Hamstrings

secretsam
secretsam Posts: 5,098
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
Right, as posted elsewhere I am a fat and unfit roadie, have now got a pathetic range. Keep running out of juice around 30 miles.

So I need to increase my fitness, this much I understand.

However, I'm plagued by problems with cramp and tenseness in my hamstrings - I keep getting twinges when out riding and occasional bouts of cramp, on a recent 50 miler I was very badly affected. I've never really suffered with this before - no great changes in my set up, either - any suggestions?

It's just a hill. Get over it.

Comments

  • crikey
    crikey Posts: 362
    Stretch 'em.

    Do it on the bottom step of the stairs; just drop your heels til it begins to hurt.

    You can try it by holding on to a lamp-post and dropping your heels off the kerb, but this leads to unwanted George Formby associations...
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Or get a foam roller like this one - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trigger-Point-P ... oam+roller

    Pretty durable & good for self massage on most of your body. Easy to do and a lot cheaper than paying for any sort of massage or physio.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Double what your drinking now and add a few sodium tablets to the water. When you start to de-hydrate water is taken from the muscles making them tighter causing pain cramp and fatigue. Don't wait till you feel thirsty as its too late. If you doing proper milage get in the habit of taking a swig of water every 15 mins and eat every 15 miles or every hour. best of luck
  • zardoz
    zardoz Posts: 251
    edited April 2013
    crikey wrote:
    Stretch 'em.

    Do it on the bottom step of the stairs; just drop your heels til it begins to hurt.

    You can try it by holding on to a lamp-post and dropping your heels off the kerb, but this leads to unwanted George Formby associations...

    That will stretch your calf muscles and achilles but not the hamstrings. Google Hamstring stretch and there are loads of videos and diagrams as to how to stretch hamstrings.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Lay on your back in a doorway. Have the inside leg flat through the door opening and the other leg raised against the frame. The tighter they are, the less you'll be able to run the leg right up against the frame but an easy way to stretch the hamstrings.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Stretch everything after a ride - quads, glutes, calfs and especially hamstrings. Loads of videos on Youtube etc. Then foam roll everything too. Foam rollers are brilliant, I use one after cycling, running and weight training.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    I was a fat and unit roadie six month ago - this was roughly when I started going long range and I suffered from cramps at this point. I was just drinking water - are you doing the same?
    You will need to intake electrolytes - for shorter rides (i.e . 50 milers for me these days) I will use a homemade isotonic drink. Dilute squash with a little sea-salt chucked in (quarter teaspoonish for 500 ml). This sorted me out good and proper.

    Can't say the cramps I got were in my hamstrings mind. I got mine in my feet and calves... your problem may be different, but the distance thing rings bells with me.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,524
    certainly worth keeping hydrated, but i think cramp from electrolyte depletion would affect the whole body, not just isolated muscle groups

    stretching is probably best, mix of static and dynamic, if you do it first thing, i start with some basic streches, then once these are done and i've warmed up finish with leg swings

    on the leg swings try to do them in the same location, then you can see how maximum extension changes over time

    there're a few here...

    http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport ... hamstrings
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • grazza_e
    grazza_e Posts: 36
    Adding to much others have said. When I cramp it also tends to be hamstrings as well, but it doesn't happen often:

    a) stretching
    b) getting electrolytes etc. in
    c) make sure you are moving your position around slightly on the bike. i.e. moving forward or back on saddle and or getting out of the saddle every now and then - you will engage different muscles. Most times i've cramped i've spent a long time in a seated, static position (i.e. a very long climb)