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What does cramp feel like?

FatLarryFatLarry Posts: 209
On a few occasions, whilst I've been riding, I've had some extreme pain in my calf muscles. It happened today.

I was cycling alongside my riding buddy in a relatively high gear. A van appeared behind and, without dropping down a gear (or two) I accelerated to pull in front so that we were in single file.

As I put pressure on the pedal, it felt like I'd been hit in the back of the calf muscle with a sledgehammer.

I slowed down and after a few minutes - stretching the calf gently - was able to finish the ride without exerting myself.

It's happened this way twice and also once when I was on a spin bike, pedalling with low resistance and absolutely flat out cadence-wise.

It's still a little sore now - especially if I sit still for a while and then suddenly move...

Does this sound like cramp? I never got anything like this whilst runnning, playing football, etc. It's a whole new experience for me.

Posts

  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Sounds like cramp to me, make sure you do some stretching after every ride, aswell as before.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Cramp doesn't usually come on through a muscle exerting pressure. It comes on more when a muscle is totally relaxed, usually through dehydration. Sounds like you may have a muscle strain in your one of your calf muscles.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Cramp doesn't usually come on through a muscle exerting pressure. It comes on more when a muscle is totally relaxed, usually through dehydration. Sounds like you may have a muscle strain in your one of your calf muscles.

    Sorry don't agree there, I have had the exact same experience sprinting at the end of a race.
    Cramp can be caused by over use of muscles, especially at the end of hard rides and it is not only caused by de hydration.
    I have also seen people cramp when climbing and I would not say that was relaxed :D
    You can also induce cramp by adjust bike set up too much, especially saddle height, then doing a hard ride, especially calf cramps.
  • FatLarryFatLarry Posts: 209
    Thanks.

    Interestingly I've woken up feeling like censored today. Man flu...

    Hadn't been feeling quite 100% for a few days and have been pushing hard with the training.

    Am taking this as a message from my body to have a weekend off.
  • thiscocksthiscocks Posts: 549
    Do that. Remember resting is juat as important as training. Do a week at a lesser pace (no big ring efforts ect) and see if that helps the muscle pain.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Cramp doesn't usually come on through a muscle exerting pressure. It comes on more when a muscle is totally relaxed, usually through dehydration. Sounds like you may have a muscle strain in your one of your calf muscles.

    Sorry don't agree there, I have had the exact same experience sprinting at the end of a race.
    Cramp can be caused by over use of muscles, especially at the end of hard rides and it is not only caused by de hydration.
    I have also seen people cramp when climbing and I would not say that was relaxed :D
    You can also induce cramp by adjust bike set up too much, especially saddle height, then doing a hard ride, especially calf cramps.

    I agree with oldwelshman. Most of my cramps have come from over use.
    Although I would have to say that there has been the occasional 3 AM calf cramp that sends me shooting out of bed.

    Dennis Noward
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Just out of interest (I'm bored) I nearly drowned because of cramp.

    I was in the old empire pool (remember that oldwelshman?) in the middle of the deep end (very deep) and playing water polo. Well one calf got cramp, so I grabbed at it with my arm, so I'm now treading water with one arm and one leg, and then what do you know the other calf goes as well. So I'm there in the water with cramp in two calves and my arms grabbing at them and down I go. Luckily me screams got me some help.

    Morale of the story, avoid cramp, it can be dangerous. As if you didn't know that already :roll:
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    Definitely sounds like cramp. If it's really bad the muscle can be a bit sore for a few hours afterwards. I've had it on the indoor trainer when I've been sprinting right at the end of a long session where I've been sweating lots. Put gatorade or equivalent in your water bottles and drink plenty!
  • donaldinhodonaldinho Posts: 103
    Cramp can be caused by over use of muscles, especially at the end of hard rides and it is not only caused by de hydration.
    I have also seen people cramp when climbing and I would not say that was relaxed :D
    You can also induce cramp by adjust bike set up too much, especially saddle height, then doing a hard ride, especially calf cramps.

    This happened to me for the first time yesterday [calf cramp].

    It was the first time out on my road bike for a while and I could feel that the seat was a bit too low throughout the ride. On the last sprint before heading home, my right calf totally went, as if hit by a hammer.

    Added to the saddle height, I'd probably not had enough salt, not having had anything savoury to speak of that day.
  • BigStu2BigStu2 Posts: 794
    Had a thigh cramp a 6 weeks ago just as the season was getting underway due mainly to being slightly dehydrated and hammering when I should have been spinning along. It absolutly floored me, I could literally feel the blood drain from my face. It didnt happen on the bike though, happened in bed, just when the kids were asleep, lights were dimmed, mojo was mojoing........ :oops:
    .........all
    ...at........work
    fun..................&
    ..no.............no
    .....is......play
  • stevewjstevewj Posts: 227
    I've only had cramp twice - both immediately after the finishing line in 25mile TTs. First time both adductors seized up so badly that I couldn't pedal at all and my wife had to drive up to pick me up. Second time was last week - coincidentally the same course- left buttock cramped up and so abandoned planned 30 mile warm down doing less than a mile mostly right leg pedalling and floating the left leg round. Two hot baths, arnica gel and 2 ibuprofen fixed it for ride next day.
  • plug1nplug1n Posts: 204
    I get calf cramp every 6 months or so, usually lying in bed early morning

    Also had cramp twice on the bike in 30+ years. First time at the end of a long summer day when nearly home. Second time was last week coming down a slight descent, saw some rough road and decided to pass it on the left only to see a pot hole - instinctively bunny jumped the hole but got cramp in one calf as I landed.

    Usually wears off after a few minutes but painful
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    I get calf cramp every 6 months or so, usually lying in bed early morning
    I had that once; it was just after I had briefly taken up running (dull form of exercise...) Apparently quinine (as found in Indian tonic water) is good for that sort of cramp.
  • I'm always getting cramps, usually at the end of rides. I sweat like a mo-fo, and dehydration is a big factor.

    Cramp in the back of the thighs must be the most excrutiating thing ever. I remember after doing a 60 mile Tour of Wessex, I was having a nice soak, when I got cramp in both legs and got stuck in the bath for half an hour. Mrs.Monk found this much more amusing than I did, though she did bring me many pints of water while I waited to unseize. Bless her.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I cramped up in both thighs at the 55 mile mark on the Forest of Dean classic last year. had to get off the bike and massage/hit both legs until I could get back on, even swinging my leg out over the bike was excruciating. Had to stay in the saddle for the rest of the ride, not so handy when there was a 22% climb out from the last feed station and the official photographer was snapping away ! Dehydration, under-training and pushing too many big gears too soon i think were the culprits.
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