Long distance riding and (damn) cramp

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Kent, Jun 12, 2003.

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  1. Kent

    Kent Guest

    OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them, the
    bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's. My
    questions to MTB's that have had them are;

    Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?

    Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I couldn't
    straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and minerals but
    ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for cattle? Maybe tape
    a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.

    Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right

    Help.

    --

    Regards

    Kent
     
    Tags:


  2. Kent says:

    >OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs.

    and

    >How do I stop them or help reduce them?

    How about stopping for a rest at 3 hours and 45 minutes in, then restarting when you are rested?

    >Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right

    Yeah - Right! Well, I tried.....

    Steve
     
  3. Technician

    Technician Guest

    Kent <[email protected]> spoke thusly...
    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's.
    > My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    >
    > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    >
    > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    > cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    >
    > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    >
    > Help.
    >

    My suggestion would be to bring a energy bar (or several depending on if it is a reeealy long ride
    or not). last time i looked at one of my Power-Bars, it says it has electrolights (sp?) in it (aka
    salt). the other option is to bring a bottle filled with a sports drink as most of them have salt.

    After 4 hours, the only thing on me that hurts is that well known area that contacts the seat (if
    you thinking bits, think further back, my seat has a hole for them).
    --
    ~Travis

    http://www.megalink.net/~farmers/
     
  4. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Kent wrote:
    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's.
    > My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    >
    > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    >
    > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    > cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    >
    > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    >
    > Help.

    Liquids with electrolytes. I keep gatoraid in the water bottles on my frame. Water in my hydration
    pak. Dehydration and low electrolytes can both cause cramps.

    More exercise :). Yea, muscles cramp when you overwork them. As you get in better shape, they'll
    happen less often.

    Potasium (I eat bananas).

    David
     
  5. David Kunz wrote: <snip>
    >
    > Liquids with electrolytes. I keep gatoraid in the water bottles on my frame. Water in my hydration
    > pak. Dehydration and low electrolytes can both cause cramps.
    >
    > More exercise :). Yea, muscles cramp when you overwork them. As you get in better shape, they'll
    > happen less often.
    >
    > Potasium (I eat bananas).
    >
    > David
    >
    there's the good advice! i'll add - if you don't like gatorade, you can use fruit juice. just dilute
    it 50/50 with water, it's a little to sugary for digestion when working hard.
     
  6. Technician

    Technician Guest

    James Connell <[email protected]> spoke thusly...
    > David Kunz wrote: <snip>
    > >
    > > Liquids with electrolytes. I keep gatoraid in the water bottles on my frame. Water in my
    > > hydration pak. Dehydration and low electrolytes can both cause cramps.
    > >
    > > More exercise :). Yea, muscles cramp when you overwork them. As you get in better shape, they'll
    > > happen less often.
    > >
    > > Potasium (I eat bananas).
    > >
    > > David
    > >
    > there's the good advice! i'll add - if you don't like gatorade, you can use fruit juice. just
    > dilute it 50/50 with water, it's a little to sugary for digestion when working hard.
    >
    >

    but is there salt in fruit juice?
    --
    ~Travis (adding a water bottle to need to buy parts list, sounds like a good idea having gatorade on
    the long rides)

    http://www.megalink.net/~farmers/
     
  7. Technician wrote:
    > James Connell <[email protected]> spoke thusly...
    >
    >>David Kunz wrote: <snip>
    >>
    >>>Liquids with electrolytes. I keep gatoraid in the water bottles on my frame. Water in my
    >>>hydration pak. Dehydration and low electrolytes can both cause cramps.
    >>>
    >>>More exercise :). Yea, muscles cramp when you overwork them. As you get in better shape, they'll
    >>>happen less often.
    >>>
    >>>Potasium (I eat bananas).
    >>>
    >>>David
    >>>
    >>
    >>there's the good advice! i'll add - if you don't like gatorade, you can use fruit juice. just
    >>dilute it 50/50 with water, it's a little to sugary for digestion when working hard.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > but is there salt in fruit juice?

    you don't lose enough salt in a few hours to realy make a dif. it's the dehydration, glycogen levels
    that take the toll. gatorade always sours in my stomach in a race but it is fine on a less than max
    effort ride. just be sure you don't 'douse' yourself with it instead of water! i did that once and
    it's amazing how many bugs can stick to you in 4 hours of riding!
     
