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  1. #1
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    cramps in calves after bike

    Hi,

    I did my first sprint triathlon last weekend and overall it went pretty good. I had a couple of problems after the transitions. Going from swim to bike I felt a little nauseous which cleared up after a few miles. Could have been not enough time between breakfast and race. It happened once during training.

    The other problem I hadn't experienced before while doing my bricks. Toward the end of the bike, my right calf felt a little tight. When I got off the bike, ...holy man. Both my calves were screaming. It got better during the run but it took 1/2 mile or more. My calves are still a little sore today.

    So what happened? Nutrition or dehydration problem? (It was raining and I dropped my bottle during first part of bike). Poor pedaling technique? Bike fit issues?

    I'd appreciate any insight.

  2. #2
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Lack of stretching? Mashing too hard on the bike? I found both of those things made my calves cramp up a minute or two into the run forcing me to stop for a minute or two to find a tree or post to stretch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
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    Fun in the tub, no ring! mrbubl's Avatar
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    to quote CAMELBACK, hydrate or D I E............

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Could have been Dehydration as I hardly drank a thing until the first mile marker of the run. That's not what I had intended, but my water bottle slipped out of my hands on the bike (it was raining). Maybe I should have stopped to pick it up.

    Mashing is something I hadn't thought of. The course had far more hills than that what I had trained on.

    Stretching, - I plead the 5th.

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    I doubt it was dehydration, that may have played a small part. If it was dehydration, I would think it would have effected you in other areas as well.

  6. #6
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    I think is has to do with technique and the mashing that occurs with races.

    Technique. You may be pedaling with your toes pointed down through most of your pedal rotation. This causes your calves to be in constant contraction. When you start running, you are changing the direction of force on your calves. You are asking them to stretch when they had just spent 30-40 minutes totally contracted.

    Problems like these get exacerbated during racing because of increased adrenaline causing mashing, etc...

    Just my 2 cents...

  7. #7
    I get high on lactic acid ^*^BATMAN^*^'s Avatar
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    Slight dehydration. I experienced the same things. Also for about the last 1km-2km you should up your cadence by about 5-10rpm. It will help your muscles adapt quicker on the run.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycom99 View Post
    I think is has to do with technique and the mashing that occurs with races.

    Technique. You may be pedaling with your toes pointed down through most of your pedal rotation. This causes your calves to be in constant contraction. When you start running, you are changing the direction of force on your calves. You are asking them to stretch when they had just spent 30-40 minutes totally contracted.

    Problems like these get exacerbated during racing because of increased adrenaline causing mashing, etc...

    Just my 2 cents...
    I was wondering about something like that. In the past when I've had this happen (not in Triathlons) it's been when my toes have been spending a lot of time pointed. I do tend have my toes pointed on the upstroke, especially on hills. With more hills than I'm used to and having my toes pointed while swimming, this probably had a lot to do with it.

    It was also raining, although I'm not sure if that matters.

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    I get a lot of "twinges"(anything from I know I could cramp to mild cramp) while racing. In my experience it is in a sprint when I am really hammering. I think that when I am biking that hard it is somewhat unavoidable.

    However, some things that I find lessen the effects...

    Lowering my seat ever so slightly.
    Stretching when I'm going down a gradual hill.
    Pre race day nutrition.(bananas, sodium and other sources of electrolytes)

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