to do more tri stretches. In late March, I rode for a few days or a week with my seat too low without realising. The ache developed into a pain on the outside of my elbow that hurts sharply if I pick things up in a certain way or when I twist my arm. My wrist began to ache as well.

I adjusted my seat to its proper height, and the pain has not increased, but has not dissipated either. Upper body weight lifting aggravates it slightly [depending on the move].

I'm loathe to cut back my bike time or to return to the trainer. Any thoughts on what this might be and how I can address it? I've been icing it a bit, and continuing to stretch the arm out. Should I go back and talk to the bike fitter for adjustments? What will make this go away? Thanks for your attention.

Tamara Fraser

Steve Hogg replies

Tamara,

Weight loss

Hi, I'm 5ft 8, 150 lbs and have 10% body fat. I want to get to 140lbs and 6% body fat - can this be done? I try not eating, but it's not good! I try extra protein, but I gain weight; I eat more and gain weight, I eat less and nothing happens. I use a power meter and on a great week I'm putting out 10,000kj - an easy week I'm doing about 1,000 per day for about five days.

I'm in school for acupuncture and get massages; I seem to gain muscle but for some reason that doesn't translate to more calories burned and less body fat. I went to the nutritionist and she says eat more! I was only doing about 2,000kcal per day; I try to eat 500kcal a day less and lose nothing. I'm a smart guy but for some reason I may feel real fit and ride strongly and yet I can't seem to lose weight.

When I was in Italy a few years back I was down to 143 and was like 6% body fat - the thing is I ate bread all day and it was so hot I was sweating all the time. I live on the central coast of California and its always a bit cool, I'm thinking the body does not want to give up the fat do to the cold? Am I way off? Anyhow, if you had any ideas on what might help I'm all ears. I'm a cat 2 masters rider - 35 years category.

Mike I

Pam Hinton replies

Mike,

Sports drinks

Hi there,

I'm a 26 year-old male road racer who's been riding for almost three years. During this time I have been using a powdered energy drink (CyctoPower by a local company) during my rides but I have recently decided I'd like to cut down on sugars and I'm also not sure about some of the ingredients found in energy drinks. Last weeked I decided to try a ride with water mixed with a bit of fruit juice. The ride was about 2hr20 mins and I felt fine up until the last 20 mins when I 'bonked' for the first time in my life. I am pretty sure this must have had something to do with not having my usual energy drink with me.

What I'd like to know is - what alternative is there to consuming sugary energy drinks when on long rides? Should I be concerned about the affect they may have on my blood sugar levels by boosting them artificially? Thanks,

Oliver,

South Africa

Pam Hinton replies

Oliver,

Overtraining

Hi there, I am 24 years old, 6'2, 185 lbs. I am in decent shape considering I am almost eight months out of complete ACL/Meniscus reconstruction. I don't believe I have been overtraining, but for over a week now, I have been unable to stay above 85% or even 80% of my max. I ride about five times a week, taking two active recovery days of 70% maxhr or lower. My average HR is generally 160, but recently, my max hasn't been going any higher than 177, whereas last summer I was consistently averaging 170. I think I know the answer, but I need to read it from someone else...am I overtraining? If so, is it best to just stay off the bike for a while? If so, how long? Thanks for your time.

Kyle

Colorado

Scott Saifer replies

Kyle,

Saddle choice

Hi there

I'm a bit tired of sore perineal region from friction and pressure discomfort - this is especially with longer distance tting. Do you have any comments on alternative seats - e.g. a moonseat, and whether they have any adverse effects on performance?

One of the pro teams had odd looking seats on their tt machines several years ago, what happened to these?

Mike Bowles

Steve Hogg replies

Mike,

Mike,

Heel rotation and power

Hi,

I'm a 46 year old, 5'7" 132 lb male who started time trialing about four months ago after coming from a competitive running background that left me with a meniscus tear in my left knee, for which I had surgery about a year ago. I currently log between 120-200 mi per week, all on my TT bike, which still has Speedplay X pedals. My orthopaedic doctor tells me I don't have a leg length difference (but there was no CT to back this up). I have four questions:

(1) Riding my rollers, I recently noticed some asymmetric heel movement. While my right heel remains pretty stable in neutral position, my left heel rotates inwards on the downstroke, and outwards on the upstroke. The Speedplay X's do not limit or centre this, but I'm a bit concerned there are forces at work that might further harm my vulnerable left knee. Assuming forefoot varus would be an explanation for this, I got some Specialized BG shoes that definitely have more varus compensation than my old Shimano R151's. It seems to have reduced the heel rotation a bit, but there still is some. Shall I add shims even though there seems to be no leg asymmetry, or is the heel rotation less of a problem than I think? With the old shoes, I also noticed a pressure point on my right foot outside that went away when I turned the heel slightly inward. This effect seems to be gone with the new shoes. Does that mean the real problem is not sitting square enough on the bike? Unfortunately I can't turn the saddle to find out, since the bike has an aero seatpost.

