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

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

  1. thomaswildchild

    thomaswildchild Active Member

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    Do some digging theres lots of posts/answers to this question here.
    Mustard, pickle juice to name two.
     
  2. iPhrankie

    iPhrankie New Member

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    Since you mentioned this was your first long distance training ride, what you experienced is somewhat normal. It will become less common the more you ride.

    Here is some advice that worked for me when starting out. Use the gels or bloks early on. They take about 30-45 minutes to be effective. Think of them as a preemptive strike. Use a gel or package of bloks before you start pedaling and then each hour after that. The second component to fueling is your liquid intake. For me, Gatorade was vital to preventing cramps. This is due to the sodium content. I would consume Gatorade consistently while pedaling and got good results. Gatorade has sugar but you're basically burning it immediately during a strenuous ride. There is Heed and other liquid alternatives. You may have to try a few to see what works.

    Mountain biking is a conditioning sport. The more you ride the more your body is conditioned for the longer rides. Eventually you won't need the gels and just plain water will work. The gels will then be reserved for the long rides when you really need them.

    You have time to get ready for the 50 miles on April 30th. Keep pedaling, but take it easy the last two weeks prior to the 30th and allow your body to recover for the big day.
     
  3. d'man

    d'man Dirt Lover

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    Try adding some Elete to your water bottle or Endurolytes by Hammer. I had been using Endurolytes with good success but I recently switched to Elete because it doesn't bother my stomach. You need to experiment and find out what works for you, everyone is different. Pickle juice does work for some people once the cramps hit, but ideally you want to find the right hydration mix so you don't need to worry about them at all. I find riding is the easy part of endurance rides, figuring out the nutrition and hydration is the tough part.
     
  4. genusmtbkr5

    genusmtbkr5 STR Moderator Staff Member

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  5. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. It just seems too much work to figure all that out. Why can't we just ride?
     
  6. 92se-r

    92se-r Active Member

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    If you can't stand the pickle juice or mustard, try sportlegs. I swear by the stuff. My wife used to laugh at me. She's a marathon runner and every time she did the rocknroll, which is in june, she would cramp. Finally tried sportlegs because there was a streak of hot weather where it was impossible to keep hydrated enough and get enough electrolytes. Neither of us have had cramps since using it for the last few years on strenuous activity. Recently turned a buddy on to it who is also a marathoner with cramping issues, worked great for him too.
     
  7. bvader

    bvader Long Live The Gorn!

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    +1 on SportLegs + Endurolytes + Perpeteum
     
  8. zipsbiker

    zipsbiker New Member

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    +1 on conditioning, perpetuem, endurolytes, pickle juice. I just ordered a custom mix from Infinit nutrition. It is supposed to take the place of all the other supplements as well as food for long rides.
     
  9. genusmtbkr5

    genusmtbkr5 STR Moderator Staff Member

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  10. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    As to pickle juice, is this what you guys are referring to? Where would I get that? Too late to order from Amazon.
     
  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej Well-Known Member

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    Go to the grocery store and buy a jar of pickles.....some like to put it in a Gu Flask.

    Personally I prefer the pickle itself as opposed to drinking the juice.....serves as a snack and helps prevent cramping. Throw a couple in a ziploc baggie and you are all set.
     
  12. NateB

    NateB Member

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    Lots of posts regarding hydration and electrolytes. I find my cramps are due to too much load on the legs. Pushing hard on my single speed or 1x9 for too long will do it. The solution for me is to spin a higher cadence with less load.

    Nate
     
  13. lizardonarock

    lizardonarock New Member

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    Emergin C helps, High in Potassium and low sodium, also stay away from alcohol the day before a race and stretch stretch. I also use endurolytes and pickles.
     
  14. da big hills

    da big hills happy night trails

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    Pickle juice is what brine and acid? So is that sweet pickle, or dill? I dont want to smell like summers eve out on the trail, I guess the sweet stuff, those bread and butter pickles are so good. But Clauson needs refridgeration so I am not quite sure. Would pickled peppers work? I totally love pickled halapenos, muy bien. I dont know there are so many choices.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2011
  15. Rivet

    Rivet Active Member

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    Recent scientific evidence suggests that cramping has almost nothing to do with chemical processes in the body but are simply the result of forcing the muscles to do more work than they were prepared for. No amount of electrolytes, pickel juice or snake oil before, during or after the ride will change that. I used to cramp all the time when I first started riding but as my mileage ramped up over the years I almost never cramp. It does happen on rare occasions during the first big rides (100+ mi) of the spring season (after taking time off the bike) but that's it. Talk to guys in the upper classes of road and MTB racing and most will tell you they haven't cramped in years, they simply are fit enough for the workloads they are putting their muscles through. Don't want to cramp? Ride more.
     
  16. cruzin 52s

    cruzin 52s Member

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    This is correct but you can also help yourself by taking Micro K and asorted pills for anemia,find a goos DR and have her raise your red blood cell count.
     
  17. crispy

    crispy Wannabe

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    There is no magical cure for cramping. To not cramp, you have to put in the training. I should know, I used to be fat and out of shape and would cramp up after 90 to 120 minutes of riding.
     
  18. denmother

    denmother Gone riding....

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    My husband gets leg cramps, I give him mustard and they go away.
     
  19. Danimal22

    Danimal22 New Member

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    Lots of things can cause cramping, I am a former bodybuilder/fitness trainer, (over 30 yrs. of experience) and expert in sports nutrition, I have personally found that a shortage of magnesium in diet leads to most cramping, (any imbalance of electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potasium) I have had total episodes of severe cramping and finally when I started to take a CMZ suppliment (calcium, magnesium, zinc) and included snacking on pumpkin seeds during rides I have not had any problems. Most people end up drinking too much water and flushing out electrolytes... I also recommend Cytomax as I have been using it for over 15 years and it is one of the best electrolyte replacements anywhere. Good snacks for magnesium, dried fruit, especially mangos, apricots, figs.
     
  20. lafilmsound

    lafilmsound New Member

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    For me other than nutrition on endurance rides I never let my heart rate get above 160 for more than a minute or so. I had terrible cramping an if I monitor my heart rate I can ride a lot further. Also try doing long rides on flat ground with high spin rates for 3-4 hours
     

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