Trained for 3 weeks and got a "tickly" and sore tendon

So I’ve been training for 3 weeks now, almost from scratch. I’m overweight and in bad shape, but muscles are good.

I bought a Kickr Core and I can train whenever I want. Sometimes I’m done 23:30. I absolutely love it. I have 2 small kids, so it’s really hard to find time. I’m so happy this is possible and knowing I’ll get my “moneys worth” in terms of time and effort with Trainerroad.

More than a decade ago I was a pretty fast road cyclist, so I also know the sport well. I know the bike is correctly set to a younger version of myself. It feels correct though aero position will be me setting upright with my round shape and not because I’m laying down on the bike :smiley:

I started cycling this summer for a couple of months and my knee began hurting. So I did the unthinkable and adjusted the shoe. The shoes are 15 years old and I’ve used them A LOT then, for more than a season, indoors spinnning classes and outdoors as well, so I am positive that the initial setting was correct.

I readjusted them a week ago (keep in mind we’re not talking a lot, but careful adjustments).

So on my left knee, to the right, above the kneecap, there is a tendon that hurts a bit when I stand up. I have felt it tickle from before I readjusted the shoe back, as the workouts are getting harder and harder. I’ve trained for many years (strenght) so I know when to listen to my body. I know this will not follow me forever. It will go away. Usually I leave that particular excersise alone until it’s good again, then carefully get back to working out. You can always find a healthy muscle to work out at the gym. But it’s difficult to do that with cycling.

I’m doing Sweet spot base - Low. I’m at 215 Watt using the ramp test. It feels like it’s too high, but I manage and every ride and don’t feel like I’m dying or anything. Pulse got pretty high last time, but still manageable and my form is very good.

I feel like old techniques are “unlocked” since I started TR. The in-“game” text is amazing. I really helps me re-find the technique. Anyways, enought praise :slight_smile: Also helps keep my mind off that what I’m doing is hard.

How do you deal with minor injuries in Trainerroad?

I’ve moved all workouts one week from now and then I’ll try resuming with a very keen eye on my knee.

Do I:

  • Do NO cycling at all and do a minor trial every other week?
  • Wait a couple of weeks and then do recovery sessions until I’m okay again?
  • Push the entire program 2 weeks and then resume carefully and aware?
  • Something else?

I’m not asking for medical advice. I’m okay! My body tells me to take it easy and I will. I just need to find out how to do that.

See a physio. I always found tickly tendons end up with something bad. Last time was a month off the bike with acute tendonitis. Time before I ignored it and partially tore my Achilles.

But the difference is that you ignored it. It’s tickly now, not hurt.

A physio check up would never be a bad idea in a situation like this.
Do you feel the knee more when you walk down the stairs?

It might be that your muscles in your upper leg are out of sync strength wise.
That your hamstring is too weak and that other muscles are pulling harder on your knee cap causing the irritation.

I’ve had the problem in my right knee this year, doing specific exercises with my physio solved it and made my legs a lot stronger.

Please note that it might be a completely different problem for you, so coming back to my first comment maybe a check up at the physio should be the first thing you should do.

You may have an issue with your bike setup even though it “feels” correct. Over time, our bodies can adjust to a multitude of setups and various adjustments. However, this does not mean they are the appropriate changes to make or that we should remain with the same setup year after year after year. Our bodies can and do change which effects the way in which we interact with the bicycle which in turn can lead to injury if not properly addressed.

You stated “,I’m overweight and in bad shape, but muscles are good.” In essence, you are not physically the same cyclist you were before you gained the weight. Also, if the weight is being carried around your midsection and towards the front of your body, it will absolutely effect the way in which your knee tracks because the hip angle is being closed down. When this happens, the knee is forced to move in a different direction. Watch your knee when you are pedaling, or better yet video yourself from both a front and rear angle and then take note of what you see. Is the knee tracking properly?

