Quad pain

I’ve only been into muni for about 2 months, and averaging about 1 hour on the local trails 5-6 days per week. Then yesterday with SB muni, (the Sunday before was Devil’s Slide-rough, but not nearly as challenging!) I completed 3-4 hours of grueling downhill through rocky terrain, which included a tough (for me) multi-mile uphill hike, just to get to our starting spot. Today my quads are in the worse pain ever! For those who have experienced this, should I give myself a few days to recover/heal, or just “work through it”, and keep doing my normal daily routine? Maybe just to keep moving I should mix in some light trials one day,and some local light muni the other days. I feel great otherwise, and I’m proud of myself for actually getting through it, but my quads hurt so bad I can imagine doing anything that demanding for a while. But I loved every minute of it, and by next Sunday I may be ready to do it again! :stuck_out_tongue:

I know what you mean, iv done tons of days where my muscles are just screaming, usally i just take it easy once i get back, then the next day i just go aobut like im not sore, even though i am, but at least you know you were working hard the day before =p

My advice: just go aobut your day like normal, if you find it being too sore, then take it easy =p

If it’s just muscle soreness, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with carrying on as normal. In fact, if you just sit around, I think the soreness may take longer to go away.

At this point, my advice is:

  1. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (full of antioxidants) to hasten your recovery.
  2. Stretch to increase blood flow into the sore areas.
  3. In case you’ve never thought to do it, whenever you put your muscles through an intense work out, try to eat some protein within 45 minutes after finishing.
  4. In general, staying away from junk food will make your body more resilient to hard rides.

what i would do is just keep to some of your normal light trail riding…if you always baby yourself back to no pain you will never build up a tolerance for it and therefore never be able to do full weekend rides because you’ll ride hard the first day and just sit around feeling sorry that you can t go ride the next!


Terry, Terry, Terry, this is all part of your initiation into Muni. That’s all it is.:slight_smile:

Been there, done that…

Better now, than at Moab.

The second day is worse than the first. Just wait and see. Ride gently, but really, what will happen is that your legs will tell you how much you can ride. Which for the next three days will be very little, IMHO. Just getting up stairs will hurt, like getting up a step onto a front porch, for example. Just see if you can walk first before you consider riding. :wink:

I can’t give you any good advice, other than just to do the best you can, and not push it. Work out a way to keep your heart rate up, if possible. That would envolve working your upper body, somehow. Even a bicycle, might be in order for the next few days. But, it’s raining outside right now anyway.

Are we having fun yet?:wink:


Sounds like you got yourself a case of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (D.O.M.S.). It’s a right of initiation for downhill muni.

The linked article will tell you about causes, treatment, and how to prevent it. Google on delayed onset muscle soreness for more info.

It happens mostly with exercise that involves resisting motion, which is exactly what your quads are doing when you muni downhill. Getting the muscles used to the activity will help minimize the effects next time. Working on technique so you minimize how much you are forced to backpedal and how much force you put on the pedals while going downhill will help prevent it from happening in the future. A brake will also help if the terrain is brake friendly.

Try doing the Downieville ride without a brake and you won’t be able to walk normally for the next 48 hours. Last time I went to the Moab Muni Fest (two years ago) I went hiking around Arches National Park after the Muni Fest. I was walking with discomfort in the legs but still managed to hike around to many of the arches. Best bet if you want to hike around to the arches is to do that before the muni fest rather than after. :wink:

Rod, John, et al,

Thanks for the advice and info! I’m feeling a bit better today, and plan on trting my regular muni route later today. This will be after 1 day’s rest. I really don’t want to wait any longer to get back “in the saddle.” I took a couple aspirin also and that seemed to ease the pain somewwhat.

That kind of torturous leg pain is really and truly just part of getting into shape for downhill muni. And the fittness aspect is a huge part of it. Like John C. said, the pain is mainly the result of back pressuring down miles of single track–like doing thousands of negative reps at the gym. Even with perfect nutrition and gallons of fluids you will still get sore till your muscles get used to the stress. It’s like that with all extreme sports or the activity wouldn’t live up to the name. Also remember that the Santa Barbara guys have been putting in at least a couple of those big descents most every week for going on four years. If you check with the folks that were at Cal Muni Weekend you’ll probably find that most of them ended up as sore as your are.

Keep at it and it’ll pass. It basically took me about 16 months before I could hang with the SB crew and not get sore.



hippie crack? I respond well to arnica its a homeopathic remedy. You can take it internally or externally. When my knees are sore i do both in and out and it heals much faster and gooder(i love this word)

Arnica is amazing stuff. Yesterday after doing 52 miles I rubbed some arnica cream into my pins after a good long soak in the bath.

Legs are still sore today, particularly my knees what with all the descending without a brake but I’m sure they would be much worse had I not gotten arnica’d up.

Use a rolling pin

Terry, try rolling out your muscles with a rolling pin. Learned this at a mtb race and it works! I think it gets out the lactic acid, just like a massage.

I always thought that hippy crack was nitrous oxide.

Mind you I bet Nos would take away any muscle pain you have quite effectively.

A friend of mine once told me that when wild sheep have backaches they go into the valley and graze on arnica. I laughed when he told me.

I guess this website has the same idea. See the fourth paragraph.

I have used arnica before with success.

I have also heard that eating carbohydrates AFTER exercise helps get glycogen to the muscles, which is a good thing. Whether or not it helps the pain, I do not know.

I like that idea…so I’ll buy one and try it; but if you look at the date of my original post, it’s about 3 months ago! I haven’t had quad pain anything close to that since…thank (insert choice of diety here). :sunglasses:

Make sure you have a mix of protein and carbs, about 1 to 4. Soy is better during the event and whey is better for recovery. Nutrition is the most important part of any athletic endeavor, don’t forget. Read Chris Carmichaels book “Food for Fitness” on it, it has a wealth of knowledge. Good luck.

bananas … potassium

s’all good. :wink:

heheheheh hippie crack

Here we go again! :(:o