leg soreness cure?

Eric L. and I found a new trail two days ago. It’s on a hillside.
Long story short, I did a lot more climbing than usual.

My thighs, (from knee to hip) are very sore.
No other muscles are sore enough to mention.
The thighs are so sore I have trouble walking and such.

I have tried various solutions with no effect:

  1. I tried stretching the thighs (even laying with my feet under my butt). Got stuck there :roll_eyes:
  2. I tried using a hammer to bruise the muscle, but could not do it as long as usual. In the past that worked well.
  3. I tried lightly punching the muscle for 15 minutes.
  4. I tried using a massage machine (that vibrates) for an hour
  5. I tried Icy Hot
  6. I tried using a hot pack

I did all of this on the left thigh (to see if it would get better faster than the right). It did NOT.

I’m guessing that guys like AspenMike have solutions for leg soreness (aside from "don’t overdo it). The soreness was cool and funny at first, but it looks like I’m going into a 3rd day with this pain. It’s getting to be “unfashionable.”

I need to heal so I can get back to that trail . . .

Do it again and again, and eventually your body will get stronger and get used to it, and you will lessen soreness.

Or quit bieng a sissy.

Well, I just got back from the doctor . . .

(how? you may ask? I went to Walgreens and there was a guy there at 230am??!!)

. . . and he said take electrolytes, drink fluids, rest.
He said that I tore muscle, built up lactic acid and need to let that flush out of the muscle.
He dismissed the idea of using arnica, balm, and other stuff I threw out. I even guessed that excercise may help.
I trust his answer because I’ve tried everything short of (and including) masochism to fix this.

I guess I should be asking for drug recommendations at this point.
I need something to reduce the sharp pain so that my knee doesn’t lock backwards when I hobble.

I’m willing to try other stuff also.
Hopefully, the new day will meet me with some suggestions.

I’ve been reading the Cycling Performance Tips web site lately. There’s a page there about Exercise Induced Muscle Pain, Soreness, and Cramps. It offers a basic description about what’s going on and offers a few tips.

For soreness after the ride (delayed onset muscle soreness), which is probably what you’ve got, the solution is to ramp up activity gradually so your muscles get used to the demands. Gradually increase your riding on that trail till you can survive the day after without soreness. Easier said than done. I get sore the day after when I go on bigger muni rides than I’m used to. Unless you train and ride constantly all the time you’re going to get sore after long hard rides.

Signing up for a professional unicycling team that has it’s own massage expert would also be a good way to get the muscles rubbed down after a big ride. :slight_smile:

Soreness is a build up of lactic acid and can occur to a point where it almost poisens the system.

Some recovery methods are bi carb soda in small amounts (the racehorse industry is famous for it) andd is usually the main constituent in recovery drinks or some recovery amino acids available from health stores and gyms (they work). Some people are just not into supplements. Its up to the individual.

Total rest is best if you have the time.

Good luck!

Oh yeah, thanks John, I also recommend tactile therapies such as but not limited to massage.

may i asked what beating your leg with a hammer would do?


Yeah, I’d recommend stop beating on your leg with a hammer as the most effective, most realistic, and least expensive solution.

Leave him alone. I’m sure his head appreciates the break.

Drew, that is exactly the shape I was in the week before I attempted to do the King of Jester hillclimb. You didn’t get it when I tried to explain that to you. Maybe now you can relate.
It took me 3 weeks to really get over it. It was much worse than even 3 days of CMW, which was painful enough.

You did King of Jester on a Uni? Hardcore!!

How’d you do?

Lousy, because my legs locked up from the aforementioned quad injuries. Eric (onefiftyfour) cruised up it like a champ. It helps a little that he lives at the top of it.


drew, my legs still hurt today too. i’ve been hobbling around the house. it hurts more when walking downhill or down steps, or when i squat down to pet the dog.

here’s something i heard alot in the army…

Second only to technique and experience, hard Muni, IME, is all about fitness. And man, does it go fast. Muni fitness is also different than street and touring fitness. For instance, over the last 6 weeks it’s been too hot to do much Muniing, so I’ve been practicing riding skinnies and stair gapping and doing street stuff on my Muni. I returned back to Santa Barbara on Sunday and just didn’t have the fitness to ride the same stuff I could ride before, despite riding 6 days a week for most of the month. I felt like a hacker. Eyal’s been riding up there week in and week out and he just fowed down the stuff like it was nothing.

So if you’re sore, it’s almost certainly a reflection of your fitness. The soreness will also go away, barring injury. Next time out, don’t go so hard and slowly ramp up the intensity and most of all stay consistant till you can go every day and just get stronger. Meanwhile drink a ton of fluids (I like Cytomax) and stretch.


by the way,

the trails we rode on several days ago are adjacent to jester blvd.

drew and i rode from my house, down jester blvd and the trail head is on the left just before the bottom of the hill. we did an exploratory loop and had to ride back up the road to my house. there are more trails in there than we had the energy to explore.

funny how i’ve lived here so long and never explored them until now. looking forward to riding them again.

I still don’t get it.
See, people held you out to be a climbing God, but on the times I ridden with you, you’ve only climbed about as good as other riders.
Clearly Eric is the best local climber. There is a possibility that it is AJ, but often times he simply won’t (ride/compete/climb) so I can’t tell for sure.
I heard stories of you climbing the cement inclines that are around bridges for breakfast.
So with all of that hype, you can understand why I’m still wanting to “see how it’s done.”
WIth you in mind, I actually started practicing on a extremely steep grass incline.
I think that climbing and gapping are the two most valuable skills for off-road (because everything else gets better automatically).

