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Old 09-07-04, 06:11 AM   #1
Dr. Mike
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Need advice on calf cramps

Hello all,
I am a newbie to road cycling having taken it up from a 30 year hiatus. I am 47 and in relatively good shape. I ride a life cycle at least 5x/wk at level 10 for about 24 minutes. I have never had particularly strong or well developed leg muscles, having long slender legs instead. Anyway I have never experienced calf cramps in the past while riding the stationary bike nor on my recent forays of 25 miles or so on the new bike but just this weekend while riding with some experinced riders, got terrible cramp in the right calf about 2/3 of the way into the ride ( 25 miles). I must admit, the pace wa a bit more rigorous that I was used to. I almost had to stop. I ate a power bar and about 8 oz of water prior to the ride and would like some advice on how to prevent that in the future, stretching, nutrition , excercizes or whatever advice anyone could offer. Thank you, Dr. Mike
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Old 09-07-04, 08:32 AM   #2
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did you drink anything during? you should have. also, 16oz is recommended per powerbar, otherwise you'll be dehydrated. look at the wrapper.

as a general rule, you probably need about 1 bottle per hour while riding. one thing you should practice is drinking while riding, it becomes secondhand after a bit. If you're in a paceline, then wait until you're at the back to drink so you dont mess up the person behind you.
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Old 09-07-04, 08:45 AM   #3
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99% of the time you need more potassium to stop the cramps.
Try adding a 595mg potassium pill each morning I'd bet your
cramps will stop in less than week.
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Old 09-07-04, 09:12 AM   #4
bab
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Tightwad is right about the Potassium. I eat a banana before ever ride and most of the cramps have disappeared.
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Old 09-07-04, 10:27 AM   #5
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Definitely... eat more nanner's .. and drink mo' water.



-Matt
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Old 09-07-04, 10:09 PM   #6
Dr. Mike
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Thanks guys for the advice. I'll be sure to drink a bit more before the ride and eat a couple of bananas to boot. To be honest , I was afraid to drink too much for fear of having to empty the bladder early in the ride. I am still getting used to the bib shorts and access to the old "pecker" (LOL). Anyway, any futher tips for drinking while riding? My bottle holder seems to grip the botle very snugly and I was concerned about wrestling with it while riding and losing my balance? Any and all advice is more than welcome and appreciated. thanks, Dr. Mike
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Old 09-08-04, 05:35 PM   #7
dc70
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Hydration; before, during and after. It is of most importance sir!

Horrible leg cramps!?
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Old 09-08-04, 07:57 PM   #8
Rick O'Getti
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Funny... When I'm sweating my butt off, I almost never have to wee... If I do, I just stop - catchin' up is so much fun!

BTW... I used to get serious cramps in my thighs... Now I pack serious fluid - especially on my mountain rides, and I make sure I drink every 10 to 20 minutes, and a full 28-oz every hour (min). This means I have to plan my routes, or stick extra bottles in the back of my shirt, but hey that's what training is all about... I've also started to pop Cliff Shots or Gu. Along with H2O, this is a good kicker for longer (>40 mile rides).

BTW#2... Bananas and Yogurt are good starters, as well as gulping at least 20oz of H2O prior to the ride.

Sometimes I feel like I just finished Thanksgiving dinner before I've even turned the cranks, but in about 1-1/2 hours I'm cruisin'.

BTW#3... If you ride in a paceline... DO NOT pull your water bottle out if you are 100% sure you will not drop it in front of the following guy's wheel. Trust me, you cannot be that confident - I speak from 'sperience! Make sure your bar is tight as well... (oops, ouch!)
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Old 09-09-04, 02:00 PM   #9
Nightshade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bab
Tightwad is right about the Potassium. I eat a banana before ever ride and most of the cramps have disappeared.
Eating a Bannana is a good thing, however, as we age our
bodies NEED more potassium than bannanas can provide which is
why I recommended 595mg supplement tablet at breakfast. Your
body will draw on this 595mg metering it out over the day
along with whatever potassium is in your other foods to give
your nerves and blood vessels the nutrients that are oh so
important while we ride or work. Should there be any left
over potassium at the end of your day your body will dump it
no harm done.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as we age some nutients
can't be found in great enough quanities in the foods we eat
and will need "help" to get proper nurishment each day.
I used to get killer cramps that would make me double over in
pain. The 595mg tablet each day stopped that...for the last
10 years.
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Old 09-09-04, 02:31 PM   #10
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nanners

but if youre already on the road, spin instead of mash... it will temporarily delay the cramp
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