  8. Bill Wheeler

    Bill Wheeler Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 22:51:31 +0100, "Kent" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    >the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's.
    >My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    >
    >Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    >
    >Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    >couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    >minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    >cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    >
    >Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    >
    >Help.

    Kent, I used to cramp pretty bad. It's a combination of conditioning, diet and hydration. 4 hours of
    riding is a long time. Was that constant?

    I can recommend a great book that has helped me A LOT!

    Author is Monique Ryan Book is Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

    Peace, Bill The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind
    should give an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
    :-]
     
  9. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    "Kent" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:[email protected]...

    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on
    muscle
    > groups I name them, the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs

    I usually get this problem in the spring when I increase my athletic activity from winter to summer
    levels. Try a magnesium suppliment. Works for me.

    PS: They also give it to pregnant women to cut down on preterm contractions.

    -Dave
     
  10. Westie

    Westie Guest

    "Kent" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on
    muscle
    > groups I name them, the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees
    > and down the calf's. My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    >
    > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    >
    > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky
    shrub)

    A spikey shrub? That's a bit like describing the Iraq War as a bit of bother. ,
    > on a hill as I couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss
    > of salt and minerals but ... What do you say,
    stop
    > and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for cattle? Maybe tape
    a
    > hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    >
    > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    >
    > Help.

    Like the others have said, salt and other electrolytes should do it. I know that you were joking but
    licking animal salt blocks would work. Some of those endurance sports drinks have all the right
    ingredients and they're only a few dollars. And what's a few dollars for less pain?

    Bananas are high in potassium too. That helps. And finally, try Schweppes Indian Tonic Water. I
    guess you won't have that if your in the States so look for a softdrink that has Quinine in it. That
    stops cramps really well too. Can't think of an easy way of taking it with you though. It's not like
    you want a carbonated drink while riding...
    --
    Westie
     
  11. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Kent wrote:
    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's.
    > My questions to MTB's that have had them are;

    In addition to all the other useful comments about electrolytes, salts and minerals, it might be
    worth your while popping a couple of potassium supplements before you ride.

    --
    a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm

    b.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
     
  12. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    "Kent" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the calf's.
    > My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    >
    > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    >
    > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    > cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    >
    > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    >
    > Help.

    I haven't read the other posts, yet, but cramps are most often related to:

    overdoing it; too little water; too little potassium (eat bananas!)

    The banana thing is no joke. Wouldn't hurt to eat one before and during the rides and see if they
    help. And dilute your water with a decent sports drink if you find yourself sweating on the rides.
    Replacing salts and electrolytes is important on the longer ones, too. I used to use stuff called
    Performance, used by U.S. team of GR's. (I started looking at men too much and had to stop it.) But
    really, I need to buy some more, its good stuff, available through Shaklee, I think.

    Paladin
     
  13. D H

    D H Guest

    "James Connell" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > you don't lose enough salt in a few hours to realy make a dif. it's the dehydration, glycogen
    > levels that take the toll.

    I disagree. I think you can easily lose enough salt to suffer cramps in the four hours the
    original post referred to. I ALWAYS add about 1/8 teaspoon of salt to my half-strength gatorade
    mix (2 quarts) during warmer season rides. (During the wintertime, I don't sweat as much salt
    out, and don't usually need to add it.) Since I started this practice about 2 or 3 years ago
    (because of some serious troubles with cramps), I can only think of about once or twice in that
    time I have actually suffered from cramps, and I think those times were due to not having taken
    enough of my (salted) gatorade during the ride. I had it there but failed to drink enough. Even
    then, the cramps were MUCH less severe than they used to be. Potassium is certainly a factor to
    consider also, as are calcium and magnesium. I am no nutrition expert, and don't mean to sound
    like one, but all these are factors involved in muscle activity according to what I have read,
    and my own personal experimentation with these convinces me they work. YMMV.

    > gatorade always sours in my stomach in a race but it is fine on a less than max effort ride.

    I have little trouble with that, but my half-strength mix probably helps in that regard. I also
    make sure to get other stuff in my stomach along with the liquid (Hammer gel, usually, plus
    Clifbar on longer races.)

    > just be sure you don't 'douse' yourself with it instead of water! i did that once and it's amazing
    > how many bugs can stick to you in 4 hours of riding!
    If you have enough mud and dirt on you, as was the case in our last race here, the bugs don't
    matter much. Plus, we got an almost constant bathing in huge mud puddles. :)
    --
    Off to ride the mountains, Dale Heath Reply to newsgroup. Spam is out of control.
     
