just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
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Are you a natural foods person? If so, go through your normal diet and add up the salt. You need a minimum of 3/4 tsp./day. It's easy to go under this when you make everything from scratch.
As you say, if you're cramping on a 43 mile ride, it's probably not from lack of hydration or electrolytes during. My observation is that this sort of cramping is almost always from undertraining. You don't say how you have developed more leg power, but it must not be from doing a lot of hard climbing or you wouldn't all of a sudden notice that you are cramping.
If that's the case, just climb more, being sure to use good technique. You can also do sets of one-legged pedaling on the trainer or rollers on recovery days. 45 minutes of that will help a lot.
Other than the above observations, which may not be correct, your idea is a good one. Not only that, but you want to train in a variety of modes: Stomps, 10 second all-out sprints, 45 second "sprints", 1.5 minute power intervals, 4 minute intervals, 10 minute muscle tension intervals, 10-20 minutes LT intervals, and 15 minute-1 hour tempo intervals.