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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 04-20-14, 08:12 PM   #1
Buzzatronic
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Thigh cramping/locking after long ride

I've been putting in more miles than usual so far this year (~200 a week). They are a mix of daily work commutes of 10-25mi each way (depending on route) and a long ride 50mi+ twice a week. I usually take one or two days off each week.

For the last 6 weeks or so I've started having really bad cramps in my thighs 2-6 hours after my long rides. Typically they hit when I've sat on the couch for a bit and then go to stand up. My inside thigh cramps in a bad way, very painful and I can't straighten my leg or stand up straight. It usually goes away within 3 minutes.

Looking at a few anatomy diagrams I *think* the muscle in question is the adductor longus. I can't see the actual muscle that is cramping, it's deep in my leg.

I've been using "the stick" recently before and after big rides to try and ward off these cramps but it doesn't seem to be working.

Any advice from others who may have these same sort of cramps after rides? I've never cramped during a ride *knock on wood* so it's not impacting my riding but being somewhat incapacitated a few hours after a long ride kinda sucks. :/
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Old 04-20-14, 10:14 PM   #2
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1. Drink a tall glass of water immediately after your ride.
2. Eat something with electrolytes after your ride.
3. Change into baggy clothing.
4. Walk around a bit after the ride, stretch, take a hot shower, do some housework ... do not sit for more than about 30 minutes at a time.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:55 PM   #3
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After every long ride I take a cal/mag cap. 500/250. I started doing that because of that exact problem, though not that particular muscle. Cramping quit. Worth a try. Vitamin D in it, too.
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Old 04-20-14, 11:16 PM   #4
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Eat Bananas. Get some potassium back into your body.
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Old 04-21-14, 05:01 AM   #5
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A 15 minute stretching session before / after those 50 mile rides...
Also stretch before and after your commutes. those can be just 5 minutes but they are important...
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Old 04-21-14, 05:32 AM   #6
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Eat Bananas. Get some potassium back into your body.
Better than bananas......Top 10 Fruits Highest in Potassium
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Old 04-21-14, 08:24 AM   #7
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I've had that problem, though with my hamstrings. The worst is when I return so tired that I just have to take an afternoon nap. On waking up and moving my leg, I can get excruciating cramps. So Machka is right - don't lie motionless for a long time, move around. And make sure to stay hydrated and on top of the electrolytes during the ride. Endurolytes help me a lot.
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Old 04-21-14, 08:55 AM   #8
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I've had that problem, though with my hamstrings. The worst is when I return so tired that I just have to take an afternoon nap. On waking up and moving my leg, I can get excruciating cramps. So Machka is right - don't lie motionless for a long time, move around. And make sure to stay hydrated and on top of the electrolytes during the ride. Endurolytes help me a lot.
Hmmm... (1st) Are you implementing a warmup time period when you ride ? (2) Are you equally implementing a cool down period at the end of your ride ??
Not including either results in over stressing your muscles before they have a chance to warm up and the latter means that you are not eliminating lactic acid upon completion of your rides...
For example if your ride is 2 hours long, then 15 minutes warm up and 15 minute cool down period should be part of each and every ride...

Additionally what is your hydration level off the bike... If you don't drink water all day then you are dehydrated. You cannot make up for it on the bike... Alcoholic intake is also a dehydrating factor as well as caffeine intake...

It also sounds like you are practicing Hammer-Fests each time you ride. That is not training for fitness but rather overtraining for deficit...
Work wise do you sit at a desk all day ?? If Yes than right there since you commute to work, by sitting you are restricting / constricting blood flow at the most critical time when your muscles are attempting to replenish themselves...

It also sounds like you ride too much, not enough rest period, not enough Piano riding....
Once overtrained, which sounds like your predicament, your muscles do not have a chance to recoup and thus being in a constant state of depletion, they fail and lock up, which is what cramping is about....
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Old 04-21-14, 09:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
Hmmm... (1st) Are you implementing a warmup time period when you ride ? (2) Are you equally implementing a cool down period at the end of your ride ??
Not including either results in over stressing your muscles before they have a chance to warm up and the latter means that you are not eliminating lactic acid upon completion of your rides...
For example if your ride is 2 hours long, then 15 minutes warm up and 15 minute cool down period should be part of each and every ride...