  14. J'M Sm'Th

    J'M Sm'Th Guest

    Paladin wrote:
    >
    > "Kent" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the
    > > calf's. My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    > >
    > > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    > >
    > > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > > minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    > > cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    > >
    > > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    > >
    > > Help.
    >
    > I haven't read the other posts, yet, but cramps are most often related to:
    >
    > overdoing it; too little water; too little potassium (eat bananas!)
    >

    <snip>

    Bananas, feh! Eat spinach--it works for Popeye.

    [with a couple of red serano peppers on the side, mi Amigo!]

    --
    J'm

    To Reply Direct, Remove Clothes. ...-.-
     
  15. El Barista

    El Barista Guest

    Kent wrote:

    > I have been told its loss of salt and minerals but ... What do you say,
    stop
    > and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for cattle? Maybe tape
    a
    > hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.

    No one else is doing it, so I'll have to pimp Emergen-C. 1000mg of vitamin C and a barrage of
    electrolytes. We buy it by the box, it's like $10US for a 25 pack.

    -will
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    J'm Sm'th <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<3EEA3504.4292643C[email protected]>...
    > Paladin wrote:
    > >
    > > "Kent" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name
    > > > them, the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down
    > > > the calf's. My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    > > >
    > > > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    > > >
    > > > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > > > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > > > minerals but ... What do you say, stop

    > > > and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral
    > > > bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    > > >
    > > > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    > > >
    > > > Help.
    > >
    > > I haven't read the other posts, yet, but cramps are most often related to:
    > >
    > > overdoing it; too little water; too little potassium (eat bananas!)
    > >
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Bananas, feh! Eat spinach--it works for Popeye.
    >
    > [with a couple of red serano peppers on the side, mi Amigo!]

    LOL! Does me good to hear from you. I wondered what it took to get you back out on the net.

    Gotta go, have an in-town vacation to continue with.

    Paladin
     
  17. M&M

    M&M Guest

    David Kunz <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<7_6G[email protected]>...
    > Kent wrote:
    > > OK so after 4 hours+ I start to get cramp in my legs. As an expert on muscle groups I name them,
    > > the bits above the knee, the bits on the inner thighs down towards the knees and down the
    > > calf's. My questions to MTB's that have had them are;
    > >
    > > Why do I get them? How do I stop them or help reduce them?
    > >
    > > Jeeze it bloody hurts and I managed to fall into a gorse bush (spiky shrub), on a hill as I
    > > couldn't straighten my leg trying to dismount on a hill. I have been told its loss of salt and
    > > minerals but ... What do you say, stop and lick those salt bricks farmers leave in fields for
    > > cattle? Maybe tape a hamster mineral bar to my handle bars and have a lick now and again.
    > >
    > > Serious comments only PLZE ;). Yea right
    > >
    > > Help.
    >
    > Liquids with electrolytes. I keep gatoraid in the water bottles on my frame. Water in my hydration
    > pak. Dehydration and low electrolytes can both cause cramps.
    >
    > More exercise :). Yea, muscles cramp when you overwork them. As you get in better shape, they'll
    > happen less often.
    >
    > Potasium (I eat bananas).
    >
    > David

    I agree , drink more water . I use a Camelbak and carry a concentrated solution of Cytomax ( with
    an added 1/2 teaspoon of salt )to relieve the electrolote problem . I used to cramp up like crazy
    until people in this group suggested to drink more liquids . As far as the bananas go , they have
    a tendency to get squishy so I put the dehydrated banana chips ( can be bought at a local health
    food store , NOT the super market because of the added chemicals ) into a Zip Lock bag for the
    Potasium .

    M&M
     
  18. M&M wrote: <snip>
    > I agree , drink more water . I use a Camelbak and carry a concentrated solution of Cytomax ( with
    > an added 1/2 teaspoon of salt )to relieve the electrolote problem . I used to cramp up like crazy
    > until people in this group suggested to drink more liquids . As far as the bananas go , they have
    > a tendency to get squishy so I put the dehydrated banana chips ( can be bought at a local health
    > food store , NOT the super market because of the added chemicals ) into a Zip Lock bag for the
    > Potasium .
    >
    > M&M

    i like figs. they are bite sized, hold up well when fallen on, and i have a sweet tooth. not sure
    about the potasium in them.
     