(2) Given my left knee, is it advisable at all to change to pedals with constrained float, say Speedplay Zeros. What's the benefit of constrained float anyways?

(3) With the new shoes, I notice a slight increase in average power, by about 3-5W (that's on the roller, with same cadence). While I have heard that uncorrected varus can sap power, I wonder if that is a realistic figure.

(4) Just out of pure curiosity - I seem to produce about 20-30W higher sustained power on climbs (with a cadence in the 60-70 rpm range) than on the flats (with 90-100rpms). While position on the bike certainly accounts for some of that, I still see this effect when riding both in aero. What is the explanation?

Peter C. Mehlitz

Steve Hogg replies

Peter,

Peter then responded:

Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot for your suggestions, which made perfect sense to me. The explanation for the right foot pressure point was dead on. Here are the findings:

(1) Right foot has 5 deg varus, left foot is 0 deg (measured with the LeMond forefoot measuring device at my local bike store)

(2) Moving the cleats back seem to alleviate the heel rotation a bit, but I also feel like loosing a bit of power (while not constantly trying to generate power from my calfs, I always tend to use them when I push hard, which might be due to my running heritage).

(3) No apparent right hip drop or visible rotation, but I definitely sit somewhat to the left on the bike, and would intuitively say my right hip is forward.

(4) With one wedge under the right shoe, none left, the left heel rotation didn't conceivably change (though I was only able to get 3 bolt pattern wedges, not the 4 bolt Speedplay ones)

(5) One right, one flipped left (i.e. thick side outwards) feels better, but still shows some rotation

(6) I tried one right and two flipped left, but it wasn't really different to (4), and it feels kind of strange with an asymmetric number of wedges

Given that the shoes have some varus compensation built in the sole, (4) makes sense. But it's not a one stop solution yet, which raises some more questions:

(a) If the hip rotation is a "trained" compensation mechanism for the asymmetric varus, doesn't it take some time to get this corrected? Does it vanish at all without actively working on it?

(b) Why do I also see the heel rotation during single leg drills with my left side (on the trainer)? If it's forced by hip rotation, shouldn't it go away if the right side isn't engaged?

(c) Is there such a thing like a "dynamic" varus, i.e. the static measurement on the left side not corresponding to the mechanics under load? In running, I always had a slight over-pronation

(d) What role might stance width play in this? My feet were definitely too far out, based on my hips.

I can't help it but think that while the right varus definitely contributes to the effect, there is also some yet to be discovered cause on my left side. I didn't mention that I'm quite bow legged, but again symmetrically. The right foot had a pretty bad case of ruptured ligaments some 20 years ago, so I definitely always was intuitively trying to protect this side during running.

Peter

Steve Hogg replies

Peter,

Cleat setup and position

Hello,

My friend has just purchased a road bike with Look pedals, and I was searching cyclingnews for an article that would help him set up his cleats and his riding position. I live in Tennessee and he lives in North Carolina about 5hrs away. If I were there I could do it for him, but since I'm not this would be the best way of helping him. This is his first road bike and first set of Look cleats ( he as SPD's on his MTB). It seems like I read an article about this a few years ago, but I've searched for 30 minutes and haven't found anything for the beginner setting things up for the first time. The frame appears to be the correct size for him, but he needs to be as comfortable as possible. He is 45 and was in the Army for 20 years and broke his back parachuting several years ago, so an extremely low, more aerodynamic position wouldn't be good for him. I hope you can help me, thanks.

Dwayne C. Letterman

Steve Hogg replies

Dwayne,

Hip flexor problem

Hi,

I am a 58 year old male recreational cyclist. four years ago suffered an acetabular fracture right side. have ridden 9k since then w/o incident but have experienced some slight tightening of the hip flexor on right side in early season but seems to have resolved as i ride and fitness improves

This year, tightening worsens with even easy riding...even small grades aggravate it very quickly - rest, anti-inflammatories, ice has not helped, and I have started a stretching programme but am not making much progress

I don't have to work very hard for "tightness" to turn into pain at the top of the pedal stroke on the inside of the leg as it meets the torso, particularly if I make even a modest effort on a small grade. Fact is, this started on a short, very easy ride

Do you have any suggestions? I have a ride in the Dolomites in six weeks.

