How To Prevent Cramps While Cycling Long Distance (XC)(Merged)

Discussion in 'Racing and Training' started by Petex8, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Petex8

    Petex8 New Member

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    Need some tips on how to prevent Cramps...I rode 45 mile (moutain bike, up hill and down hills)
    from 7am to 1pm at the end I could not ride anymore i was on the ground with lots of cramps.

    I did drink lots of water around 6 liters.

    anyone with tips or what to eat to prevent this?

    thanks
     
  2. hookup

    hookup New Member

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    Although I don't ride that far to get cramps, I try to stay hydrated and intake sodium and potasium. I have heard the pickle juice deal, but have not tried it myself. I have used margarita shot blocks (these have extra salt) and even a V8 before. Seems to help.
     
  3. bobcat38

    bobcat38 Member

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    On long rides like that I like to use E-Gel about every 15 to 20 mins or I use E-Fuel in my water both by Crank Sports.
     
  4. CalEpic

    CalEpic member

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  5. art23rockpile

    art23rockpile Minus Delta T

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    Hammer Products "Endurolytes" (electrolyte replacement) capsules work well. Depending on how much i'm sweating, I take 2-6 an hour... usually keep the cramps at bay. Pickle juice can work well if you begin to feel cramp twinges.
     
  6. El Immigrante

    El Immigrante STR's resident Coyote.

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    The longest ride of done was 31 miles and I've never once got a cramp! I drink 3-5 liters of water a day and I'm sure to eat 1-2 bananas the day before with water/electrolytes.
     
  7. Ratt

    Ratt Member

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    I use Tums antacid with sodium. It works like magic, chew 1 tab and in 2 minutes i am good to go. If i am laying on the ground not able to stand cramped, usually takes 3 tabs but still only 3-5 minutes to take affect. Been doing it for years, work so well i'm thinking there has to be a negative side effect.
     
  8. Pilas

    Pilas Member

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    The two main reasons for cramping: 1. working your muscles harder or longer that they are used to. 2. severe loss of fluids and electrolytes.
    Solution for #1: make sure some of your training rides match the intensity and/or duration of the event you are training for.
    Solution for #2: make sure you hydrate properly before and during the event. Hydrating properly means drinking a sports drink for anything longer than 1 hour. There are plenty of sports drinks that will help you recover the electrolytes lost. Back when I was racing, my favorite was GU20, but when it comes to drinks, everybody has their preferences. Also, I used to use Endurolytes, which are pills made by Hammer Nutrition. As their name indicates, they contain sodium and other electrolytes.
    Proper training, proper hydration/nutrition, and most importantly don't ride at a pace that you can't sustain...
     
  9. KBL

    KBL Powered by chocolate

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    Eating mustard helps, too. I carry fast food-style mustard packets with me every time I ride.

    The bummer about cramps while exercising is that there's no single cause. What sets off cramps for one person may not have the same effect in another.
     
  10. hobie

    hobie Member

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    ding ding ding. what he said. if you aint used to that hard of ride, thats why you cramped. you have to train for what you want to ride.
     
  11. KonaDawgDeluxe

    KonaDawgDeluxe REKE/DMC

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    I had the tendency of not drinking enough water during my training rides and I would cramp up AFTER finishing my rides (left thigh muscle... OUCH). I started sipping water more frequently and eating 1-2 bananas during my rides and the cramping went away. I also drink plenty of water after my ride.
     
  12. MnMDan

    MnMDan Member

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    Sometimes, too much water can be just as bad as too little. The body can only absorb 16-24 oz of water per hour, depending on your size and if during your training you've found that you can intake water that quickly. With rare exception, you cannot replace water as fast as you lose it while exercising. If you're a heavy, salty sweater, then the Endurolytes will help in addition to any fluid with electrolytes (Cytomax, HEED, pickle juice, Gatorade). Even if you train right, you still might cramp...sometimes after, sometimes during the ride.

    I watch my diet, restrict my sodium intake so that when I do take electrolytes, it's not lost in all the extra stuff in the body, and train like a mo'fo. I've done 200-mile road rides in sub-11 hours and a few 12-hr races (cramped on lap 5, rode ez for an hour and finished up with 9 laps and 90+ miles), but my worst cramping came after Race #5 @ Over the Hump, when both calves cramped up in the middle of the night. Identical diet, pre-, and post-race routine, but sometimes $hi! just happens.
     
  13. project_d

    project_d Steve Peat Wannabe

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    I took a bag of sweet pickles on my last long (at least long to me) ride. I could feel cramps coming on, ate some pickles, and the cramping went away in just a minute or two. It really does work.

    I haven't tried those salt/potassium tablets, but I'll bet they work, too.
     
  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej Well-Known Member

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    This has been my snack of choice on longer rides......throw a few pickle spers in a baggie and eat as needed.....been pretty good at keeping the cramps away.
     
  15. jeepr84

    jeepr84 Member

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    This quote above is gospel. I have also found that Thermotabs (sodium/potassium) can help and are VERY inexpensive. I always keep them in my Camelbak and seem to give them to other people more than I use them myself....kind of like quick-links for chain repairs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Thermotabs-Salt-Supplement-Buffered-Tablets/dp/B00143XNRE

    For me, dealing with cramps is just like managing pain from a traumatic injury....you have to take the meds before the pain gets too intense, or it's too late. By that, I simply mean that you need to have your training, nutrition and hydration all taken care of before your ride/race. Once you start cramping, it's harder to get ride of them than it is to prevent them in the first place.
     
  16. Albacore

    Albacore 34x18

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    I second Hammer's Endurolytes. I love them. Also, during last year's 24 hour race at Hurkey Creek I raced the 8 hour solo category. I took 1 bottle of Cyto-Max with me each lap to save weight. I cramped half way through lap 2. I stopped briefly before lap 3 to refuel and set out again with 1 bottle and again for lap 4. No consistent relief in the cramps. I wised up for lap 5 and took 2 bottles out and rode cramp free.
     
  17. denmother

    denmother Gone riding....

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    I use MotorTabs instead of plain water in my Camelbak and I carry mustard packages.
     
  18. Calisun

    Calisun New Member

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    Stretch!! I mean good stretch at least 10 to 20 min before ride.
     
  19. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    Long distance training and leg cramps

    Today I did my first long distance training ride in preparation for the Project Rwanda ride.

    Did Caspers and rode a bit shy of 25 miles. To my pleasant surprise, my energy level stayed steady and I even felt the second wind toward the end of the ride. Last year I did the 25 miler, but now I am more optimistic about going for the 50 miler. And it was all on my single speed which I think is much more energy efficient and gives me a better chance to finish the ride.:bang:

    But...

    The leg cramps absolutely killed me even though I felt energetic and strong through the ride. Went through 3 packages of Bloks and 20 oz of "PowerBar Endurance Refuel," so I don't think there was a shortage of electrolytes. And I was pretty well hydrated. I thought.

    Any advice? Maybe I should stretch more before and during the ride more? Once the cramps started attacking my calves, I think it was too late to stretch. Stretching was actually exacerbating the problem.
     
  20. doublewide

    doublewide Ride Life....Ride GIANT

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    I know that Crash Maxwell has a "magic potion" that he swears by, pickle juice! The anti-cramper.


    shitty
     

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