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Thread: Leg Cramps?

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    Senior Member tnor's Avatar
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    Leg Cramps?

    Hey guys, new here but have been lurking for awhile and learned a lot! Question though, recently I've been experiencing leg cramps in my calfs towards the end of my rides and wondering if there is anything to do to prevent this? Last year I didn't experience a bad leg cramp while riding once, but this year it has come to be a problem. It may be because this year I'm riding a lot faster, but still it shouldn't be happening. any input would be greatly appreciated!

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First of all the Search feature is your friend. In fact, this subject is being discussed just a few threads down from this one ... and it has been discussed many times in the past.

    Second, drink more. The leading cause of cramps is dehydration. The next most common cause of cramps is lack of adequate electrolytes. The most common electrolytes are sodium and potassium, but there are several minerals which fall under the electrolyte category.

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    Senior Member tnor's Avatar
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    Yeah sorry about that, right after I posted this i saw the other leg cramp thread, definitely learned a lot! I'm gonna start drinking more water and taking a multi-vitamin and hopefully that will resolve the issue. Thanks for the input.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    It's true that lack dehydration or lack of electrolytes is a common cause of cramps. In my experience though, cramps while riding are usually due to a lack of conditioning. So work those calves harder! And ride hard, but also ride easy to recover. Another thing to think about is that leg cramps often signal exhaustion. Did you just do an anaerobic hill? A couple of hard sprints? Maybe you need a little rest at that point. Pedal easy and try to relax your legs as you pedal. Just hang on the back. Or maybe you just timed your exertion a little wrong. You shouldn't get leg cramps until after the final sprint.

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    Ok - a different take (and I couldn't find much of any searching) - what to do when the cramp occurs. Prevention has been covered multiple times, but what have people found helps when it strikes during the ride. If its fluids, drinking would help, but be delayed effect. I've tried to stretch the calf while coasting by extending my heel downward, which helps, but doesn't last long.

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    Chieftain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    It's true that lack dehydration or lack of electrolytes is a common cause of cramps. In my experience though, cramps while riding are usually due to a lack of conditioning. So work those calves harder! And ride hard, but also ride easy to recover. Another thing to think about is that leg cramps often signal exhaustion. Did you just do an anaerobic hill? A couple of hard sprints? Maybe you need a little rest at that point. Pedal easy and try to relax your legs as you pedal. Just hang on the back. Or maybe you just timed your exertion a little wrong. You shouldn't get leg cramps until after the final sprint.
    +1. First couple weeks of season can be brutal, as can the first few rides in hills. If you're just getting out for the season and are riding faster 'cause you're excited to be out, it'll take your legs time to catch up. Proper diet and hydration will help, but in my experience, nothing does it like days in the saddle.

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