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Old 09-14-06, 01:40 PM   #1
cpuken
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Cramps in my calf(s) for the 1s time

I've only been cycling now for about 3 weeks and yesterday was the 1st time I started to Cramp up. My normal circuit is 7.5 miles out (30-45 min break) and 7.5 miles back home. I started to get cramps about 2 miles from home... I was not looking forward to walking the bike back for that distance. I stopped, raised my saddle a bit... just trying to change something. This appeared to prevent things from getting worse but I could tell they were ready to freeze up at a moments notice. The main difference was I switch shoes for this ride... I had a pair of tennis shoes with a flat and relatively stiff sole. I thought the harder sole would help me avoid some rare foot cramps I had experienced with the other softs-soled shoes.
It may have just been random that the different shoes and calf cramps happened... just curious, since I'm currently looking for shoes to use (none of the real bike type shoes... too expensive) and I just ordered a set of PoewrGrip straps.
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Old 09-14-06, 01:58 PM   #2
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Maybe you are low on potassium. Try eating some bananas, or pick up some potassium pills at Walmart.
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Old 09-14-06, 02:46 PM   #3
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The calves are probably the strongest muscle in my leg and I still get cramp in them if I am not carefull. Easy exercise to loosen them; Stand up and one pedal at the bottom of its stroke- Push the heel down until the muscle feels OK- Then change to the other leg. I do this after about 10 miles on the bike when I am warmed up. Other thing is that you are new to cycling- You still have muscles that need building up. Stretch those muscles once you have done a couple of miles, and again if you feel the cramp starting. Then the potassium/ sodium intake may need boosting.
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Old 09-14-06, 04:19 PM   #4
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Before you start popping pills first try a regular cycling shoe because even though you think you have a stiff shoe there's still flexing going on and that pulls those muscles; then try increasing your hydration intake especially throughout the day, you may be borderline dehydrated. Supplement your drinking with 1/2 strength Gatorade and see if that helps. Bananas can be good source of Potassium but some people-like me-cannot extract it out of the fruit. If you still have cramps after doing all of that then try the pills.

a 15 mile bike ride is not really enough to worry about drinking during the ride as being a problem...though you should take a bottle anyways. I'm inclined to think it's either the shoes and/or your borderline dehydrated.
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