Cramps in calf muscles?



allenpg

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Jul 6, 2004
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I've been plagued with calf cramps recently during a few crits and even during longer power sessions at tempo pace. I drink plenty of electrolytes (Gatorade) before and during my rides, so I don't know think electolytes might be the problem. I videotaped myself on the trainer and noticed that I pull through nearly all of my pedal stroke with my heel up, so I don't know if I'm working my calves more than I should.

Any ideas on what might be causing the cramps and suggestions on what to do?

I know there is the long post on this board talking about the use of calf muscles in cycling. As a long-time runner, interesting reading, but I didn't find it of much help for my situation.

Thanks for the advice!
-Pete
 

curlew

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Aug 12, 2005
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I have had cramps in the calves the last 2-3 weeks too. I am wondering if it is due to the change in season where I am doing 1-2 days indoors on an older bike on a trainer then switch to my better bike for rides outside on the days when it warms up. I get the cramps in the calves only on the outdoor rides when I am going pretty hard and wonder if it is due to switching back and forth between bikes and slightly different riding positions. Any similarities between my experience and yours?
 

allenpg

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Jul 6, 2004
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Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking it just might be high lactate levels building. It just developed around the time I got new pedals (Speedplays) to replace my old pedals (Speedplays). Plus, I have played around with my seat height with the new pedals.

Personally, I think it's mostly related to training intensity and a combination of my position/mechanics on the bike. It happens both indoors and out. Mostly only after more intense cycling. I'm new to road biking, and I just recently bumped up my mileage to about 200+ km per week. I'm doing to really work on stretching and get some massage. I used to have really bad calf cramps during hard running (used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming with cramps).

Know off to use http://www.thestick.com/.

-Pete
 

Postie

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Sep 25, 2003
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allenpg said:
Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking it just might be high lactate levels building. It just developed around the time I got new pedals (Speedplays) to replace my old pedals (Speedplays). Plus, I have played around with my seat height with the new pedals.

Personally, I think it's mostly related to training intensity and a combination of my position/mechanics on the bike. It happens both indoors and out. Mostly only after more intense cycling. I'm new to road biking, and I just recently bumped up my mileage to about 200+ km per week. I'm doing to really work on stretching and get some massage. I used to have really bad calf cramps during hard running (used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming with cramps).

Know off to use http://www.thestick.com/.

-Pete

It's common to have calf cramp issues if your seat is too high. ...just one possible reason...
 

boudie

New Member
Feb 3, 2004
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I know when I had this happen to me it was a sign that I was doing too much load and intensity. I would get cramps in the middle of the night as well....so painful. Not what a racer likes to hear but just my 2 cents.
 

allanw

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Aug 11, 2004
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"I drink plenty of electrolytes (Gatorade) before and during my rides"



Cramping is all about dehydration. In order to properly hydrate it takes 12-24hrs, if your **** isn't clear 1-2 days solid before a hard ride you're at serious risk of being dehydrated. Be sure you’re sodium & potassium intake is aggressive (not just Gatorade), eat bananas & salt up your food in the days proceeding. Stick to this and your cramps will be history!





A group of guys I know told me...

"If you don't have to ****, you're not drinking enough water"

 

Sarah23

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Apr 25, 2006
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Just to add another opinion.

I am also a cramper. When I am training and doing gym work on a regular basis I find I can make myself cramp at will (calf and foot) just by stretching that area (like a long yawn in bed in the morning will set off a foot cramp). I don't even get the cramps while excersising...I get them anytime day or night.

I read (cycling weekly) that it has something to do with potassium levels. So I went to my healthfood store to ask about that, and they said it is more often caused by magnesium defiencies, and recommended a sports drink - Endura (which has both Mg and K). They really put down drinks like Gatorade, saying the mineral content just didn't compare.

I have started putting Endura in one of my drink bottles whenever I ride (I don't bother about pre-ride dose, or post-ride doses). The cramps have now gone away...Just my two cents.