Cramps

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Jonathan Geater, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. I'm relatively new to cycling, coming from a track athletics background,
    although I've been doing a 15-mile commute for the last couple of years
    and some longer (30-odd mile) tempo rides in the summer evenings.
    However, I have a real problem with cramping - today I did my first 10
    mile TT, and did the second 5 miles with cramp biting at my inner thighs
    all the way (limping home in 28:mumble - I've done 50 mile rides at
    higher speeds than that!). This happens to me fairly often.

    What can be done? Just put in more longer rides? More suitable
    gearing? Eat more salt? It's very frustrating when you're doing 26mph
    one minute and 16 the next...

    Advice and references welcome.

    Cheers,

    Jon
     
    Tags:


  2. Jonathan Geater wrote:

    > I'm relatively new to cycling, coming from a track athletics background,
    > although I've been doing a 15-mile commute for the last couple of years
    > and some longer (30-odd mile) tempo rides in the summer evenings.
    > However, I have a real problem with cramping - today I did my first 10
    > mile TT, and did the second 5 miles with cramp biting at my inner thighs
    > all the way (limping home in 28:mumble - I've done 50 mile rides at
    > higher speeds than that!). This happens to me fairly often.
    >
    > What can be done? Just put in more longer rides? More suitable
    > gearing? Eat more salt? It's very frustrating when you're doing 26mph
    > one minute and 16 the next...
    >
    > Advice and references welcome.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Jon


    Do you do the TT on a different bike? Do you warm up?

    Steve

    --
    Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
    http://www.dentaltwins.com
    Brooklyn, NY
    718-258-5001
     
  3. > Do you do the TT on a different bike?
    Yes, but I get it on both bikes.

    > Do you warm up?

    Depends what you mean I guess. Today I did 3-4 miles about 20 minutes
    before the start nice and steady, ~20mph on flat roads then stretched
    out before lining up to go. Seemed like a reasonable warm-up to me but
    maybe I should go longer.

    You may be onto something though - I'm traditionally lazy in the warm-up
    department as it's hardly ever affected me in other sports and I tend to
    think that expending energy before the event is wasteful :-|

    Cheers,

    Jon
     
  4. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    Jonathan Geater wrote:
    > I'm relatively new to cycling, coming from a track athletics
    > background, although I've been doing a 15-mile commute for the last
    > couple of years and some longer (30-odd mile) tempo rides in the
    > summer evenings. However, I have a real problem with cramping - today
    > I did my first 10 mile TT, and did the second 5 miles with cramp
    > biting at my inner thighs all the way (limping home in 28:mumble -
    > I've done 50 mile rides at higher speeds than that!). This happens
    > to me fairly often.
    > What can be done? Just put in more longer rides?


    Probably won't help with cramps much but otherwise a good thing.

    > More suitable
    > gearing?


    Would be worth trying to spin a bit faster (possibly); what sort of cadence
    are you doing the TTs at?

    > Eat more salt?


    Yes. And drink more water. And possibly try getting more magnesium (excuse
    to eat nice dark chocolate).

    Don't overdo stretching before your TT - warm up well, say 5 miles at
    18-20mph going away from the start, then 5 miles back to the start with some
    bursts at race pace, otherwise 16-20mph, aim to be back at the start with
    3-5 minutes to wait, warm, heart rate at about your AT when you get there.
    If you're thirsty drink a little bit, not a lot. Stretch gently, relax, wait
    for your start.

    Peter
     
  5. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    It's calves for me. Seems to be getting worse year by year.

    Training, proper hydration and minerals. LSD works for me, though
    "slower" in this case means just a little off as fast as I otherwise ride.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  6. Jet

    Jet Guest

    On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 16:08:02 GMT, Jonathan Geater
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Do you do the TT on a different bike?

    >Yes, but I get it on both bikes.
    >
    >> Do you warm up?

