Old 10-03-19, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
My wife has cramping trouble with these, located as you describe, not so much on the bike as a couple hours after. Have a look at Extensions, here: https://exrx.net/Articulations/Hip
I don't think you are correct about "unstressed." It would be very unusual for those to cramp.

Standing more than usual?
Thanks for the useful link. .

FWIW, I did very little standing on this ride. For the record it was the Six Gap Century and the results are documented in post #49 here. Six Gap Century Training . For reader convenience I will duplicate that below.

I will also have some additional analytical data that I will post after my data crunching is complete.

Thanks to all for the helpful comments.


Well, that was ugly. I finished the ride and survived the ride. Somehow I don't feel like 'I rode the ride'.

By almost October standards this day was pretty hot - 70 at the start and the forecast was for a high of 91. It was so humid that after messing around in the parking lot before the start, I noticed that my helmet had dew on it. And I fought dew/fog on my glasses for the first couple of hours.

My climbing target was 220 to 240 watts and going into Hogpen I mostly stayed inside that. But it was hard not to end up (sometimes) well over that target for shorter periods. But I handled the first 3 climbs before Hogpen (starts at around 60 miles) well in my mind and felt like I was in pretty good shape. But Hogpen is (by my standards) a monster. It just goes on and on, and according to my Garmin 800 (not exactly reliable on tree lined roads) there were lots of not that short segments of 12%+. I stopped at the halfway up the climb rest stop which is kind of an indication that this was not going great. I had no chance at all for any kind of recognition on that KOM climb, but would have been curious (and now the data is obliterated by my rest stop choice).

AND I was beginning to get hints of upper thigh cramps. I am subject to idiopathic inner thigh cramps that tend to show up when I am sitting in my easy chair at home (no correlation with training that I can see). But I had not had one on a bike since maybe 6 months after I restarted my cycling back in 2014. These are a real problem for me on a bike. Once you feel one coming on you have about 3-5 seconds to straighten out and hold your leg stiff straight. Failure is totally debilitating. Flats or downhill, just stand up. But up a steep hill you have to stop. And it is a super bad problem if both legs hit you at the same time as it is just hard to get out of the pedal clips with those cramps coming on. However, I did not have this problem going up Hogpen, although I could feel it (maybe) coming on.

This distracted me enough at the top of Hogpen rest stop that I forgot to restart my Garmin (irritating). Sometime after the descent I realized what I had done.

After the descent (WOW - that is a different kind of experience) there is a lot of mostly flat riding for a while.And this is where the thigh cramps started showing up with great regularity. On at least 3 occasions I simply had to stop on the side of the road to let them 'go away'. At around the next rest stop I did two things. First I drank some pickle juice that they offered. And second I decided that it was efforts above 200 watts that were the culprit. So I rode the rest off the ride pretty carefully staying at or under 200W. And I had no more leg cramps and honestly do not know if it was the scaled back effort or the pickle juice (which I drank at 2 consecutive rest stops).

Along those lines I am wondering if it was the pickle juice. The last 15 miles is net downhill (by a good bit) but it rolls up and down a good bit as well. This is more like my 'home riding' and I found myself frequently 'popping up over the rises' at well over 240W. So maybe it was the pickle juice (or maybe it was the fact that you pop up over these rises in less in a minute in most cases). From a hydration point of view I did not keep track but I had 1 plain (24 oz) bottle of water, 1 bottle with a Nunn tablet, and 3 or 4 as a guess of whatever 'Sports Drink' 6Gap supplies. Plus a couple of half bananas and a couple of fig bars (I don't think that I had a carb/glycogen issue).

The race timer said a tad over 6 hours when I finished. This is not even close so maybe I misread it. I don't have a good accounting on my Garmin (forgot to turn it on at one point) but net time was about 7 hours and riding time around 6:30. This was a VERY tough day. I would not do this again without getting some kind of handle on the cramps issue. I rode a century about a month ago (net 4500 feet of climbing with no long climbs) on a day hotter than today, and no hint of cramps at all.


ps. I have decided to skip spin class tonight :-)

Last edited by DaveLeeNC; 10-03-19 at 06:47 AM.
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