Fitness questions and answers for September 12, 2005

Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) found the long climb in Andorra more to his liking.

Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) found the long climb in Andorra more to his liking. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Form & Fitness Q & A

Got a question about fitness, training, recovery from injury or a related subject? Drop us a line at 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.

Carrie Cheadle, MA ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 website.

Richard Stern ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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, 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.

Calf pain
A good structural health professional
Torn ACL
Cleat wear
Does licking sweat limit cramping?

Calf pain

I am a 40 year female who has just taken up road cycling in the past five months. Prior to getting on a road bike I was a commuter cyclist for the past three years. I have had issues with calf muscle soreness as a commuter but it was managed with massage therapy.

For the first 4-6 weeks on the road bike things were fine, I could ride for up to four hours with no resulting calf pain. Then it became so chronic that an easy ride of 45 minutes would produce intense post-ride soreness in both calves; not just in one spot but the entire length of both calves. I have a cycling coach who has fitted my bike. I have a physio who thinks that the problem stems from my SI joints being immobile thus preventing my gluts from firing. She figured all of my power was coming from my calves.

The past few months I have had lots of treatments and the joints are moving much better. I have embarked upon a core strength and conditioning program with our club coach. Still, I cannot do an easy ride for under an hour without calf pain. I should add that I often don't feel pain on the ride; it's afterward that the soreness sets in. I think we are missing something here? I don't know if it is the pedals or shoes? Maybe I need to have the seat further back than it would be for a conventional fit? Any ideas on what else might be causing this calf soreness?


Laura Sinnott

Steve Hogg replies


Laura then responded:


I wear Shimano SH-R097W shoes, size 5 US. I use Look pedals A5.1 with the float set to 3. I have high arched feet. My fore/aft position was determined with my coach, I believe she was looking at the line from my ear down, I assume there is an optimum place where it should fall.

In the beginning I was a toe down pedaller, big time. I was told to correct that and at first was likely overcompensating and dropping the heels too much. This was definitely addressed a few months ago and about six weeks ago I had my coach come out and ride with me specifically to look at my pedalling. She didn't see any excessive heel dropping - I do ask anyone riding with me to look at this and none of the riders can see anything glaring.

Lastly, I do stretch my calves daily. Thanks for taking the time out to help, it is greatly appreciated.



Steve Hogg replies


A good structural health professional

Hello all,

"Find a good structural health professional who can assess you"

I frequently see this recommendation in your advice - and it's sound advice since it's really hard to diagnose via email! But...exactly how would you suggest I go about finding one of these structural health professionals who can assess me?

I checked my local yellow pages, couldn't find any under that listing! Thanks.

Scott Braden

Richardson, TX, USA

Scott Saifer replies


Torn ACL

Hi there,

Four weeks ago I was hit by a car whilst cycling to work. The result was a broken right NOF (neck of femur) and a torn ACL. The right nof was fixed with two screws and a nice 15cm scar...however the torn ACL has been ignored for the moment, much to my disgust.

When asking the common doctors they told me that I might not need surgery on the knee as "famous football players are playing without surgery". What I would like to find out this true? can an active cyclist (not just to and from work) cycle with a torn ACL? As far as I know, it is completely torn - but as you can tell I am not confident in the doctors at all.

All the readings that I have come across are relating to football, basketball or rugby players. As I am none of those I am a tad confused in what I am being told or lead to believe. Your thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated!

Mark Hoyer


Steve Hogg replies


Cleat wear

I have to confirm your cautions about cleat wear and its effect on setup, as said in the latest fitness column.

I ride Look pedals, floating Delta cleats. After setting up my position with your suggestions (to correct knee pain) I clearly got it right, as the pain vanished. For me, this meant a pretty radical heel-out float for my left foot.

I touch down most often with my left foot. Now, after a summer of riding, the left cleat is well worn on the outside, and my natural float is far closer to neutral. Still no knee pain, but it appears that I have worn a wedge on the cleat that corrects my natural pronation (or whatever it is).

I suspect that when I replace the cleats, I'll be swinging far out again, unless I put a wedge under the inside of the cleat.

Larry Klose

Green Valley (near Tucson), AZ.

Steve Hogg replies


Does licking sweat limit cramping?

Being a heavy sweater I am always attempting to limit the possibilities of cramping during a race. Over the past two seasons I have been licking my arms when I feel cramps coming on. My question is, how much does this really help? Am I actually helping the situation or is it just mental? Thanks.

Brad Huff

(Elite National Crit Champion...and yes I did lick my arm at Crit Nats!)

Pam Hinton replies


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