What you Knee(d) to know: An athletes perspective
First things first. Pain is your bodies way of saying something is wrong. With racing a bike knee pain is probably one of the most common issues and there is a wide range of reasons for these to pop up.
That said being a Sport Scientist & working for Science to Sport / ErgoFit it is prudent that you always ensure you have the best fit. One of the reasons for this is to ensure you don’t struggle with niggles later on. There are no excuses, we have the technology and the know-how and I cannot justify to myself, nor do I even want to, for not having a scientific fit. It will ensure a more comfortable riding experience AND on top of that make sure that you are riding in the most economical position. This in turn equates to better performance and ultimately FREE WATTS. I mean do I even have to say more… who says “no” to anything free these days!
I myself have had a wide range of knee experiences from crashing on them to “new-bike-syndrome” to a sudden increase in my mileage that also results in, you guessed it, knee pain!
The pain you may experience won’t always be the same but my advice; firstly, always ensure you have a proper fit, what feels amazing up and down the street might not equate to a fabulous ride around Table Mountain. Then what people sometimes forget, make sure you gradually build your mileage otherwise your body might kick you on your patella. Furthermore, don’t underestimate the miracle of massage, regular panel beating is essential for a happy body and prevention is always better than cures, thanks Francois Retief for the massages. Then lastly and probably the most important, if you are experiencing discomfort ensure you see a healthcare professional. I have an amazing team behind me and I always ask if I am unsure, that’s after all why they are there. Thanks, Dr Jeroen Swart (coach and medical extraordinaire) and my man Fanie de Klerk as well as Cathy Carstens (Physio geniuses), for all the medical advice and patience with my niggles.