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Cramp - it hurts!!!

joff69joff69 Posts: 18
Hiya everyone.

Yesterday we went upto Dalby forest and did the full red route. After about 3/4 of the way round I started to get cramp in both my legs.
I've not had cramp for years and the last time was when I was playing sunday league football.( That was cramp in my hamstrings, where as this wasnt, it was in the outside of my thigh just above the knee)

It came and went a few times, I could feel it coming on when pedaling and when we got to a marker post for a rest and let everyone catch up, that is when it really kicked in. Managed to walk it off, then carry on.

Just wondered if anyone could explain why, and what I had done wrong to allow it to happen. It didn't happen the last time we were there, although that was march last year.

I had taken 2.5 litres of water in my camelbak and was drinking regularly,( had 1/4 litre left when we got back to carpark) I had also taken a bottle of the GO electrolyte stuff which I was drinking regularly. We also had a choc stop and dixons hollow and then had lunch further round. ( sandwich, fig rolls. low fat mars bar) I'd also had a banana with breakfast and one further round, which I thought were supposed to help with cramp.

Anyway, any thoughts so that I can prevent it from happening again, coz it wasnt very nice!!

Thanks

Joff

Posts

  • Do you warm up + stretch before hand? or stretch before you set off after you breaks?

    I found that a good stretch stopped me getting cramp :)
  • joff69joff69 Posts: 18
    Does twice round the car park equal a warm-up??

    I didnt stretch before the ride, or after the breaks. I'll try that next time we are on a big ride.
    To be honest, I didnt do anything different from the last time we were there.
    It was a hotter day yesterday and I wondered if because I was sweating more, that might have had an inpact on it?
  • stomithstomith Posts: 332
    I'm not a nutritionist - but you didn't mention salts in your preparation. You drink water but you lose a lot more than that - when you sweat. I'd research your salt content of what you are consuming.....while you are out riding. As a start - look at the contents label of Energy drinks.

    Bananas do help avoid cramp too and they are a good source of disposable packaged carbs.
  • RaphaRapha Posts: 86
    joff69 wrote:
    Hiya everyone.

    Yesterday we went upto Dalby forest and did the full red route. After about 3/4 of the way round I started to get cramp in both my legs.
    I've not had cramp for years and the last time was when I was playing sunday league football.( That was cramp in my hamstrings, where as this wasnt, it was in the outside of my thigh just above the knee)

    It came and went a few times, I could feel it coming on when pedaling and when we got to a marker post for a rest and let everyone catch up, that is when it really kicked in. Managed to walk it off, then carry on.

    Just wondered if anyone could explain why, and what I had done wrong to allow it to happen. It didn't happen the last time we were there, although that was march last year.

    I had taken 2.5 litres of water in my camelbak and was drinking regularly,( had 1/4 litre left when we got back to carpark) I had also taken a bottle of the GO electrolyte stuff which I was drinking regularly. We also had a choc stop and dixons hollow and then had lunch further round. ( sandwich, fig rolls. low fat mars bar) I'd also had a banana with breakfast and one further round, which I thought were supposed to help with cramp.

    Anyway, any thoughts so that I can prevent it from happening again, coz it wasnt very nice!!

    Thanks

    Joff

    There are specific rehydration and anti cramp tablets on the market that you can put into water. Highly recommend the High5 Zero but you could also try Nuun tablets.
  • flowproflowpro Posts: 64
    I find that if my saddle is not set perfectly I get cramp earlier than if my saddle is down. Just 1inch seems to make a differance to me. This only happen on longer rides 20 mile +.

    If you are prone to cramps stretching is vital.

    Good energy drinks will help.
  • joff69joff69 Posts: 18
    Cheers guys

    I havnt really looked ito the energy drinks/gels too much before.
    What does the SiS Go Electrolyte stuff do then??

    Flowpro - My sadlle was fine and in my usual riding position, which I believe to be in the correct place. I didnt lower it for any sections and then raise it back up.
  • doggleddoggled Posts: 7
    Ever since I started playing serious sports 30 yrs ago, I've always been plagued by wicked, wicked cramps. Hamstrings, calfs, quads, adductors on the inside of my thigh (esp from cycling) - fingers even! I've tried bananas (marginal effect), lots of water (minimal effect), Go juice (some effect but not the entire solution). I've managed to get them under control now and here's the regime:

    1. Don't over-extend myself and try huge miles when I'm not fit. Work up to higher miles / outputs at a steady pace. Don't go nuts right out of the blocks when increasing my fitness after a lay-off.

    2. Eat lots - esp oatmeal bars/energy bars and gels. I find that when my eneergy reserves get low, I get cramp. My mantra now is 'It's not possible to eat too much on a hard ride'. After 1hr15mins, I start eating a bar/gel every half hour plus lots of energy drink.

    3. Stretch like a demon, esp right after exercise, for a good 20 mins.

    4. Take my magic pills - Tablytes! After 30 yrs of pain, these things have been the final piece of the puzzle for me. I pop one an hour on a long ride and I'm usually good. I did the Etape yesterday in 4 hrs (20 mph avg) and not a problem at all.

    5. If I do feel cramp coming on during a ride, I take a moment to massage my muscle really quite hard and work the cramp out till the muscle relaxes again.

    For what it's worth...
  • MountainPeteMountainPete Posts: 418
    If you get cramp, you need more salt.
  • I put a dash of salt in all of my drinks as I read somewhere that this moves the fliud across into the cells faster than "plain water".

    To see how much salt you lose after a hard ride let your face dry naturally and then lick a finger and run it down your cheek before licking it again - you will taste pure salt. If its on your face it can't be in your muscles so you are prone to cramping. Simples....if you have a freind you could experiment on each other - but that could lead to all sorts of other complications!


    Works for me even under intensive training conditions...
  • joff69joff69 Posts: 18
    Hi

    When you say "dash" of salt, how much are you talking?? do you add a bit at a time, just enough so you can just taste the salt when you have a drink ?

    I'm not a big salt fan, as in , I dont put salt into/on any food I cook/eat so that might not help. But having not had cramp for years and done quite a few all day rides its only happened this once, so I must be getting enough salt from what I'm eating.

    Although on saturday, more came out than I was putting back in!!
  • MountainPeteMountainPete Posts: 418
    A few salted peanuts should be enough to get rid of the cramp so you could use that as a guideline for how much salt :-)
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