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Cramping up

Liverpool1965Liverpool1965 Posts: 23
edited February 2013 in Training, fitness and health
can anyone help, I have been cycling for about 2 years and during the summer months to late October was enjoying cycling approx 200 mile per week (Saturdays 70 -100 miles). Now when I go out I am getting cramp at 30 miles or so, any advice would be most welcome.

Posts

  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Have you changed your bike setup? Have you changed your shoes? Have you moved your cleats? Are you pedalling differently?
  • No nothing has changed from any set up or diet...
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Maybe you are not as fit as you were in the summer.
  • I thought that but up until recently, I was still pedalling 60 - 70 miles every saturday and a few 30 miles during the week.
  • dzp1dzp1 Posts: 54
    What muscle(s) do you get cramp in ?
  • I tend to get cramp in my left calf and then in my inner thighs, any thoughts or solutions?
  • slunkerslunker Posts: 346
    I too suffer from cramp in the inner thighs (sartorious muscles) and was wondering for years what it could be. After much trial and error, trying advice on diet, elctrolytes, not fit enough I now know my muscles start cramping when my legs are fatigued,not from the current ride but after an accumulation of hard training/racing over a period of months . So basically I have an easy 7-10 days and then I'm fine again.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    Inner thigh can get me sometimes.. so I go on a bit of splurge of stretching those muscles .. inner thigh and also outer... hip flexors glutes..
    I know a hard race with massive workload can get me however , not evrytime but just sometimes.. just part and parcel of the 'game'.
    I have just swapped saddles to a new Fizik Arione and in the middle of a big training block .. but no issues to report thankfully.
  • dzp1dzp1 Posts: 54
    Well some thoughts but don't take this as gospel, just throw it in the pot and apply common sense, there's enough cr*p going around on forums and I don't want to be a contributor that that particular endemic. So take this as ideas that you can google on and research more. Its possible that you've developed some adhesions in your quadriceps and those dont really go away any time soon unless treated or given a lot of rest (latter is not gonna happen with 200 miles per week or even 100 miles per week). If that is correct you could go and get them freed up with a physio or soft tissue therapist. But you have to address the underlying problem otherwise they will just come back. The problem could be deactivated hip flexors, glutes not firing, poor bike position, poor core strength - these all tend to interrelate. Poor bike position could mean saddle too far forward and stem too short, that means you're not engaging your core and hip flexors in your pedalling action.

    None of this might be the case for you, its just ideas.. but you might like to think on that and google it a bit more. the only way to get your position right and to diagnose whether there's any basis for whether the above applies to you is to go for a bike fit and try to go for one where the fitter also has good physio skills.

    But there are some quick sanity checks you can do. For example when you're sat on your road bike and on the hoods, you should not be able to see the front hub as it will be eclipsed by the handlebars. Obviously just a rule of thumb and humans don't really fit rules of thumb too well, this rule might not be right for everyone and if your frame is too small or very short wheelbase then your front hub might appear just behind the bars.

    Also note that a big change in your position could take a long time to adapt to so if you go that route you really want to make sure its right otherwise you might waste an entire racing season and find out later your position is still wrong.

    If you google for youtube and bikescience they have about 10 or so videos on how to develop core strength and active hip flexors etc etc which are cycling specific. These combined with a road bike position which engages the core etc (nice and stretched out) would help to address any underlying issues if you undertake it all as a long term adaptation strategy.

    Like I said, just use this as a basis for ideas that you can google on. Its not advice, just pointers to help build your own ideas.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    dzp1 wrote:
    there's enough cr*p going around on forums and I don't want to be a contributor
    dzp1 wrote:
    when you're sat on your road bike and on the hoods, you should not be able to see the front hub as it will be eclipsed by the handlebars.
    :lol:
  • the mechanisms that underpin why cramp happen aren't well understood (yet). however, it's believed that it isn't related to e.g. (de)hydration, but is more likely bought on by exercising whichever muscles that get cramp at an intensity that is too great. In other words it's fitness related.

    ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
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  • dzp1dzp1 Posts: 54
    edited August 2013
    ... deleted
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    the mechanisms that underpin why cramp happen aren't well understood (yet). however, it's believed that it isn't related to e.g. (de)hydration, but is more likely bought on by exercising whichever muscles that get cramp at an intensity that is too great. In other words it's fitness related.

    ric

    meanie :wink:
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    dzp1 wrote:
    I think I placed enough caveats and health warning in my post and specifically around this point that this is unnecessary and uncalled for. Goodbye
    Sorry dzp1 :wink:
    Actually though, I think you got this the wrong way round:
    dzp1 wrote:
    if your frame is too small or very short wheelbase then your front hub might appear just behind the bars.
    A shorter frame puts the hub further forward surely?
    Anyway, it's not a good rule of thumb. Plus, without knowing OP's current position in relation to this, there's no way of knowing whether adjusting to it would improve or worsen the situation!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    If nothing else has changed other than the weather...
    Hot weather cramp can be dehydration, lack of salt etc and cold weather cramp can be restricted blood flow and lack of fluid to the muscle, cos you drink less.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • dzp1dzp1 Posts: 54
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Sorry dzp1 :wink:
    Actually though, I think you got this the wrong way round:

    ok don't worry I'm not really thick skinned enough for forums I'll prob make this my last post and get on with more important things in life like cycling. :)
    Tom Dean wrote:
    A shorter frame puts the hub further forward surely?

