30 Bananas a Day!

Hi everyone.

So ive been off my bike about 3 weeks due to quad tendonitis from going too hard on the bike.  It started off as a dull pain in both tendons above my knee, but got worse and worse. I tried only cycling in high gears, taking it easy and avoiding all hills for a few weeks but it didnt seem to get any better so i decided to get serious about it and stop biking for a bit and allow it to heal.  Well ive been off the bike bout 3 weeks now and damn i hate it!! I went to docs and and he said to ignore it and just warm up bit before and take it bit easier on the bike and eventually it will heal. It didnt feel like he knew what he was talking about though.  Well ive been doing some exercises and massaging (thanks Ed and Orion for all your help so far) which really helps with the pain but i still havent seen much real progress.  I realise tendons are reeeealy slow to heal and that circulation is very important for healing, but im wondering if being off the bike makes much difference. Anyone got any advice?

I know im being impatient but i wonder if the healing is any faster off the bike or if taking it easy would not make much difference and maybe even help with the circulation. Maybe wishful thinking lol. 

Would b so grateful for any advice... reeeeeeeally missing my bike bad. i guess im really hoping someone out there has had a similar issue and it healed fine while still biking :/

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Well, Yes, actually. It's time to get in the pool and do some swimming or hydrotherapy. it's also the best place I think you can exercise without risking more injury. if you're that crazy about your bike, try bringing in the pool with you.


Hhahaha 2 tickets please, one for me and one for the bike :)

Im so going to do this (ok not with the bike lol). i love swimming, but very rarely go, but im going to start now. Im dying to get moving again but not hurt my knee, i think swimming will help a lot. thanks so much

My knees ache occasionally from cycling, and running up and down stairs.
Couple things i found that helped - yes, rest,  massaging and stretching, plenty water, gentle exercises being super critical about form.
But probably more important than all of that - make sure your bike fit is as good as possible.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.j... - helps get you really close
or even just a nice guide: sitting on your saddle and putting your heel on your pedal - when the pedal is at its lowest position your leg should be fully straight, so when you have the ball of your foot on it your knee will be slightly bent. And make sure your saddle is dead level with the road.
If using easier gears and avoiding hills isn't working it does sound like bad bike fit or maybe bad pedalling technique? : make sure you're pulling back (and up if you have cleats or clips) so that you're not just putting power into the pedals when you're pushing down. And stand up for bursts of energy, sitting and trying to take off quickly is hard on the knees.
If its none of this let me know, I wanna help get to the bottom of it.

oh really? thats interesting u get some ache but it just goes.  

rest, massaging, stretching, loads water, gentle exercises watching form - im doing this

bike fit - well i had a think about bike fit and raised the saddle (probably a little too high) but it didnt seem to change anything but i stilll get the feeling it could well be bike fit and i didnt really know what i was doing too well. Im really excited to try the info u sent me though and give it a go thanks so much

pedalling technique - well ive never thought about pedalling technique so definitely something worth thinking about next time im on the bike, i dont remember pulling back but maybe i do naturally, thanks im guna work on this.

Sitting and taking off quickly - im gunna watch this, especially didnt think about standing up being easier 

Thanks so much Marcais for your advice i really appreciate it, i will let u know how i get on, im going to look at my bike set up and try gentle cycling focusing on techinique and protecting my knees

Hey Raychil,

I agree with BanananStateofETC. down below - do build strength, squats and jumps on the spot has helped me a good bit. 
If your saddle is too high then you could be locking out/hyperextending your knee which can be just as bad as having it too low. GCN and BikeRadar have some good videos on basic bike fit and pedaling technique on YouTube.
How i feel my pedalling technique is (I've yet to get cleats): Push down (without leaning forward! you're upper body and pelvis stay dead still!) for the first quarter turn (like 10.30 - 8.30 clock position), pull backwards for the lower quarter turn, relax for the back quarter turn (your other leg is pushing down) and then lift your leg for the upper quarter turn. Hope all that makes sense Haha

Thanks thats really interesting. And damn i never realised pedalling was such an art! i thought pedalling was pedalling lol.  Thanks so much for the great explanation.

