Arrrrrrgh....Cramp!

oliglynn

Über Member
Location
Oxfordshire
Went out with a few guys from work on a ride this evening however just before our designated pub stop my calf went into cramp! Had ridden about 25mi by that time, and have done distances up to 40mi in my time, but have never had cramp whilst on the bike before! Gave it a good stretch and a massage at the pub and had a *medicinal* pint or 2 to ease the pain.

Wondering what could have caused it and what I can do to prevent it happening again (and me having to hobble along home on 1 leg!). If it has any bearing on the situation, I have just returned from a week of holiday (no cycling) and we went pretty hard at it on the ride.
 

longers

Veteran
Wondering what could have caused it and what I can do to prevent it happening again (and me having to hobble along home on 1 leg!). If it has any bearing on the situation, I have just returned from a week of holiday (no cycling) and we went pretty hard at it on the ride.

This could have contributed, lack of salt can be a reason as well. I'm no expert so better advice will be along shortly.

I got cramp in both thighs last week while swimming. At the deep end.
Not nice, I nearly ended up crying getting the lifeguard to help me out of the water
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
I've beeen getting twinges of late after riding and put it down to the heat and sweating and not drinking enough
 
OP
oliglynn

oliglynn

Über Member
Location
Oxfordshire
just looked up these nuun tablets - I just usually take out a bottle of squash for energy and a bottle of water for hydration with me as I seem to sweat a fair bit. Maybe I do need more salt? Do these really make such a difference?
 
Oliglynn, are you drinking enough? Ive found plain water isn't efficient as energy drink etc, so you have to drink more of it but if you are drinking enough, don't overdress which can result in excess sweat (I like to carry small light extra layer if needed but 90% of the time don't wear them) and have built up your fitness it works.
 

ventoux50

Active Member
Usually dehydration and/or a lack of potassium in the muscles leads to cramp - squash is not the best drink to consume during a ride, try something like NuuN or SiS Go which are electrolyte drinks containing the correct salts to keep you functioning.

And at the pub stop ! drink Tonic Water - this contains Quinine which is prescribed by doctors for acute cramp (and malaria, so you'll be ok there too !)

Hydrate (drink) properly before a ride, especially when its hot.

Bananas are good to eat pre, during and post ride, as they contain high levels of potassium.

Beer at the pub stop in sufficient quantity can dull the pain (better at the end of the ride though)

:cheers:
 
OP
oliglynn

oliglynn

Über Member
Location
Oxfordshire
Thought I was doing most things right -

pre-ride banana... check.
Pre-ride hydrate... check (sipped water for an hour or so before setting off)
minimal clothing... check (no nudity, just light jersey & shorts! ;))

The cramp came from nowhere - I usually only get it whilst resting, this is the first time it happened actually on the bike. Usually if i'm gonna get it I get a twinge or 2 and can prevent it (unless i'm asleep and wake up in a world of pain...) but with this I had no idea it was going to happen until a quick twinge and less than a second later full on pain.

Am resting it today - have taken the c*r to work (not just because it's raining!)

Will order some nuun tabs and see if they work.
 

simon62w

New Member
Thought I was doing most things right -

pre-ride banana... check.
Pre-ride hydrate... check (sipped water for an hour or so before setting off)
minimal clothing... check (no nudity, just light jersey & shorts! ;))

The cramp came from nowhere - I usually only get it whilst resting, this is the first time it happened actually on the bike. Usually if i'm gonna get it I get a twinge or 2 and can prevent it (unless i'm asleep and wake up in a world of pain...) but with this I had no idea it was going to happen until a quick twinge and less than a second later full on pain.

Am resting it today - have taken the c*r to work (not just because it's raining!)

Will order some nuun tabs and see if they work.
 

simon62w

New Member
I'm new on here, but I've done several marathons, and sometimes got cramp in my calves on my longer training runs. I haven't tried nuun's, but I expect they are similar to 'zero shots', which are soluble electrolyte tablets which you just disolve in your water bottle. Ideally before your ride, as during could be too late. A tube of 10 was a fiver from local running shop. Hope that helps
Simon
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Mostly crampo is caused by over-exertion when 'under conditioned'. If you don't believe me wait until next spring when people are getting their bikes out again (and overdoing-it), starting club runs/training/TTs again... see how many 'cramp' threads there are here.
Very few of them in the late-summer Autumn!

Nobody knows the exact cause. Hydration's important but it's not the sole factor.

Nuun tabs are good, but don't over do them either!
 

lukesdad

Guest
After only 25 miles its unlikely to be a hydration or salt related unless you have some medical condition that might point you that way. Far more likely to be the sudden exertion of the muscles after the 2 week lay off
 

Broadside

Guru
Location
Fleet, Hants
I've been getting lots of cramp since the weather warmed up. I am sure mine is hydration related. To hydrate you need lots of water in the preceeding two days, having a couple of pints of water a few hours before a ride is not sufficient.

By following my own advice I think I have fixed it! I did a sportive on Sunday with not a hint of cramp - as Fab Foodie says the causes are unknown, but at this time of year most new camp sufferers will be hydration related in my humble opinion.
 
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