  19. D H wrote:

    > "James Connell" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    >>you don't lose enough salt in a few hours to realy make a dif. it's the dehydration, glycogen
    >>levels that take the toll.
    >
    >
    > I disagree. I think you can easily lose enough salt to suffer cramps in the four hours the
    > original post referred to. I ALWAYS add about 1/8 teaspoon of salt to my half-strength
    > gatorade mix (2 quarts) during warmer season rides. (During the wintertime, I don't sweat as
    > much salt out, and don't usually need to add it.) Since I started this practice about 2 or 3
    > years ago (because of some serious troubles with cramps), I can only think of about once or
    > twice in that time I have actually suffered from cramps, and I think those times were due to
    > not having taken enough of my (salted) gatorade during the ride. I had it there but failed to
    > drink enough. Even then, the cramps were MUCH less severe than they used to be. Potassium is
    > certainly a factor to consider also, as are calcium and magnesium. I am no nutrition expert,
    > and don't mean to sound like one, but all these are factors involved in muscle activity
    > according to what I have read, and my own personal experimentation with these convinces me
    > they work. YMMV.

    to each his own. i've never noticed any diff in a days ride, i don't cramp often as long as i drink
    enough, on multi day things i take in more salt after riding ( usualy add a pinch to each beer;).
    i'm one those people how doesn't eat much while riding, i prefer a liquid intake. in an average race
    i'll use 3-5 gels though (more than that and i don't get the 'rush' of energy).

    >
    >
    >>gatorade always sours in my stomach in a race but it is fine on a less than max effort ride.
    >
    >
    > I have little trouble with that, but my half-strength mix probably helps in that regard. I
    > also make sure to get other stuff in my stomach along with the liquid (Hammer gel, usually,
    > plus Clifbar on longer races.)
    >
    >
    >>just be sure you don't 'douse' yourself with it instead of water! i did that once and it's amazing
    >>how many bugs can stick to you in 4 hours of riding!
    >
    > If you have enough mud and dirt on you, as was the case in our last race here, the bugs don't
    > matter much. Plus, we got an almost constant bathing in huge mud puddles. :)
    > --
    > Off to ride the mountains, Dale Heath Reply to newsgroup. Spam is out of control.
    >
     
  20. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    D H wrote:
    > "James Connell" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    >>you don't lose enough salt in a few hours to realy make a dif. it's the dehydration, glycogen
    >>levels that take the toll.
    >
    >
    > I disagree. I think you can easily lose enough salt to suffer cramps in the four hours the
    > original post referred to. I ALWAYS add about 1/8 teaspoon of salt to my half-strength
    > gatorade mix (2 quarts) during warmer season rides. (During the wintertime, I don't sweat as
    > much salt out, and don't usually need to add it.) Since I started this practice about 2 or 3
    > years ago (because of some serious troubles with cramps), I can only think of about once or
    > twice in that time I have actually suffered from cramps, and I think those times were due to
    > not having taken enough of my (salted) gatorade during the ride. I had it there but failed to
    > drink enough. Even then, the cramps were MUCH less severe than they used to be. Potassium is
    > certainly a factor to consider also, as are calcium and magnesium. I am no nutrition expert,
    > and don't mean to sound like one, but all these are factors involved in muscle activity
    > according to what I have read, and my own personal experimentation with these convinces me
    > they work. YMMV.
    >

    As you said -- YMMV For me, dilued Gatoraide has more than enough salt. In fact, I sometimes use
    bottled water in my hydration pak (depends on the quality of the local water :)). When I've used the
    kind with electrolytes, I get over salted and feel the STRONG need for just water. When I keep plain
    water in my hydration pak, I can tell which I need to drink from by my reaction to the hydration pak
    -- if it's not satisfying my thirst, I need electrolytes and drink more gatoraid for a while.

    >>gatorade always sours in my stomach in a race but it is fine on a less than max effort ride.

    It's the only one that works for me. The others sour my stomach and don't really help the way that
    gatoraid does.

    > I have little trouble with that, but my half-strength mix probably helps in that regard. I
    > also make sure to get other stuff in my stomach along with the liquid (Hammer gel, usually,
    > plus Clifbar on longer races.)

    I've watched several riders destroy themselves because the caffine in the gels made them feel good
    and they lost track of pacing themselves for the long haul and overexerted. Long rides are a balance
    of high exertion for the immediate terrain vs. a "resting" pace when needed to recover. If I skip
    the resting pace, the rest of the ride may be short :).

    David
     
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