After 7 years of bike racing, you would think I would be able to figure stuff out. Last week, with the help of my friend Andy, I was able to figure something out.
You see, despite massage, stretching, and foam rolling, my left hamstring had been getting tighter and tighter. Last week, it was just dang painful while pedaling-on the trainer. As I was starting to freak out and become a head case, it occurred to me--I have had this exact pain before and have become a head case because of it. I kept thinking about it. I've had this pain while training on my TT bike. However, this pain has never happened while racing, and has never happened during the summer. I only get this pain in February and in March--the same months I up the ante on my bike training while also continue to skate ski. A-HA! Skate ski!! Last week, especially, I had been skate skiing a lot (winter training camp) and my left Gluteus Medius (glute med) got pretty sore and tired while skiing. Could a tired and sore glute med be leading to my hamstring pain?
Enter Peak Sports Chiropractic (aka, my friend Andy). I took my situation to him and he determined my left glute med was VERY tight. He caused me a small amount of pain while using his elbow, hand, thumbs, etc. to release and relax the muscle. 2 hours later, during my intervals on the bike, I had NO hamstring pain. I had power while riding in the drops and could feel my butt working. Butt strength while riding a bike is a big deal. It helps!
Andy gave me some "homework" that included a tennis ball and stretching.Three days later, my left leg is strong and working well--pain free. I am no longer a Head Case (at least about this situation), and am happy to have finally figured this yearly problem out.