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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-03-12, 12:10 PM   #1
avance
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What to do about cramping in one leg only?

I've noticed on my two 20 milers that I have done, I have been cramping in only my right calf. I drink lots of water through out the day (i have a 34oz mug that I fill 3-4 times a day). I used to get this type of cramp at night once in awhile, but now it occurs while riding. I eat a good meal atleast 5 hours prior to riding an usually eat a banana right before leaving. I don't take a multivitamin, but thinking I should.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:07 PM   #2
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Is that leg a different length than the other one? Try duct-taping a block to your pedal.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:20 PM   #3
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Also see if you are dominating one side over the other. Are you evenly seated on your seat? If you are working one side harder than the other this could happen.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:27 PM   #4
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Also, what kind of pedals are you using? If they're clipless, you may need to adjust the position of the cleat on that shoe.
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Old 05-03-12, 03:49 PM   #5
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Both legs are the same length. Both legs are strong, not sure about favoring one more than the other. I have speedplay zero, but this just developed.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:47 PM   #6
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Cramps suck big time. It is rare for me to cycle intensely and not cramp at the 34-40 mile marker. I can continue, but can't put any type of hard effort into it. For the past few weeks, I've been taking magnesium and calcium vitamin supplements. And, trying to drink more before and during a ride. So far, it seems to help. Last Sunday I did an organized metric century with a bit of climbing. No problems. But I also ate a banana at every rest stop, which was about every 12 miles. Tomorrow I have a century planned which is fairly flat and hopefully fast. I plan to push it, and am curious how I'll make out ... in the cramp department. Sorry that I don't have any magic potion. It's something that I struggle with. Seems to be worse when the temperatures are warmer, not so much when it is cooler.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:57 PM   #7
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Have you tried electrolytes.

Sometimes cramps are the last sign your depleted.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:21 PM   #8
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When I was on a blood pressure med I had horrible cramps a few hours (occasionally) after riding strenuously. My PA suggested potassium and magnesium supplements but must have been ignorant of the side effects that I later learned included possible muscle cramps. In my research I found that potassium and mag. supplements help for some, good stretching after each ride may help (be careful about stretching before you ride when your legs aren't warmed up) and as others have noted, be sure your cleats are properly lined up and you aren't favoring one leg over another. A visit to a workout club to do some weight lifting with individual legs might tell you if one leg is stronger than another which would be a good indication you favor that leg when riding. I would suggest starting to use HEED or Cyclomax or some energy drink that does not have a high percent of sugar in the carbo list but includes replenishment minerals. good luck.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:37 PM   #9
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Id check the flexibility in your major muscle groups: your calves, hamstrings, quads, as well as your IT bands. Often these kind of things happen when one side is less flexible than the other. You may also want to check the flexibility in your back as well--even if you dont have a true leg length discrepancy, it is common to have a compensatory leg length discrepancy with spinal inflexibility.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:38 PM   #10
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i think it has something to do with the way i pedal, which is probably wrong. it doesnt seem to bother as much when i put my toes down when pedaling. If i ride feet flat, it tends to flare up much easier. i did notice that my right knee tends to be turned outward while pedaling, which i tried to fix
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