Looking for some advice / suggestions. I started racing MTBs just this past year and have encountered the same issue now several times. I just finished my 1st MTB race of the season and once again I had cramping in my quads just above the knees. It was a 3 lap race and 1/2 of the way through the second lap I knew I was running into problems. Strange thing is that the cramping does not seem to be fatigue related. I actually felt like I had gas in the tank but just could not put the hammer down knowing that within a minute or two of dialing the throttle up I would begin to cramp. I actually exceeded my goal for the race (wanted a top ten finish and placed sixth) but I'm now thinking a top 5 finish was within grasp but knots in my quads held me back.
Please note that I do realize that I'm posting in the road bike racing forum but I frequent this board often and know that the road forum gets many more views than MTB. Also, I know I'm just a hack competing in Cat 2 + 50 but I have a competitive streak and enjoy racing. Just looking for some tips to hopefully get around this hurdle. One other issue is that in MTB racing you really have no other choice but to go out really hard or otherwise risk getting held up when the trail narrows to single-track and passing becomes much more difficult. I rode on the limit for most of the 1st lap and likely built up lots of lactic acid. Just sucked that for the last 1/2 of the race I was in a "trying to hang on / survival mode" even though I felt like I had more to give.