John McCombs

Steve Hogg replies

John,

Lower leg and foot pain

I have a mysterious injury, and I came across your site while trying to use the Internet as a diagnostic tool.

I am a 25 year old female. I am not a road cyclist yet, though I'd like to be in the near future. I'm currently just riding a Spinning bike 4 times per week for 1-2 hour sessions. I started biking because it was the main exercise approved by my doctor following a diagnosis of lesions on the cartilage of the right talar dome. I would like to do more endurance riding than is typical of spinning training. Currently, access to equipment is a problem, though I do use the same bike nearly every time. I can therefore tailor my shoes to work with that bike's pedals. I followed the same routine on one brand of bike from Sept-Jan, and I changed brands in January (changed gyms). My lower leg and lateral foot pain started in mid February. I find cycling to be good cross training for my main activity, equestrian sports, and I'm worried the problems I'm developing will affect both activities.

I do own road cycling shoes by Specialized. They are supposed to have a slight medial wedge, which I thought would be helpful for my chronic medial tibial stress syndrome (10 years). Because of the MTSS, the ankle injury, and a slight curvature of my right tibia, I have become a strong supinator on the right side. I have more range of motion in my right hip than my left, and I tend to sit slightly off the left side of the saddle. I am conscious of this and have been working on correcting my pelvic positioning in the saddle (the same happens with a horse's saddle). Despite sitting to the left side, I feel that I have greater reach with the right leg (I would ride a horse with a slightly longer right stirrup. I do not have leg length discrepencies). I wonder if I am reaching too much with the right, especially with the toes and the outer side of the right foot. I tended to get hot spots, cramps, and calluses on the ball of the left foot; maybe because I am putting too much pressure on that pedal (the hip function is weak at the top of the stroke).

My main question concerns lateral foot pain. It seems to be some type of tendinitis, because the pain is worse after rest, particularly first thing in the morning. A new stress fracture is possible but there are no signs on the X-rays yet. It doesn't quite fit plantar fasciitis, and it doesn't quite fit peroneal tendinitis. My doctor is leaning towards peroneal tendinitis, though the pain is only at the attachment points. The peroneals function fine with little or no pain. Standing and walking are the main triggers, though after several steps, the pain lessens dramatically. It seems more likely to be the peroneus brevis, because the pain is the worst at the fifth metatarsal.

I've read what you've posted about cleat position. I have tried several times to move the cleats back farther under the balls of my feet. They felt like they were too far forward, even with the base of the big toe rather than at the first metatarsal joint. Perhaps this is just a problem with spin bike cleats or these shoes, but the cleats keep moving towards the toes within an hour of riding after having moved them back towards the arch. I tighten the screws as much as possible. So, I haven't been able to conduct a good experiment as to whether the cleat positioning is to blame.

My physical therapist wants to correct the supination by changing my orthotics. Since I would not wear orthotics with cycling shoes and I'm not sure I necessarily supinate in them anyway (due to my equestrian background, I am more prone to anchoring my weight on the pedals under my big toes. I just feel that I may be trying to grab at the right pedal with my right foot). I can tell that my right ankle dorsiflexes a little more on the upstroke, but it also feels more relaxed overall than the left during the entire motion. Since this problem started about a year after I was banned from weight bearing exercise other than moderate walking, I suspect that new orthotics in my street shoes will not be the answer.

I should mention that my illio-tibial bands and hip flexors are chronically tight. I have slight palpable right lateral calf pain near the upper attachment points for the peroneals. I wonder if my right hip and pelvic joint problems are the primary problem. Do you have any suggestions for how I can make my shoes cooperate? I am interested in getting answers not only to figure out how to alleviate this pain but so that when I invest in a road bike and a training bike I will know what my needs are. Or if there is no fix, I will know that this is another sport I have to avoid before making such an investment.

Catherine Miller

Louisiana

Steve Hogg replies

Catherine,

More energy use

I just read your post on energy use confirming that the conversion from KJ to calories burned is accomplished by multiplying by 4-5. I've had my efficiency tested in a lab, but that was a year or so ago and I don't recall the number.

Is that I use to get the actual calories I've burned, i.e., the CPSB (calories per snickers bar) measurement?

For a short ride I just did: 25 miles, some hard efforts, mostly moderate stuff, my SRM says that I burned 786.6 kJ. Does this mean I burned over 3000 calories in 90 minutes? That sounds very high to me. I'm 23 years old, 6' tall about 178 pounds and a cat. 2 racer. I calibrate the SRM about 20 minutes into each ride, as suggested by SRM. Any help would be great.

Ryan Stubenrauch
USA

Scott Saifer replies

Ryan,

Ric Stern replies

Ryan,

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