    >Depends what you mean I guess. Today I did 3-4 miles about 20 minutes
    >before the start nice and steady, ~20mph on flat roads then stretched
    >out before lining up to go. Seemed like a reasonable warm-up to me but
    >maybe I should go longer.
    >
    >You may be onto something though - I'm traditionally lazy in the warm-up
    >department as it's hardly ever affected me in other sports and I tend to
    >think that expending energy before the event is wasteful :-|
    >
    >Cheers,
    >
    >Jon


    What is your weekly mileage? How many days a week do you ride? How many
    days did you ride from October to March?

    jj
     
  7. On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 17:22:17 +0100, "Peter Allen"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > say 5 miles at
    >18-20mph going away from the start, then 5 miles back to the start with some
    >bursts at race pace, otherwise 16-20mph, aim to be back at the start with
    >3-5 minutes


    Riding five miles away from the start of a race and aiming to get to
    the start 3-5 minute before seems to be cutting things awful close...

    JT

    ****************************
    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    ****************************
     
  8. > What is your weekly mileage?

    At the moment it's only about 50-70. In the summer months (ie soon)
    it's usually more than double that.

    > How many days a week do you ride?


    As many as possible :) No fewer than 3, usually 4.

    > How many days did you ride from October to March?


    3-5 days a week, apart from ~6 weeks break in the middle where I did
    none (I was in Japan for 4 weeks without a bike and came back with a
    nasty chest infection).

    They're not all good training miles though, of course.

    Thinking about it, maybe I just need to train harder (or at least more)
    ;-) I've joined a club and have more TTs coming up so perhaps with
    actual racing experience (rather than just riding reasonably quickly
    with no particualr purpose) I'll learn what my body needs to prepare.

    Cheers,

    Jon
     
  9. Peter Allen wrote:
    > Would be worth trying to spin a bit faster (possibly); what sort of cadence
    > are you doing the TTs at?


    I don't know exactly, but it's in the lower range for sure. My
    athletics background is in 200m/Long jump/triple jump so I'm more about
    raw power than spinning. Or at least I think I am...

    When I feel good I'm much more comfortable (and thus able to go faster
    for longer) in 53x14 or so than higher up the cassette. This may just
    be the inexperience showing.

    >>Eat more salt?

    >
    > Yes. And drink more water.


    I did think of this. Although I drank 500mls of water before the event
    I was still very dry in the mouth.

    > Don't overdo stretching before your TT - warm up well, say 5 miles at
    > 18-20mph going away from the start, then 5 miles back to the start with some
    > bursts at race pace, otherwise 16-20mph,


    I'll give that a go next time. Thanks.

    Thanks all for helping me in my lameness :)

    Cheers,

    Jon
     
  10. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 17:22:17 +0100, "Peter Allen"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> say 5 miles at
    >> 18-20mph going away from the start, then 5 miles back to the start
    >> with some bursts at race pace, otherwise 16-20mph, aim to be back at
    >> the start with 3-5 minutes

    >
    > Riding five miles away from the start of a race and aiming to get to
    > the start 3-5 minute before seems to be cutting things awful close...


    Depends on what sort of TT you're doing, I guess. If it's basically a club
    TT, then no-one really cares as long as your bike is on the start line with
    a minute to go, and there aren't going to be huge crowds to fight through to
    get there. If you turn round with 20 minutes to go (which you can have
    accurately by looking over the timekeeper's shoulder at his watch), five
    miles from the start (assuming you know where this is, or you have a working
    computer), then you just have to do somewhere between 16 and 20 mph on the
    way back, and you'll be fine. Not rocket science.

    (yes, I know this doesn't leave much time for a puncture, but chances of
    puncturing in the 6 miles or so where it would be a problem is about 1 in
    100, and evening 10s are not so important you'd care about DNSing or showing
    up late for one every five years or so)

    Peter
     
  11. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    Jonathan Geater wrote:
    > Peter Allen wrote:
    >> Would be worth trying to spin a bit faster (possibly); what sort of
    >> cadence are you doing the TTs at?

