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Old 05-27-02, 06:55 AM   #1
scubagirl
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Cramps

I've torn both of my calves at different times, what causes cramps now while on rides, dehydration, lack of electrolites, vitamins or stretching, all of the above? Most of the time it is little tingy cramps, I am trying to prevent a bad cramp, when I'm 40 miles from home need to get back.

After long or hard rides, they can be sore in the spots that were torn, for a day or two. I've been increasing my long weekend ride by 10 miles every other weekend (50 miles Saturday), plus 2 or 3 , 25-30 mile rides during the week.
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Old 05-27-02, 08:47 AM   #2
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as far as i know there can be a combination of many things to cause cramps, usually dehydration is a big factor:
* dehydration
* lack of salts, minerals
* change from muscle use like cycling/running

in my various racing experiences, i only gret cramps in calves and only when i both cycle and run/walk like in multisport adventure racing or in double triathlons (it was called 'Aussie tri' where you swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run) or in MTB racing when you have to dismount and hike up a hill. i think the quick change in the muscle fibers where some are stressed or stretched and others are cold and tight is a problem.

in general, the most effecitve thing is to hydrate - this solved most of my problems...

then also consider taking some suppliments like special sports drinks, salts or special supplements (i was told last weeken that magnesium is also important against cramps but never tried it myself)
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Old 05-27-02, 03:14 PM   #3
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if you suffer the cramp in the comfine of your home massage it with Bengay or alcohol, but if your riding and you have the cramps, then you have to stop and massage it without anything like dry massaging...that will definitlery relive you
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Old 05-28-02, 06:26 PM   #4
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I don't get muscle cramps, but a friend of mine who does was told that bananas help prevent cramps due to the potassium. So, eat a banana ever day.
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Old 05-28-02, 07:40 PM   #5
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I recommend bananas too. Try eating mango as well- also high in potassium.
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Old 05-28-02, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'm no expert, but hydration and food (especially on rides over 1 1/2 hours)seem to help as others have said. One other thing, if I feel a bit crampy, I'll stretch before it gets bad to fend it off. I have felt them coming on in calves and especially the arch of my feet. So I'll stand and stretch while on the bike and wiggle my toes more often. It works for me.
Sarah
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Old 05-28-02, 11:36 PM   #7
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I agree with the banana theory. Here is a tip I have been following with great success. - Add a sprinkling of salt to your water/isotonic drink mixture. You cannot taste the salt when mixed with your power drink, and it really works in my case.
Remember to stretch while you are riding, some cramps can be delayed through regular stretching.
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Old 05-29-02, 07:11 AM   #8
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scubagirl, scubagirl, scubagirl,
You've obviously forgotten your open water
training. when you cramp, straighten you leg,
grab the end of you fin and gently pull towards
you. . .
oh, wrong sport. nevermind.
Seriously though, you can use the above to relieve
cramp when riding(without fins!), alternately you can stand
with 'the balls of your feet on a curb and GENTLY lower
your heel, stretching your calves, DO NOT BOUNCE.
I'd load on potassium and magnesium via
bananas and not just on the ride. I eat 2 a day
and don't have problems with cramping anymore.
Check out the composition of your sports drink if you
are using one, make sure it has P and Mg in it.
Given the weather here its easy to mess up electrolyte
balance due to excess sweating and drinking large
amounts of water to rehydrate.
Hope this helps,
Marty
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Old 05-30-02, 11:19 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone.

I'm trying my best to AVOID cramps. With the temp starting to hit 90, it will only get a lot worse. I want to do something to help me once it starts getting really hot, and my rides get longer.
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