Cramps in calf muscles?



allenpg

New Member
Jul 6, 2004
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First posted this in the training forum...

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
 

davef

New Member
Oct 25, 2003
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Seat a bit high?

Are you training hard enough for these efforts? Like the full distance at comparable pace.

I could imagine a CRIT to be rather intense, i.e. you forget about how hard you are really working.

Good luck
 

wooliferkins

New Member
Apr 13, 2006
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Personally i wouldnt give Gatorade house room as a sports drink. Hydration was my cramp cause, regular not just on the bike, 6-8 pints of plain H2O a day. It sorted out no end of stuff not just the cramps.
 

murphy54

New Member
Apr 14, 2006
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try a healthy ,natural diet....you have to much sodium...to little calcium+magnezium?
 

kettlewon2001

New Member
Jul 24, 2005
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allenpg said:
First posted this in the training forum...

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
Develop a better hydration program. Whether it be the stuff you keep in your bottles, the amount of water you drink when not cycling, and keeping a watchful eye on potassium intake - eat those bananas. And aways drink plenty of water before bedtime - I know the drawbacks, but the benefits are well worth it.
 

Kallenovsky

New Member
Jul 9, 2006
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I used to have bad calf cramps from just basically running for a long time but this technique rid of it after a while. I donno if this would work for you but I suppose there isn't much hurt in trying because it's done wonders for my health and training. Start off slow if you decide to try it though, please. My friend tried to do all that I do and he ended up tearing up his muscles and required surgery. To gain muscle and strength in my calves I often hold weights, not all that heavy, and stand on my tip toes on stairs while switching off with running up and down them hundreds of times for a few hours. Sometimes anywhere from 2 to 6 hours with a break between each session if long for food and drink. This is a very intense workout but since I started doing this my calves have built up so strong and scaringly large I seriously haven't really felt pain or cramps at all no matter how long I walk, cycle, or exercise these days. It's a great technique but it takes time and patience of which requires you to have great shoes because you always need to be running on your tip-toes. Anyway, if you like this technique good luck and take care in training this way and drink a lot of water. I hope it will rid of your cramps while helping in gaining better muscle in the process.
 

spinner32

New Member
Jul 8, 2006
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Hi allenpg,

During my first triathlon I experienced awful calf cramps, and found that they were the result of being woefully dehydrated... Despite drinking plenty of sports drinks (Which at the time I thought hydrated me adequately.) Sports drinks provide high levels of sodium and a few other electrolytes needed for extended physical activity, but cannot replace (and in many cases actually deplete) the levels of H20 in your body. Drink much more water, and the problem should disappear (assuming your pedals/seat are adjusted properly - see a certified technician). A good way to get in the habit of increased water consumption is to place an empty water bottle on a nightstand or table near your bed, so that when you wake up you are reminded to immediately take in a good 2 cups or so of H20. Remember, always drink a cup or more of water well before you feel thirsty. This should make all the difference in the world for your calf cramps.

Good luck and keep riding! :)
 

Kakashi

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2018
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If you're having a lot of cramps then you need to supplement your diet with Vitamin E and Vitamin B complex because your nerves are undernourished it needs these vitamins. Also drink additional Vitamin C tablets.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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When I complained of cramps to my physician brother-in-law, I remember him saying that it's either lack of vitamins or abuse of the muscle. Aside from that, we also have what we call "pasma" which has no exact interpretation although the literal translation of pasma is spasm. Anyway, pasma is a result when you are very tired and you take a bath or wash your feet. Old folks would say that you have to be fully rested before you wet your body so the muscles will not suffer from pasma. One side effect of pasma is cramps.
 

DenisP

Member
Apr 13, 2018
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Do you regularly get cramps in any other muscles? You mentioned that electrolyte consumption isn't an issue, but there could be other parts of your diet that need improving. Minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium are essential to preventing cramps. People on low-sodium diets often have issues with cramping.

Magnesium has played a huge role for me when it comes to preventing cramping. Try taking magnesium supplements and see if that makes a difference. Just be careful with how much you take, because large doses of magnesium can actually act as a laxative.