Leg Cramps

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Banjo, 13 Apr 2010.

  1. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    On a long ride yestertday I set off really well for the first 40 miles then on a lomg but not especially steep hill I suffered some crippling leg cramps.That made me think I couldnt go on.

    Had eaten plenty of balanced diet type food in the previous 24 hrs and really didnt expect this.

    Managed to stretch them out and continue but at a much slower pace.

    Any suggestions on how to avoid them?
     
  2. adscrim

    adscrim Veteran

    Location:
    Perth
    I was always told it's related to dehyration and the accompanying salt imbalance. I would have thought an electrolyte sports drink would help - like SIS or similar.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    Will try the electrlyte next time ,when do you drink it before or during the ride?

    .Wasnt dehydrated as took 4 waterbottles and peed 2 or 3 times during the day.

    The salt imbalance may well be the cause.Scoffed a pack of ready salted at lunch time and definitely suffered less in the afternoon.

    I have had cramps before but the pain level yesterday was incredible.Something definitely to be avoided.
     
  4. adscrim

    adscrim Veteran

    Location:
    Perth
    I use sis drinks during the ride (because I like the blackcurrant flavour they do) and I normally start drinking them right from the off. On longer runs I double the concentration in one of the bottles so that I can add water later on and I effectively have three bottles of energy drink with me without having to carry powder/tablets. Plus they mix easily.
     
  5. zacklaws

    zacklaws Veteran

    Location:
    Beverley
    Couple of weeks back, I went through a very bad cramping phase over 4 days, totally unlike I have ever had before, usually I only cramp on the right leg but this was both legs and I did not have an immediate answer as I always take plenty of drink wih electrolyte added to the bottles and also in my preride drink. Even short rides I suffered, I only had to stop or ease off pedalling and that was it, severe cramps

    The answer when it came hit me in the face like a wet fish tail and I should have twigged sooner and lesson well learnt.

    On my rest day, first thing in the morning, I went to toilet for a number 2, one of many that I was having at that time in succession, and rather than waste time looking at the door I took a book on training with me (cycle trainining, not potty training) and usually I start reading from the page it opens on, which by a very strange coincidence opened up on a page about dehydration and cramps, and then it hit me what was wrong, I had a bad dose of the galloping foxtrots for that whole period but only in a morning, where I was having to go for about 3 or 4 no 2's within about an hour. Despite drinking plenty over that period as normal, I never accounted for loosing fluids through a good solid number 2. If I had a proper, through the eye of a needle stuff like after a good night down town, then I would have twigged, but not when it was normal solid poo.

    That day I drunk loads of water and the next day on my ride, never suffered a bit of cramp.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    Perhaps a bit more detail than I needed but still a good point :-) I hadnt been suffering from diarhohea before hand I think now it was probably just down to a lack of fitness after the long winter.

    Will definitely be using electrolite type drinks on longer rides in future.
     
  7. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    I cycle with a bloke who is a gastroenterologist. He explained to me that there's a huge amount of water in a constant cycle inside you; it gets added to your stomach contents to liquefy the food, goes through your small intestine where the nutrients are absorbed out of it then into your large intestine where the water is taken out, into the bloodstream and sent off to the stomach to be reused. If you get dehydrated that reserve gets used up and your large bowel gets dry and you can suffer constipation. If you have toxins in your bowel from bad food the large intestine refuses to reabsorb the water, which just carries on through - hence the diarrhoea. I can't remember the figure but it was something amazing like 80 litres a day going around the system.
     
  8. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    Grab a few of those individual satchets of salt from the cafe when you're out.
    Stash them in your PRK.

    At the first sign of the meagrest twinge, take one satchet with a gulp of drink.

    These are for emergencies only. The equivalent amount EVERY morning on fried eggs and sausage should keep cramp at bay.

    After a long ride, a small pile of salt ( 3g ) washed down with diet coke. :biggrin:
     
  9. MLC

    MLC New Member

    Banjo,

    I sufferred once terribly with the same thing in more or less the same scenario. Mine were in the quads and really did cripple me any incline after that was painful. I was well hydrated and have never had it since nor suffered with it before

    I never really found it what it was although it was after a longer than normal time off the bike and the excesses of xmas

    Did you really push yourself on the ride, there has been a stronger wind this week this may mean you put more effort in without realising, are you wearing a littlle less than you normally do and the cold penetrated more than normal?, have you had alchohol or more coffee than normal there could be whole host of reasons why

    Only way to avoid are as per the the suggestions above but I do have one of my own

    Apparantly the quinnine (apologies if spelt incorrectly) in Tonic water is good for cramps (or not getting them) A swift G&T at your cake stop may assist !!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    I have to admit to making a bit of a schoolboy error in setting off too quick.Was riding with" Lukesdad " who is considerably quicker than me ,even though he told me only to do what I was comfortable with i did the first 30 quicker than I should and as you guessed into a stiff headwind.

    I think Jimbo is right about the salt though as after eating some lunch that included salt I didnt suffer anything like as much as before.Will take Nutrition and training a bit more seriously leading up to the next long ride.
     
  11. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    When you start Audaxing, you will notice the other riders tucking into eggs on toast for breakfast before the start.

    A novice will not notice the salt that goes on the eggs. It's not just for taste...

    Eggs - protein,
    Bread - energy,
    Butter - lubrication..
    Salt - anticramp additive.
     
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