    With the same position, with a smaller frame and same angles, you'd have a longer and higher stem, but the wheelbase would be shorter, so the bars would appear forward of the hub? Sorry if I got that wrong!
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Anyway, it's not a good rule of thumb. Plus, without knowing OP's current position in relation to this, there's no way of knowing whether adjusting to it would improve or worsen the situation!

    Yes absolutely, hence all my caveats like "just use this to build your own ideas" and "humans don't fit rules of thumb very well", etc etc. But if the OP has his position nice and stretched out like I describe, and he's adapted to it, then equally he might determine, by applying is own intelligence on top of what we write, that this is not the problem ! or whatever!!

    so it was just food for thought and I never meant to imply that he should act on what I wrote directly.

    :)
  • kamil1891kamil1891 Posts: 658
    I found that I get some cramps (especially in calves) during the winter and my pharmacist told me that this could be due to the cold and that it takes longer for muscles to warm up. She gave me a cream that is meant to warm muscles up (costs about 3 quid) to put on the legs before each ride. It seemed to work :) Maybe your problem is also cold related?
  • slunkerslunker Posts: 346
    JGSI wrote:
    Inner thigh can get me sometimes.. so I go on a bit of splurge of stretching those muscles .. inner thigh and also outer... hip flexors glutes..
    I know a hard race with massive workload can get me however , not evrytime but just sometimes.. just part and parcel of the 'game'.
    I have just swapped saddles to a new Fizik Arione and in the middle of a big training block .. but no issues to report thankfully.

    Excactly the same problem I have. Really hard races tend to get me as well. I think this is the weakest muscle and is 1st to go before the rest of them.
  • slunkerslunker Posts: 346
    the mechanisms that underpin why cramp happen aren't well understood (yet). however, it's believed that it isn't related to e.g. (de)hydration, but is more likely bought on by exercising whichever muscles that get cramp at an intensity that is too great. In other words it's fitness related.

    ric

    Ric, I tried 6 months of strengthening my weaker muscles but still got the same problems. I do think it is accumaltive fatigue rather than one offs (still fitness??) I used to get the cramps regularly but last season it stopped me only in 3 races towards the end of the season.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    some people get help from a magnesiumm supplement taken over a period of weeks but its a blood flow I think - too hard efforts that hinder sufficient bood flow required to either take away waste products or supply necessary oxygen/nutrients. self massage can help, backing off the effort, better fitness etc,
  • kamil1891 wrote:
    I found that I get some cramps (especially in calves) during the winter and my pharmacist told me that this could be due to the cold and that it takes longer for muscles to warm up. She gave me a cream that is meant to warm muscles up (costs about 3 quid) to put on the legs before each ride. It seemed to work :) Maybe your problem is also cold related?

    What was the name of the cream?
  • mosamosa Posts: 754
    I get the same issues but I blame all the San Miguel, tiger beer and wine I drink. Is there any of these in your diet :mrgreen:
    My bikes

    2018 Trek Emonda SL6 Pro
  • kamil1891 wrote:
    I found that I get some cramps (especially in calves) during the winter and my pharmacist told me that this could be due to the cold and that it takes longer for muscles to warm up. She gave me a cream that is meant to warm muscles up (costs about 3 quid) to put on the legs before each ride. It seemed to work :) Maybe your problem is also cold related?

    What was the name of the cream?

    I would tell you that in the first place but I've binned it when I've used it and I can't remember. It was an old school looking glass bottle with white cream inside, about 100ml, that smells pretty badly :D I'm sure that if you go to your pharmacy they will can give you something similar or even the same.
  • slunker wrote:
    the mechanisms that underpin why cramp happen aren't well understood (yet). however, it's believed that it isn't related to e.g. (de)hydration, but is more likely bought on by exercising whichever muscles that get cramp at an intensity that is too great. In other words it's fitness related.

    ric

    Ric, I tried 6 months of strengthening my weaker muscles but still got the same problems. I do think it is accumaltive fatigue rather than one offs (still fitness??) I used to get the cramps regularly but last season it stopped me only in 3 races towards the end of the season.

    Strengthening? That, sounds to me, that you tried to do strength training type work (e.g. weight training). This won't solve the issue, if the cramp is fitness related and you get cramp in races.
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • mosa wrote:
    I get the same issues but I blame all the San Miguel, tiger beer and wine I drink. Is there any of these in your diet :mrgreen:

    yes and also a pinch of Jack Daniels from time to time.
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