I always recommend an annual bike fit check-up or a bike fit after a prolonged absence from consistent training. It may simply show you that you are in the correct position (in which case two thumbs up), or it may reveal the need to make some adjustments (in which case two thumbs up for noticing an issue and correcting it).

Love the handle “Baconator.” Bacon gets a bad rap. As I low carbohydrate high fat athlete bacon is my friend, and we get along quite nicely.

Good work paying attention to your body and noticing that something is amiss. Take the time to find out what is causing it, rest as needed, and then get back to training.

Be Well and Ride On!


No, up the stairs or especially when going from sitting on the floor to standing. I’ve no issues walking down the stairs.

I use my bike for transportation which I had to do very relaxed. But this evening it feels much better. Please dont worry about me translating everyone’s advice based on their issue into my solution. I appreciate the conversations, but I will be careful.

So what did you do in Trainerroad then? You cancelled current phase and got back on the trainer a month later and restarted at sweet spot base?

Good point regarding bike fit and knee tracking!!. I’m not the same at all as then.

I think I’ll carefully look at my position, knee alignment to shoe and also saddle height. Such a good point on knee movement tracking.

I used to “align” myself by biking my knees so that the hair barely touched the bar between my legs, then using that to positon my legs in parallel.

Choose the nick because it suits me very well :smiley:

I’ll take a complete week off and then try resuming on the same program.

The other thing I thought of when I saw your OP was to remember to stretch and strength train your “core” muscles, particularly stretching out from your glutes down. For me, when ever I start feeling tightness or a niggling pain, it’s usually because I’ve ramped up the stress and neglected to keep stretching and strength training my trunk muscles, particularly the glutes and hamstrings.

1 Like

Also a good point. I just stretch my neck and arms after doing an excercise totally neglecting my legs! Thanks for the reminder!!

I only know to leg stretch excercises (from Spinning classes): One leg up on the saddle and reach for the toes and stretch & curl leg behind you

Here are some that Coach @Chad recommends.

If you want to go down that rabbit hole, you could also check out Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage, a great resource for both stretching and strength training your trunk cycling muscles. I believe Chad has recommended it on the podcast before. I like it a lot.

I wasn’t on TR back then, I just started with 4 to 5 weeks ago.

Besides doing the exercises with my physio, everyday I did 3x30sec wall sits, 3x20 seconds hamstring stretches and 1x10 of ‘overstretching’ my leg while seated/lying down so that you feel your upper leg tense up.

As what I was allowed to do in terms of sports, I was allowed to cycle but not with any power, so that meant light gearing and high cadance but if my knee acted up I had to lower the intensity.

I commute (10 mins max) to work every day on a regular city bike and there is a small incline in my route, so I got to test my knee twice everyday on the progress.

I had to be really mindful about what kind of force I was putting on my knee while riding my bike, for instance at a traffic light I had to make sure that I would use my ‘good’ knee for the initial force to get me rolling again.

You might be better of just following loose workouts like petit, bald knob and brasstown with a lower amount of power. They will keep you active but will not be so power demanding for your knee.

There is a plan under specialty called enthusiast. You might look into using that plan 1-2 times a week to ease back into the demands of a trainer. Slowly increase as your tendons adapt and you are feeling good. Trainer rides are very demanding and starting with 3 hours a week without doing some aggressive riding before might be too much of a jump in load.

Super depression seeing this response “3 months later”, because I still have some churning.
This is extremely helpful to me and EXACTLY what I was looking for! I think I’ll start with the 3x30 minutes.
Thank you very much :slight_smile:
They seem to require a more manual adjustment approach compared to the full plans.

Sorry to dig up a an old post, I didn’t notice that! But glad it might help. Good luck.

I had the exact same symptoms for a week or so. Top front of the knee. I checked my KOPS and my seat was way too far forward (though for some it could be seat too low.) I readjusted and the knee pain disappeared. Hope that helps!