    >
    > I don't know exactly, but it's in the lower range for sure. My
    > athletics background is in 200m/Long jump/triple jump so I'm more
    > about raw power than spinning. Or at least I think I am...
    >
    > When I feel good I'm much more comfortable (and thus able to go faster
    > for longer) in 53x14 or so than higher up the cassette. This may just
    > be the inexperience showing.


    You're still going to put out the same power spinning faster. But the lower
    force might help avoid cramps. If you're not comfortable spinning faster
    then try the other things first, if they don't work then learn to spin
    faster. This would probably be a good idea soonish, anyway - your cadence
    will be about 70-75, which is pretty low. Relax and don't try to work it,
    mainly.

    Peter
     
  12. Pol Pot

    Pol Pot Guest

    You need salt. Eat bananas. Add salt to your food.

    "Jonathan Geater" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm relatively new to cycling, coming from a track athletics background,
    > although I've been doing a 15-mile commute for the last couple of years
    > and some longer (30-odd mile) tempo rides in the summer evenings. However,
    > I have a real problem with cramping - today I did my first 10 mile TT, and
    > did the second 5 miles with cramp biting at my inner thighs all the way
    > (limping home in 28:mumble - I've done 50 mile rides at higher speeds than
    > that!). This happens to me fairly often.
    >
    > What can be done? Just put in more longer rides? More suitable gearing?
    > Eat more salt? It's very frustrating when you're doing 26mph one minute
    > and 16 the next...
    >
    > Advice and references welcome.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Jon
     
  13. On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 19:24:42 +0100, "Peter Allen"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    >> On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 17:22:17 +0100, "Peter Allen"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> say 5 miles at
    >>> 18-20mph going away from the start, then 5 miles back to the start
    >>> with some bursts at race pace, otherwise 16-20mph, aim to be back at
    >>> the start with 3-5 minutes

    >>
    >> Riding five miles away from the start of a race and aiming to get to
    >> the start 3-5 minute before seems to be cutting things awful close...

    >
    >Depends on what sort of TT you're doing, I guess. If it's basically a club
    >TT, then no-one really cares as long as your bike is on the start line with
    >a minute to go, and there aren't going to be huge crowds to fight through to
    >get there. If you turn round with 20 minutes to go (which you can have
    >accurately by looking over the timekeeper's shoulder at his watch), five
    >miles from the start (assuming you know where this is, or you have a working
    >computer), then you just have to do somewhere between 16 and 20 mph on the
    >way back, and you'll be fine. Not rocket science.
    >
    >(yes, I know this doesn't leave much time for a puncture, but chances of
    >puncturing in the 6 miles or so where it would be a problem is about 1 in
    >100, and evening 10s are not so important you'd care about DNSing or showing
    >up late for one every five years or so)


    If you're willing to be so risk-taking in your own planning, that's
    fine, but it doesn't seem appropriate to give this sort of advice to a
    beginner. It's certainly possible to get the same sort of warmup on a
    circuit or something close to the venue and if it was me offering
    advice that is what I would suggest -- or better yet doing the core of
    the warm-up on a trainer a short distance from the start.. A three to
    five minute margin in a ten mile ride seems silly to me, but I try to
    do things carefully and plan for uncertainty.

    JT


    ****************************
    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    ****************************
     
  14. Mark Fennell

    Mark Fennell Guest

    "Jonathan Geater" wrote:
    <snip>
    > I have a real problem with cramping

    <snip>

    You should be able to entirely eliminate muscle cramping by drinking fluid
    with salt during your race. Muscle cramps are predominantly due to low
    sodium. To be clear, I'm talking about substantially more sodium than you
    find in your typical sports drinks. If your expect to sweat a lot, you need
    to add salt to your sports drink. Period.

    The *worst* thing you can do is drink too much fluid without enough salt,
    which could actually kill you (hyponatremia). Also, I've been told that
    eating a lot of salt in your diet doesn't really help much because excess is
    quickly eliminated. In other words, you can't really load up on sodium.

