upper calf pain

6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

wondering if anyone has an idea what has been causing upper calf pain while riding. it only happens during and after long rides. i have been riding a lot and am in decent shape so even after and during 80 mile rides i don't get sore or feel wasted.
but i do get this suspicious pain in my upper calves---just below the knee. i have had my bike professionally fitted and it's really comfortable otherwise. i know the most obvious answer may be that the seat is too high. but it's not. could it be too low? i have no quad pain.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Do you stretch?

This may sound too obvious, but it could be caused by one of a few things, or a combination, including over exertion; not stretching before a ride and at rest stops and after the ride is over and what nutrietnts you are putting in your body before during or after the ride, as well as hydration before, during and after.

The over exertion could simply be a factor of choosing too high a gear on climbs with a very low pedal cadence, or it could be that you like too many steep climbs on a long ride.

I'm no nutrionist, but I know that at the end of a long ride, I like to get some protein mainly with a bit of carbohydrate and some potassium (bananas and oranges are a good source) in me within an hour of ending a long ride.

On really long rides, ie 80 plus miles, in hot, humid weather, you need to take on some electrolytes during the ride and certainly afterwards. Do you get any cramping, or is it just straight pain?

Anonymous's picture
rp (not verified)
upper calf pain

I do stretch. And it feels like pain, like over exertion of calves. But i don't feel pain in any other part of legs, which makes me feel like it might have something to do with position of pedals.
I noticed it during the manhattan to montauk ride (and it was not that hot-i think it was in the 70s) and again over the weekend during ride to oyster bay. Saturday was very hot and i drank a lot of water, but i admit i don't like to drink many sports drinks, though i had some apple juice and lemonade on saturday.
Perhaps I need more potassium, more bananas.
I rarely get cramping. But i did experience some after montauk ride. Maybe I am dehydrated? Does dehydration really manifest itself in calf cramps/pain?
thanks for your help.

Anonymous's picture
Adam Pollock (not verified)
potassium, maybe

I had a similar issue until I started taking a decent multivitamin in the morning. Bananas alone didn't do it for me.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
or maybe magnesium

How much broccoli can you eat, anyway?

Anonymous's picture
Lucy (not verified)

You don't say whether the pain is in the popliteal (knee crease) area or in the meat of the calf itself. Also, is it in the middle or the sides of the leg? Pain in the middle of the popliteal area could indicate a strain of the popliteus or plantaris muscle. I would also be curious about your hamstrings: how flexible they are, whether you get pain in those, too. Also, when does the pain occur, all the way through the pedal stroke, or just at a particular point? What relieves the pain? Have you tried icing the painful area after riding? How long have you been experiencing the pain? Was this new fit a radical change from your previous riding position?

Anonymous's picture
rp (not verified)
upper calf pain

the pain is at very top of calf and at the lowest part of the knee crease.
my hamstrings do not get sore and they are not super flexible but not too tight, either.
the pain is mostly felt on the downstroke when i pedal. It usually doesn't pop up until after a 40 - 45 mile ride. But sometimes it comes up earlier. It does not feel like a regular soreness, though. The seat height is not the problem but i wonder if it has to do with where the pedals are positioned?
the fit was not a drastic change from before. just a new bike.
to relieve the pain i usually just try to stretch the area. i have not tried icing. it does go away after a day or so.
but it just feels like it's a problem that could be remedied as it does not feel like an issue of under conditioning.
thanks for your help and considerate replies.
and i do take a multivitamin.

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