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Old 03-02-03, 01:30 PM   #1
JDG9_2000
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cramps

After ridng about 20 miles my right calf started to cramp.
Never done this before. Ended up riding 50 but couldn't push too hard or else it would start cramping again. Anyone have this problem. I've been averaging about 35 miles a week for the last six months.

thanks
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Old 03-02-03, 02:21 PM   #2
velo
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The most common cause of cramps is dehydration. Were you drinking enough before/during your ride?
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Old 03-02-03, 03:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by velo
The most common cause of cramps is dehydration.
... or leeches!

Seriously though, velo is right. You're in Texas, which some tell me has a similar climate to Queensland, meaning it's stupidly hot 90% of the time. Basically in this sort of climate you need to drink LOTS of water. I've been known to go through more than 10 litres on some days, even when I haven't been riding! My motto is 'deliberately drink too much water, then drink some more'.
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Old 03-02-03, 04:43 PM   #4
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Chris I totally agree with you. In the summers, Toronto gets it pretty bad. We have the added smog (smoke and fog) alerts as well. These creates a very crappy atmosphere for cyclists. I once drank 13LITRES on my 25km ride downtown.
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Old 03-02-03, 05:20 PM   #5
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I don't think it's that hot in TX this time of year, but you can get dehydrated anyways, most certainly from crappy air quality.
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Old 03-03-03, 08:07 AM   #6
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It was actually pretty cool this weekend probably below 65 but with high humidity around 95% and the wind was decent but not like the weekend before last (35mph gusts.)
Several things:
Hydration is key because even though it's cold you are still sweating a LOT and the conditions can be kind of deceiving. Drink, drink and drink some more.
Salt donít neglect it.
Stretch very simply stated you must do it.
And finally you put more miles down in one setting that you did all week so it's going to hurt until you build that base up. One way to ease that pain is to rearrange your pedal stroke while pedaling. If you are pedaling with you toe pointed down slip your foot back all the way in your shoe to make sure it's hitting the back part of the heel/shoe and try to flatten out your pedal stroke.
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Old 03-03-03, 10:46 AM   #7
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Welcome to BikeForums. :thumbup:

Rule 1: Drink lots of water.

Quote:
Originally posted by JDG9_2000
After ridng about 20 miles my right calf started to cramp.

I've been averaging about 35 miles a week for the last six months.
If you're only doing 35 miles a week maybe you need to ride more often to build up the weekly miles and your muscles.
If you're a "weekend warrior" then your leg muscles aren't getting the needed exercise Monday through Friday.
If you ride 4-7 days a week you need to do longer rides. Doing 5 to 10 mile rides you are just getting warmed up when you head home.
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Old 03-03-03, 03:13 PM   #8
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BANANAS for potassium! And definitely stretching.
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Old 03-03-03, 05:11 PM   #9
JDG9_2000
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thanks for all the input.
I'll try to hydrate more the day before.
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Old 03-03-03, 05:26 PM   #10
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true hydration starts a week before an "event."

BTW on normal (read mostly dry mondays) we have a group ride that starts in memorial park by the soccer fields. since it rained all day today and pretty much for the last 6 months we will not be riding tonight.
I usually try to take a beginner group around and then go out for some faster stuff. usually 6:00pm Ready to ride. come on out sometime.
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Old 03-03-03, 06:09 PM   #11
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Also to add to the "keeping hydrated" theme, as my Dr. explained to me, "If you're not wizzing it out, you're not drinking enough!" She went onto explain the virtues of urine, and all the good it did removing toxins from your body....
She also said that Skiers suffer from dehydration twice as often as altitude sickness, or really that the symptoms are compounded due to being dehydrated.
So remember Drink, drink, wiz!
Also what the Toninator said, train more, more often...
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Old 03-03-03, 06:09 PM   #12
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But Texas is a dry heat.....It shouldn't dehydrate you so bad.....
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Old 03-03-03, 07:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Natophelia
BANANAS for potassium! And definitely stretching.
I wondered when somebody was finally going to mention potassium! You want to make sure you're getting plenty of it (and plenty is a lot if you look at the MDR) when you're sweating/drinking/urinating a lot because that carries off potassium very quickly. Often they have to put people who are on diuretics for their bloodpressure on potassium supplementis for that reason.

BTW, letting your body get low on potassium is a very nasty thing to do. The cramps are just a warning sign. Low potassium can cause irregular heart rhythms and such -- definitely not something you want to have when you're working out hard...


I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I've been helping several of them make their Beamer payments the last few years...


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Old 03-03-03, 08:07 PM   #14
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Cramping can be caused as much from an electorlyte imbalance as from dehydration. Sodium, Potassium, AND MAGNESIUM wich is one of the most forgotten of the electorlytes. Check out Magonate.com and E-Caps.com (endurolytes)
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Old 03-04-03, 08:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by fubar5
But Texas is a dry heat.....It shouldn't dehydrate you so bad.....
Ha! Houston is the wettest heat there is. Often at a 100% humidity (gulf near, tropical climate...)
anyhoo DRY heat is actually worse (more deceiving) because (also at altitude) because you body is actually able to do what it is supposed to. In dry heat you sweat, the sweat evaporates like it's suppose to, you drink, you sweat some more. Youíre never really soaked. Wet heat. You sweat, it sticks, you over heat, you drink, you sweat some more, it sticks...
uh wait I just talked myself out of which is worse and I forgot my point. Oh yea, Drink, drink and drink some more.
Ps drink water. Before during and after. Itís ok to drink a sports drink like Gatorade but stay away from carbonated drinks no matter how they advertise. Most of the time I only use water unless Iím riding for more than 3 hours or Iím racing then I have a bottle of water and a bottle of Cytomax.
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Old 03-04-03, 03:04 PM   #16
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Dry heat can be deceptive. It doesn't feel nearly as hot as high humidity, but you still need plenty of water, and in those conditions I still maitain my policy of deliberately drinking excessive quantities of water.
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Old 03-05-03, 06:03 PM   #17
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Hey JDG9_2000, I've had this same thing happen to me last week. I was at the Pedal Though the Pines ride in Bastrop, TX. I rode a lot of hills in and out of the saddle without much problem, but after about 17 miles of that I noticed a spasm in my right calf muscle. I had to keep the watts down to avoid the cramp, and could ride on to the the finish.

After the ride I was wondering, again, what was up. I seem to have this problem only with my touring bike. When I'm on my road bike I can go forever without any cramps or spasms. I don't think my cramps/spasms or yours are due to dehydration or potassium at this time of year. I think it has to do with your cleat position and/or the bike setup. I compared my Look cleat position from my road bike to the Shimano SPD cleat position on my touring bike. The SPDs were like 1-1.5cm forward on the shoe, so I moved them back.

Check your cleats and make sure the ball of your foot is directly over the pedal spindle. You may find that yours is too far forward. Also check your seat height. If it's too high or low that might create more motion and stress on your calf muscles.

~Rich in Austin
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