Leg cramps while riding.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by nospam, May 18, 2003.

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  1. nospam

    nospam Guest

    What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always get off and take the time
    out to stretch, but what if you are bent on getting there? Should I just take the downtime and stop
    and stretch? I try and stretch before and after a ride. I've been told to always have a bananna
    handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't particularly like banannas though. Any other
    suggestions? Any help is appreciated.
     
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  2. David Storm

    David Storm Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always
    get
    > off and take the time out to stretch, but what if you are bent on getting there? Should I just
    > take the downtime and stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and after a ride. I've been told
    > to always have a bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't particularly like banannas
    > though. Any other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.
    >
    >
    I've been plagued with leg cramps also, especially on long hot rides with a lot of climbing. I've
    tried many preventative things including hydrating heavily before and during ride and loading up
    with electrolytes via V-8 and bananas before ride. Recently I've been trying quinine in tonic water
    mixed with orange juice. During the ride I pop 3-4 Hammer Gel Endurolyte capsules every hour or so
    with lots of water. They provide a mix of eltrolytes needed for proper muscle function. All of these
    things seem to delay and minimize the severity of my cramps, but I still get them on really long
    climbing rides (100+ miles and 7,000 ft+). I used to stop immediately at the slightest hint of a
    cramp. My quads, hamstrings, and calves would seize up so violently and painfully on stopping that I
    was immobilized and often couldn't get back on the bike for a hour or so. Now I try to ride through
    the incipient cramp, placing as little force on the offending leg as possible, preferably spinning
    out the cramp. This seems to work and I'm usually able to get back without stopping.

    Finally, I've found that the way that I climb is a factor. I'm a pretty weak climber and am more
    likely to get cramps if I push hard on the hills, usually trying to stay up with a stronger rider.
    I'm much less likely to cramp up if I sit back, relax, and spin up hills in my granny gear.
     
  3. > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always
    get
    > off and take the time out to stretch, but what if you are bent on getting there? Should I just
    > take the downtime and stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and after a ride. I've been told
    > to always have a bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't particularly like banannas
    > though. Any other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.

    Drink lots, more than you think you need to. If you don't like bananas (I don't either), try a drink
    like Cytomax. In general, if I drink enough Cytomax, I'm cramp-free. Ironically, it's on cooler days
    where I'm more likely to cramp, because I don't drink enough.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  4. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always get off and take the time
    > out to stretch, but what if you are bent on getting there? Should I just take the downtime and
    > stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and after a ride. I've been told to always have a
    > bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't particularly like banannas though. Any
    > other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.

    The banana recommendation is for potassium. Keep your fluid, salt and potassium intake up (from
    whatever source you like), and that can at least dealy the onset of cramps, if not eliminate them
    completely.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "archer" <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always
    get
    > > off and take the time out to stretch, but what if you are bent on
    getting
    > > there? Should I just take the downtime and stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and after
    > > a ride. I've been told to always have a bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't
    > > particularly like
    banannas
    > > though. Any other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.
    >
    > The banana recommendation is for potassium. Keep your fluid, salt and potassium intake up (from
    > whatever source you like), and that can at least dealy the onset of cramps, if not eliminate them
    > completely.
    >
    >
    > --
    > David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord, it's
    > morning".
    >
    > Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
    >

    Use light salt -- it contains potassium. I add it to various foods, and I guess you could add it to
    water also.

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always get off and take the time
    > out to stretch, but what if you are bent on getting there? Should I just take the downtime and
    > stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and after a ride. I've been told to always have a
    > bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I don't particularly like banannas though. Any
    > other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.

    Latest research seems to indicate that exercise induced muscle cramping is not due to electrolyte
    deficiencies, so the traditional banana isn't going to help. Once cramps have started, it's
    virtually impossible to stop them from continuing to occur, if you keep exercising the same muscles.
    Stretching helps (during cramping episodes), but the best strategy is to prevent cramping in the
    first place. Cramping is basically a consequence of muscular fatigue. Conditioning is the only real
    solution, but you can delay the onset during long rides by avoiding loading the muscles hard for
    even brief intervals. This means you should go easy on the hills, spinning at a higher cadence, this
    keeps the peak force (muscular & pedal) down, which delays the onset of muscle fatigue.
     
  7. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Latest research seems to indicate that exercise induced muscle cramping is not due to electrolyte
    > deficiencies, so the traditional banana isn't going to help.

    That's been my own experience. I generally get enough electrolytes, but still occasionally
    experience leg cramps.

    > Once cramps have started, it's virtually impossible to stop them from continuing to occur,

    When the pain and discomfort of a cramp subsides, there often seems to be a lingering, latent
    tightness, waiting for it's next opportunity to strike. The cramp ain't finished yet.

    > if you keep exercising the same muscles. Stretching helps (during cramping episodes),

    What works best for me is to sit down somewhere and relax the affected leg. With my crude attempt at
    biofeedback, I try to focus relaxation on the affected area, to give the cramp permission to go
    ahead, and hurry up and get the process over with, as completely as possible. I find fighting
    against cramps just prolongs the agony. Pathological processes seem to have a way of not relenting
    until their purpose has been fulfilled.

    > but the best strategy is to prevent cramping in the first place. Cramping is basically a
    > consequence of muscular fatigue. Conditioning is the only real solution, but you can delay the
    > onset during long rides by avoiding loading the muscles hard for even brief intervals. This means
    > you should go easy on the hills, spinning at a higher cadence, this keeps the peak force (muscular
    > & pedal) down, which delays the onset of muscle fatigue.

    Sounds reasonable to me. When I get a cramp, it usually occurs when making a very rapid transition
    between extremes of muscular tension and relaxation. So if I've been exerting hard, if I can
    gradually ease up on my effort, I'm less likely to get cramps.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  8. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "archer" <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > > What do you all do for leg cramps during a ride? Sure, you could always
    > get
    > > > off and take the time out to stretch, but what if you are bent on
    > getting
    > > > there? Should I just take the downtime and stop and stretch? I try and stretch before and
    > > > after a ride. I've been told to always have a bananna handy and eat that for the leg cramps. I
    > > > don't particularly like
    > banannas
    > > > though. Any other suggestions? Any help is appreciated.
    > >
    > > The banana recommendation is for potassium. Keep your fluid, salt and potassium intake up (from
    > > whatever source you like), and that can at least dealy the onset of cramps, if not eliminate
    > > them completely.
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord, it's
    > > morning".
    > >
    > > Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
    > >
    >
    > Use light salt -- it contains potassium. I add it to various foods, and I guess you could add it
    > to water also.

    I didn't know that. What form is it in, Potassium Chloride?

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  9. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Wow! Thanks all for the great advice! I'll definitely be trying some of those suggestions out. Seems
    like though, one of the most important things is to make sure my conditioning needs to be better. I
    can work on that over time. The other thing is to make sure I am always keeping up with hydration
    and electrolytes. Thanks again all for the advice!
     
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