Additionally what is your hydration level off the bike... If you don't drink water all day then you are dehydrated. You cannot make up for it on the bike... Alcoholic intake is also a dehydrating factor as well as caffeine intake...

It also sounds like you are practicing Hammer-Fests each time you ride. That is not training for fitness but rather overtraining for deficit...
Work wise do you sit at a desk all day ?? If Yes than right there since you commute to work, by sitting you are restricting / constricting blood flow at the most critical time when your muscles are attempting to replenish themselves...

It also sounds like you ride too much, not enough rest period, not enough Piano riding....
Once overtrained, which sounds like your predicament, your muscles do not have a chance to recoup and thus being in a constant state of depletion, they fail and lock up, which is what cramping is about....
Well, thanks for the advice that I didn't ask for. You've read a great deal into my post that I didn't say, and ignored some of the things I did say. I'd be more interested in your advice if I was looking for some and if you displayed some better reading comprehension skills.
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Old 04-21-14, 09:38 AM   #10
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Well, it occurs to me that Moyenne Corniche did not intend to hit "Reply with Quote" and was giving advice to the OP, rather than to me. That might explain the seeming inferential leaps in the post.
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Old 04-21-14, 09:45 AM   #11
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Yes i was .... Sorry for the mis repost/quote .... Not sure what I did other than not double-check where and when i was posting...
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Old 04-21-14, 03:57 PM   #12
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I used to get cramping in the right calve during a ride and sometimes on the inner thigh well after a ride. With time and many more miles and increased fitness, that cramping has stopped. There are other reasons for cramping but physical efforts beyond our limits a common cause. Try all the supplements mentioned above anyway and keep on riding and in time those cramps are likely to vanish. Be aware that anytime your effort or distance increased well out of your norm, those cramps can return.
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Old 06-03-14, 10:33 AM   #13
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Restore water and electrolytes.

If the same muscles are cramping all the time. Maybe they are tight. Roll/massage deep, stretch, mobility. Cool down thoroughly.
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Old 06-16-14, 08:37 AM   #14
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I used to have severe cramps, but drinking some electrolyte mixes throughout the day and on long rides has made all the difference.

Check out Skratch Labs or Osmo Nutrition (no affiliation).

Skratch Labs | Natural Hydration and Nutrition
Osmo Nutrition

Rides longer than 90 minutes, I try to drink about a bottle an hour on the bike, along with a bottle pre/post, especially if it's hot out. Non-riding days, I try to drink a bottle a day to keep my electrolyte stores topped up.

Here's also a link to make your own: Make Your Own Sports Drinks - Hydration and Electrolyte Information | lovingthebike.com
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Old 06-16-14, 12:04 PM   #15
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had the same thing under the same circumstances. the episodes very painful, but fortunately short-lived. they have happened less often as time goes by. but i can still bring them on by an intense hours long effort. oddly enough i had no problems on a singlespeed loaded tour that involved back to back centuries. maybe it was that i was in and out of the saddle for 8-10 hours each day. IDK. i can say that the cramps caused enough muscle damage to feel it a little even after a couple of days.
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Old 06-17-14, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Better than bananas......Top 10 Fruits Highest in Potassium
I usually suspect poor hydration whenever I hear of cramping. Based on that, it might be a good idea to skip all the dried fruits in the top spots of that list.
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Old 06-17-14, 10:22 AM   #17
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Potassium never helped me. Magnesium did though. Also rest.
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Old 06-17-14, 06:18 PM   #18
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Hot Epsom Salt bath makes tight, crampy legs feel loosey-goosey
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Old 07-17-14, 08:36 AM   #19
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Hot Epsom Salt bath makes tight, crampy legs feel loosey-goosey
+1
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