Calf/ankle/shin ache from exercise vs pedal technique

Talismanis

Senior Member
Hiya guys.
I do a reasonable amount of running, and I also do parkour/freerunning. I'm no super-athlete, but these sports together can both take a toll on my leg muscles and if I've been training parkour all day I'll often feel tight for days afterwards no matter how much I stretch.
I find this makes my pedal technique pretty horrible, and this is very frustrating as I've been trying to increase my double bass speed and seemed to have plateau'd at 150bpm 16ths (at a push) despite months and months of practice (side note; anyone have any advice for that? ;) ).

I notice my legs get tired quicker and the whole motion just isn't very smooth with my pedal technique when I feel sore after exercise. Does anybody else have this problem, and know of any possible solutions?
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
Massage each calf after running. Will speed up recovery time. Also, after running rehydrate with milk (assuming you're not milk-intolerant) instead of other drinks - again, it speeds up recovery time of your muscles.

Another thing to try is magnesium citrate supplements (health food stores should sell it). Good for muscle relaxation.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I'm into running (some 4-10 km, sometimes up to 20), doing runs every 3 days or so. That's not extreme but as some runs are at a faster pace (that is, for me at least, haha) some of those runs result in muscle fatigue/having sore muscles for a few days. And even slow (but maybe longer instead) runs can have a fatiguing overall effect, too. I can't but have to balance things out when practicing foot techniques/working out my feet on the pedals. If I'm not doing runs temporarily but the more pedal practice instead I do have to take breaks of 1, sometimes 2 days so my legs can replenish. Keeping on practicing for several days in a row (which I'm usually doing regardless) has an overall tiring effect. But in the end this tiredness results in not hitting my top speed or having worse endurance on the pedals as usual, this is something I can live with.

So in the end I think you have to find a balance. I'm poor at recovering so I do need more time than (that's my guess) most people. Regardless of your recovering capability - everybody has a physical limit. One can push that limit with practice but there will always be a specific limit at a given time. So experiment which mix of drum practice & whatever you're doing in addition to that will work.

While stretching is great I'd say you should also do some massaging to foster quicker muscle recovery. I learned that some runners use pin rollers to massage/warm up their limbs/legs (I found a few YouTube videos). Try it - it works amazingly well! Out of lazyness I'm not doing this every time, but it's great both for running preparation and as a warm up before getting into intense footwork.

As for developing speed... There's lots of threads covering this. My advice is to PUSH yourself. For speed... try/learn ankle motion. Because if you can do ankle motion you'll automatically land at 190-200+ bpm because this motion simply doesn't work below a certain tempo. The downside is that many drummers struggle with the speed below ankle motion, typically in the 150-190 bpm range (I'm one of those). That's because in this range the pedal rebound can be utilised worst of all. Slow stuff is just easy to play and as soon as you're shifting into ankle motion you can use the pedal rebound. But anything in-between means... practice and patience to develop control.

Also I'd say you should be aware of the different foot motions/techniques. Work on them separately and then try to switch from one into the other for an x amount of bars. Some techniques took me months to learn them in isolation so it might take you some time until it makes sense to combine them. Different foot techniques feel quite different both motion-wise and work differently throughout the speed range. Some tempos are easy to do with certain techniques, others start working from higher tempos. Being aware of all that helps you to focus on your weak spots and avoid frustration.

I'll have a search for some of those threads... They were quite common some months ago.
EDIT: There's so many of them... Just search for "foot speed".

So if you haven't started learning heel-toe/doubles yet... do it! I think it makes sense to have several techniques for hands/feet respectively. They might not be developed to the same level of speed/control (yet) but you can work on them simultaneously. Like having several figures on a game board. Some are closer to the finish, some are farther away. But all of them do move into the desired direction. My newest figure on the game board is called "swivel", haha. My hope is it'll help me break 250 with singles.
 
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Talismanis

Senior Member
Just out of interest how old are you Arky? You're pretty inspiring to me hitting those speeds after 2 years (is that right?) of playing, it kinda lets me know that know matter what if I do enough focused practice I will get there eventually :p
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Just out of interest how old are you Arky? You're pretty inspiring to me hitting those speeds after 2 years (is that right?) of playing, it kinda lets me know that know matter what if I do enough focused practice I will get there eventually :p
I'm 38. Can't help it. I started drumming way too late.
2 years into drumming, that's right. Could somebody turn back time for... say, 20 years? ;-)

I'm sure you'll hit - or at least get close to - any speed you want. It is a matter of practice of course but as you see, (provided you're focusing on it, at least for a while) you can hit good speed in relatively short amount of time. Look - you're young, I'm not ;-) You have all the time! Drums are my 2nd musical instrument. I wish I'd started drumming when I picked up the guitar, 22 years ago. I'd say I'm a fast player on the el. guitar, too (guess why - I've been focusing on it for years).

I've said it a few times before - maybe it's inspiring for you to know that it took me... 4 days to 'discover' ankle motion after buying my double pedal. That is, I've been practicing my feet for about 2 weeks before I got my double pedal but that was stomping my feet on the ground and at that time I maxed out at 160 which felt very hard. I was doing full leg motions at that time (unconsciously - I didn't know any other way). But when I had that pedal I simply kept trying, pushed myself and on the 4th day it happened - I discovered the rebound at higher speed and thus, got into ankle motion quite quickly. But still have to close that speed gap I mentioned - a typical problem for many drummers. 220? Easy. 160? Harder!

What kept me pushing and trying to get at around 200 or break it was I KNEW others can do it (easily, and much more). So I figured there must be a way. I didn't expect to hit that speed so fast though (sync wasn't that great at that time but not bad for 4 days into higher speed). Think of it as being a twitching motion. I started with twitching and learned to do it in a controlled way. I'm sure ANYBODY can let one's feet twitch. Do it, try it and it won't be like 120 bpm you're twitching at - it should be around 200! That's why I said in the past that it bothers me why people CAN'T hit, say, 200 in a short amount of time. Acquiring sync and control is a different thing though - this does take time.
 
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Arky

Platinum Member
Reading this makes me sad.
Could you elaborate on that? Did I say something wrong? Or doesn't this statement coincide with your own experience?

This is certainly my experience and it is in line with what I've been reading on drum forums. I just don't quite get your post.

EDIT: @ Nickropolis: Thanks for clearing this up (in the following post).
 
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Nickropolis

Senior Member
I just don't fully subscribe to the idea, there are many variables that determine a person's accuracy and speed. A bit misleading in my opinion.

We've all got opinions though, that's what makes it fun. :)
 

Talismanis

Senior Member
I think part of it is my left foot is just.. pedal-retarded.
Even going really really REALLY REALLY slowly, it doesn't feel normal playing the pedal with my left foot.
 
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