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Old 02-16-03, 11:00 PM   #1
Dutchy
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Why am I getting Muscle spasms/cramps?

I have competed in 5 races this year and during every race my quads have had a spasm/cramp that feels like there is a balloon inflating under my skin. All the quad muscles feel like they are ready to burst. It is a bizarre feeling, and only happens when I stand on the pedals.
It never happens in the first stage of our races, only on the second stage after our halfway break. I drink one bottle of powerade per hour and have a powerbar and powergel at half time.
It only happens during races, not when I go for hard solo rides. I think it has something to do with lactic acid as my heart rate was 178ave for an hour for stage1.
10 minutes into stage 2 and I have trouble standing. Could it be that my legs are cooling down and then in shock for stage2.
Maybe I just need more race experience.

Does anyone else get similar feelings in their legs? and is it a muscle spasm or cramp?
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Old 02-17-03, 05:59 AM   #2
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Might be dehydration.You need to remember that when taking gels, you should gulp down some water afterwards.How long is the race, you were saying that you have a powerbar and gel after an hour and a powerade?

Maybe try and stick to plain water and use couple of gels.Maybe try less concentrated mix for your drink.
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Old 02-17-03, 08:15 AM   #3
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More gatoraid before and during.
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Old 02-17-03, 08:17 AM   #4
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Could be muscle fatigue. If so, you need a deeper base (more miles at longer distances, at faster speeds).
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Old 02-17-03, 09:10 AM   #5
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True cramping most commonly comes from de-hydration and electrolyte unbalance. If this is only happening during races it's possible the cause is something else.

A similar problem commonly occurs with motocross racer's arms. They call it arm pump, and it happens to even the best of the pros. I used to get it when I used to race MX. Believe it or not one of the underlaying causes is stress/nerves. I comes from not being able to relax. It's like your forearms pump up with blood and it gets so bad you can't grip the bars any more. During your break I would concentrate on relaxing and streching, while drinking more electrolyte replacement.
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Old 02-17-03, 07:09 PM   #6
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The races are ~ 40km/25miles each with lots of hills. We race for 40k then have a break to re-fill and chat then race back, it's very fast. It could be not enough base miles, I ride 3-4 times per week @ 45km each. The muscle pump scenario sounds similar to my problem, I might have to see my doctor. This week when my legs started to "expand" I just kept riding and it went away after a few k's. Powerade is a sports drink made by Coca-cola similar to gatorade etc. I have a feeling it is a lack of Race fitness, still getting use to the constant attacks.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-18-03, 08:09 PM   #7
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After doing a bit of research I think the cramps are from a lack of water, I will have to keep and eye on this.

Thanks.

Mark
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Old 02-19-03, 11:57 AM   #8
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This is the time of the year where everyone posts this symtoms.

Most likely it is because it is early in the season and people are eager to race w/o much fitness or base and push beyond their limits.

Also it is a lack of minerlas. Especially magnessium and potassium

Try buying a real mineral replacement drink. Many of the Gatorade's and fancy drinks are not really good as they lack many minerals and amounts.

Try that for starters.
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Old 02-19-03, 12:46 PM   #9
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Try buying a real mineral replacement drink. Many of the Gatorade's and fancy drinks are not really good as they lack many minerals and amounts.
Yep, sorry Mark but Powerade is little more than a soft drink - steer clear of it. Try Accelerade or, if you don't want to spend the money, water. Enervit is also amazing stuff. It comes in a variety of forms but I like the tablets, they are digested more easily than Powerbars and give you a noticeable boost.
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Old 02-19-03, 04:42 PM   #10
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For the most of us that just rides,gator aid is just fine.I like the powder,its cheaper and i can mix to my taste.If i were racing or really long rides then i might look into that other stuff.
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Old 02-21-03, 03:51 PM   #11
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cytomax is the shiznits
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Old 02-21-03, 03:52 PM   #12
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Beats The BurnTM: Cytomax's patented alpha L-PolylactateTM buffers lactic acid production in your muscles, reducing the "burn" during intense training and minimizing post-exercise muscle soreness.

Steady Energy: Complex carbs stabilize blood sugar during exercise - no sugar crash


Cell Protection: antioxidants prevent exercise-induced free radical damage to muscle cells


Oxygen Delivery: succinates enhance oxygen delivery by up to 11% during exercise, reducing perceived exertion and minimizing muscle damage


Cellular Balance: Electrolytes ensure cellular nutrient balance is restored quickly after exercise


Low Osmoality: ensures fluid reaches your muscles quickly - as fast as water!


Natural Herbal "Lift": (in Tangy Orange, Go Grape and Peachy Keen flavors only) reduces your perceived effort so you can push harder
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Old 02-21-03, 04:15 PM   #13
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I used to get cramps until a guy on a ride offered me a multi-mineral suplement. I don't get cramps anymore, period! I think it's primarily the potasium, but a good multi-mineral sup. is good for your overal health for life. Especially for women.
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Old 02-22-03, 11:00 AM   #14
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and only happens when I stand on the pedals...

If you have no other symptons, no "hint" of cramping anywhere else, then it may not be cramping or hydration related. Or you could have a unique "muscle-imbalance" that promotes a "cramp-like spasm" even before becoming really dehydrated.....

Do you ever think about "stretching your quads"?
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Old 02-23-03, 10:55 PM   #15
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I raced on Saturday and did a long organised ride Sunday and my legs were still able to sprint at the end. I drank every 5 minutes and made sure I took a good gulp, not just a sip. I also left the powerbars and gels at home and just ate bananas and some fruit buns. So hopefully this problem has now gone.

Thanks everyone.

CHEERS.

Mark
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Old 02-28-03, 01:30 AM   #16
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Itīs like Xavier said, lack of minerals and dehydration in addition to no good shape. I always have the same problems in spring...
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