Before you're lured by spring sunshine (although as I write this, it's raining!) into ramping up your cycle training, consider the possible consequences for your knees.
As the weather improves and the days are longer, we are tempted to ride further and more frequently, and then we are sidelined by the dreaded 'spring knee'.
This common injury is due to overload and overuse of the knee joint after a decrease in cycling activity over the winter.
How can you avoid overloading?
Overloading is usually due to 'mashing' up hills or through hard efforts using a big gear in the bid to get fit after winter.
A simple solution is to avoid using your outer chainring when you first increase your mileage in spring. Keep your cadence high and your resistance low.
This will reduce force and stress put through the knee.
If you do experience knee pain,
- Do not ignore pain - it's a sign something is wrong
- Modify your riding, use smaller gears - don't overload
- Reduce / manage your training load
- Progressively increase load as pain lessens
There are many causes of knee pain. If you have not made any major changes to bike set up or sustained any other related injury, overload and/or overuse is likely to be the prime candidate.
If your knee pain does not improve, the best course of action is to seek help forma specialist physiotherapists or sports therapist.
Be kind to your knees!