Well Im going to try and get the set up right on my bike now, and go try a gentle cycle this afternoon. Going forward, Im going to really work on my pedalling technique, and focus on building strength incorporating squats and jumps.  As well as protecting my knees on the bike by watching gears, hills, acceleration, sitting/standing.

Sounds like a great plan!

Thankssssss :)

Hi Marcais,  

Just wanted to let you know that i did a very thorough look at my bike set up today using that link you sent me (great link btw).  Basically everything was fine except my saddle was too far forward.  I looked it up and apparently this causes stress on anterior knee from pedaling in hyperflexed position.  Also when the pain developed i had seat way too low, i increased it a few weeks before complete rest but it didnt seem to help, but maybe was too early to tell.  Anyway hopefully the bike set up is sorted now.  

I then checked tyre pressure, and went for a very gentle cycle, paying attention to protecting the knees.  Also i thought about pedalling technique and i think i was  just doing the up/down motion not the full thing, coz it felt odd doing it properly, and like i was using new muscles.  This i need to practice...i went for the cycle with a friend and we were chatting loads and i soon forgot to watch my technique, so i expect i fell back into how i usually do it. something to work on.


Well the cycle was 2 hours ago and still no additional pain! yay! in fact today they feel a lot better than previous days, maybe its all coming together :)

Glad to see all your positive comments and that you're learning so much. It does take time to make proper technique habit, and like the exercises for strengthening - have to be practised repeatedly.
I hope things only get better! :)

I have suffered dozens of injuries, not exactly the one you describe though. 

Build strength in your legs. Having weak muscle groups in the legs is one of the main causes of injury. Often times rest is good for when you get banged up. But to minimize injury, stop chronic pain, reduce the chance of reinjury, etc, you need to actually get your legs stronger. 

Check out these youtube videos. A lot of times the difference between the pros when recovering from injury and "joe's" is that the pros are systematic, and build strength. Average Joe wants to rehab too, but isn't willing to do the work. 


Hia. That makes total sense to build strength in the legs.  Ive been working on stretching and flexibilty but completely neglected strength. Im gunna definitely build that into the mix.

Thanks for the videos link... didnt think to see how the pros do it...surely the best people to learn from. 

Great advice thanks so much, really appreciate it :)

Professional athletes and people serious about recovering and being 100% have daily, weekly and monthly routines. They are consistent. They have a list of exercises. They track their progress. They are consistent with not only "getting some strength back" or "having the knee feel the same", but they are planning to actually get stronger, and see the limits of what they can do and what they are comfortable with. 

The "average joe", someone like me, we prefer to make excuses. We look at recovery at something they need to "get out of the way in a short a time as possible" rather than a long term commitment to take care of their joints. They "do some stretches" and "do some exercises" on the knee, then first chance they get they try to act like the injury never happened.

After major injuries, we can either work to maintain strength in our joints, or we can "let it go". 

It took me years to realize this. I was in a cycle of "redoing the knee therapy exercises and having the pain go away", then stopping the routine and 6 months later, reinjuring the knee, or having chronic pain come back. I finally learned that every day or at least every week, for the rest of my life I have to build strength and take care of the joint. 

"Running a lot" or "riding my bike a lot" on the knee, is NOT the same as doing 100 squats a day, stretching at home, doing leg extentions, calf raises, weighted squats, etc at the gym.  Injured people have to figure out what they need to do, then go out and do it. It is an ongoing process that takes work. I am glad that I learned all thsi while I'm still relatively young...

damn thats sooo me...busted! I was can see now that in the back of my mind I was only going to focus on all this until I had forgotten i ever had the injury.  Thanks so much for the insight.  I really dont want this to happen again.

I didnt think i had to train to ride. Just jump on, smash the trails, jump off...done. LOL sounds silly now. I did general strength exercises but to get in shape, not with cycling in mind. Now my training is going to be so different.  Thanks for that.  Working on my legs to support my cycling.



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