Switching over to running isn’t an easy transition for a cyclist, I’ve discovered. You use a bunch of muscles in running that you don’t use in cycling, and even the muscles the two have in common are used differently.
So that gets me to where I am today—the day after a set of half-mile intervals. And yes, just as the title says, my sartorius muscles in both of my thighs are just screaming. You don’t know what a sartorius is? It’s only the longest muscle in your whole body, for crying out loud! (Thanks, Wikipedia, for educating me on that subject so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about.) And, for some reason, you don’t use it when cycling. You also don’t use it when running slowly or when running at a comfortable pace. But you do use it when running fast. Which is why I’m hurting.
And that’s not to say I’m not happy with my intervals. I am. They went well. I managed to stick to about 3:02 per half mile, I think. That should translate nicely into a sub-20 5k. But I thought once I got over the calf soreness I’d be scott free in terms of aching.
Cycling, for example, doesn’t leave me sore at all anymore—unless I have some sort of fit problem. But I do remember hearing JHK, a multiple mountain bike national champ, say on Off Road to Athens, “My legs are still pretty sore from yesterday’s race.” And that got me thinking, Am I doing something wrong that I’m not getting sore from riding a bike?
But back to running: I guess that’s why I wonder if it’s not such a good idea to keep running a little throughout the cycling season—because it keeps other muscles in your legs strong. I know out-of-the-saddle climbing can involve some hip flexor action, if you want it to, and I know (or at least, I think I know) eccentric contractions can help make your legs a little more resistant to the fatigue you experience mountain biking. Oh, and the fastest climbers I’ve known were also trail runners who had a thing for running uphill.
So, that said, perhaps I’ll endure some more screaming sartoria.