Question: I got off my bike after a 70-mile ride and suddenly had a sharp pain along the outside of my right knee. It hurt so bad I could barely get my foot out of my pedal. I then struggled with this injury for a year before having it resolved. What do you think caused it, and how can I make sure it won’t come back? I want to preserve my 20-year cycling career! — Lisa W.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Think about what you did differently leading up to that fateful ride as well as during it.
Did you change your position in any way — raise or lower the saddle, alter your cleat position? Did you use a different saddle, pedals or shoes?
How about your riding technique? For instance, did you use higher gears and a lower cadence? Or climb more in the saddle than normal? Did the route have a strong headwind or include an unaccustomed number of tough hills?
If you’ve been riding for 20 years without this injury, then something changed to cause it. This is why it’s so important to keep a training diary. Without one, you’ll never remember the particulars of a single ride, let alone the events leading up to it.