    Mark
     
  15. Mark Fennell wrote:

    > "Jonathan Geater" wrote:
    > <snip>
    >
    >>I have a real problem with cramping

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > You should be able to entirely eliminate muscle cramping by drinking fluid
    > with salt during your race. Muscle cramps are predominantly due to low
    > sodium. To be clear, I'm talking about substantially more sodium than you
    > find in your typical sports drinks. If your expect to sweat a lot, you need
    > to add salt to your sports drink. Period.


    In an endurance race, I can understand this. Not in a 16km TT.
     
  16. On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 20:38:13 -0700, "Mark Fennell"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Jonathan Geater" wrote:
    ><snip>
    >> I have a real problem with cramping

    ><snip>
    >
    >You should be able to entirely eliminate muscle cramping by drinking fluid
    >with salt during your race.


    You're suggesting drinking liquids during a 10-mile TT? Except
    perhaps in extremely hot weather, that's bizarre. The event will be
    only about 25 minutes long. Perhaps the OP should follow your advice
    in his warmup, but not during the event itself.

    JT

    ****************************
    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    ****************************
     
  17. Buddy Jesus

    Buddy Jesus Guest

    Bike fit. Go to a shop or cycling coach that know what they're doing and
    make certain your position is correct.

    "Jonathan Geater" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm relatively new to cycling, coming from a track athletics background,
    > although I've been doing a 15-mile commute for the last couple of years
    > and some longer (30-odd mile) tempo rides in the summer evenings. However,
    > I have a real problem with cramping - today I did my first 10 mile TT, and
    > did the second 5 miles with cramp biting at my inner thighs all the way
    > (limping home in 28:mumble - I've done 50 mile rides at higher speeds than
    > that!). This happens to me fairly often.
    >
    > What can be done? Just put in more longer rides? More suitable gearing?
    > Eat more salt? It's very frustrating when you're doing 26mph one minute
    > and 16 the next...
    >
    > Advice and references welcome.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Jon
     
  18. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Jim Weeks wrote:
    > "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>It's calves for me. Seems to be getting worse year by year.
    >>
    >>Training, proper hydration and minerals. LSD works for me, though "slower"
    >>in this case means just a little off as fast as I otherwise ride.
    >>

    >
    >
    >
    > hmm I'm thinking I see enough colors and flashy things when I'm biking as it
    > is.. a drop or two of the Lysergic probably wouldn't be a good thing...
    >
    > or am I off the mark on this LSD thing..
    >
    >
    > jpw


    It never even occurred to me that it would be misinterpreted, but the
    context fits fine. I feel geeky.

    It feels good.

    (LSD: long slow distance)

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  19. Mark Fennell

    Mark Fennell Guest

    JT wrote:
    > You're suggesting drinking liquids during a 10-mile TT? Except
    > perhaps in extremely hot weather, that's bizarre. The event will be
    > only about 25 minutes long. Perhaps the OP should follow your advice
    > in his warmup, but not during the event itself.


    Oops, I didn't really read the OP. I just responded to the subject line. Of
    course you and Stewart are correct wrt a short tt. The OP must not be
    starting his event with his body chemistry in order, so maybe more salt in
    his diet is the correct solution.
     
  20. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    Howard Kveck wrote:
    >
    > I'd say that snack type foods are the probably the worst for
    > excessive salt content.


    Yeah - I wasn't thinking there, I tend to snack on biscuits and fruit, which
    aren't salty, but like you say most snacks are.

    > But I think that many Americans are kind of
    > freaked out about using too much salt when they cook, and they
    > seriously underseason what they're cooking. Salt makes whatever food
    > item you're cooking taste more like itself.


    If you normally eat lots of salt, everything will taste bland without salt.
    If you don't eat lots of salt, then you can taste food perfectly well
    without putting salt in, and extra salt just tastes bad.

    I suppose this just comes down to taste really - just to make clear, I don't
    avoid salt in food because I think it's unhealthy, I just don't like the
    taste.

    Peter (not American)
     
Loading...
Loading...