The hammer theory:
When I was in highschool, I was on the rowing team.
(6 man! Leader of the engine room! Rock!)
If you haven’t tried it, rowing is intense. Moreso that even M-uni. It’s a lot like climbing Jester Hill “all out.” Races are short (8-15 minutes) and participants expend all of their energy in that time.

Anyway, I had a theory:
If massages and stretching helps heal stressed muscles,
then, stressing muscles helps heal bruised muscles.

For rowing, that theory worked very well. I would stretch a lot before the race, more than anyone else. Next, I would take a metal-working hammer and lightly bruise my thighs, parts of my back, arms (and hit the rest of my body).

A good way to get the mindset is to count (10-12 strikes). I would also try to act very tired (relaxed) before the race. (It was said that these behaviours were somewhat intimidating to the competitors - kinda like the oil-drinking in “Over the Top”).

With bruised muscles, I would begin the race. 8 minutes would go by. During the race, we’d all give it our best and out of 6-8 boats, we’d usually win.

Immediately after the race, some people would throw up (or at least look like it). Most would slump in the boat. Some would be visibly crying. I’m not just talking about our boat, but others. I would feel “down” for about a minute or two. Sometimes I would take steroids immediately after the race to calm my breathing. (I’d use an asthma inhaler because I have asthma).

Quickly, I would feel “normal.” Not just “normal,” but “better.” The bruising was gone, and there was no cramping or stressed feeling. I would have “more” energy than before the race. I’d be full of glee and able to celebrate the win, while others seemed too tired to put the boat away.

When I didn’t hammer, I did not get the same results.

(Perhaps, I just need the mental “kickstart.” In April, I competed in a dance competition, and could not shake off the deep nervousness and “heavy” feeling until I “got violent,” punched myself a bit and jumped around.)

Perhaps this is why deep muscle massage seems to go with boxing, martial arts, cycling and other sports.

I don’t know why it works for me, just that it works.
Now that I’ve had this problem, I will probably use the same technique when I go out to this trail again.

P.S. I should add that the hammer technique did NOT help after the muscles were stressed the other day.
Both legs still feel about the same today.


I’ve read about a top Iditasport competitor who, in order to avoid the “race shock” syndrome, would start “Iditasporting” a month ahead – sleep deprivation, same diet, body stressing, the works. So when the race took place she was not dealing with the “boundary conditions” of the race and the huge change in state.

I did this a while ago in a minor way for a big backpacking trip by sleeping on the floor for a month before the trip. By the time the trip came around, I could sleep comfortably on a wooden floor, like in a trail lean-to.

In a recent “Supplement of The Month” feature, Bicycling magazine had a positive review of a product called Sportlegs, which contains lactate forms of calcium and magnesium. According to the write-up, the principle is that–when taken an hour before exercise–it pre-loads your bloodstream with lactate and tricks your muscles into thinking they don’t need to make more, raising your lactate threshold and boosting performance. This is also supposed to help reduce post-exercise soreness, although the magazine’s testers reported less beneficial results in this area, compared to the performance-enhancement element.

Since chemicals have always been an important part of my life, I’ve decided to invest in a bottle and try it out. Will report back to this thread after I’ve done some of my longer training rides to prep for the MS 150.

In the meantime, one other practice I can recommend from direct experience is around maintaining a mix of both protein and carbs during longer rides, then ensuring you take in some of both within 30 minutes after a heavy ride, so your muscles have fresh fuel for the re-building process. Recommended ratio from what I’ve read (and tried) is about 25% protein, 75% carb. Make sure you take in nutrition at least every hour during a long ride, and especially soon after one. My favorite post-ride replenishment is a vanilla yogurt with some fruit and nuts stirred in. For longer road rides, I also pack along a bottle of Boost or some similar liquid protein supplement, and use this to compliment the bars and gels.

I think this works. Two weeks ago I did a 30 mile training ride on a relatively flat course. Piece of cake, but I didn’t get to eat anything for a couple hours after the ride was done. I was super sore for the next couple days. The next weekend, I did a ride only slightly shorter, but physically much tougher with lots of climbs and descents. I focused on proper nutrition breaks during the ride, and took in the above-mentioned yogurt mix just after. While I had some “awareness” the next day, it was nothing compared to the soreness of the previous weekend.


Thanks for the tips.

I know this is not going to seem credible . . .
Tired of the malfunctioning legs (sometimes my left leg locks backwards, and I have to massage them before walking and such) I have spent hours trying to fix the problem.

Just a moment ago, I tried to take my uni for a spin. Flat tire. :angry:
I ended up taking the nearest bike for a spin around the block. The seat was way to low, and I made it a point to pedal pretty hard. As soon as I got off of the bike my legs felt 25% better. I can walk again?

Tomorrow, I plan on putting down some miles on my uni if I can get the wheel fixed . . . thinking about taking Jagur’s advice and buying 26" tube from Walmart (since our bikeshops never have 24" x 3").

I believe the “cure” I am looking for (in this case) is more excercise. The “resting” thing isn’t working quickly enough. I don’t mind increasing the healing time, I just need to get back to normal functionality.

this SAME thing happened to me after doing a ride on july 4 w/ lots of descending, which is what i think makes my quads sore.
i couldn’t walk normally for a week, and sitting down and going down/up stairs i couldn’t do w/o holding onto things

even that knee locking thing happened when i walked! isn’t it annoying?

i just rode (2) 1000+ ft. descents at northstar yesterday (but i had a new brake, which helped), and i’m sore today, but stairs and chairs aren’t a problem, and i haven’t had the knee lock problem

i’d be interested to hear what supplements people use for recovery after these rides and if they work

By the way:
This is ColDawg, because i can’t sign out of Trey’s account