So I went out for a 60 mile training ride Saturday. Felt good, well-rested, had a bowl of granola cereal for breakfast. It was about 50F when we started, and I brought a bottle of water, a bottle of weak Accelerade (just ran out), a gel and a baggie of fig newtons. The first hour or so, I didn't drink much water, and didn't eat anything. About 30 miles in, my quads started cramping, most noticeably when standing on climbs. As long as I stayed seated, the discomfort wasn't bad. I should mention the only other time I've had any notable cramping was near the end of the Solvang Metric, a 63-mile ride with over 3600 feet of climbing.
As I got closer to 40 miles, any uphill at all was causing major cramping, now in my quads and calves. I stopped and had a smoothie and about a half hour break, and felt much better. After the break, we set off again and I was fine until we hit the next significant climb. Now I was cramping to the point I felt like I would fall over when I stopped the bike. I ended up having to call my wife to pick me up at mile 51, as there was a significant hill between me and home, and riding on the flats was now painful.
I can only assume I was lacking in hydration and electrolytes. What are some of your favorite drinks/pills/concoctions to ward off cramping. I didn't feel at all fatigued, and felt like without the cramping, I could have easily knocked out several more miles.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks.