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Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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23 posts • Page 1 of 1
I have been cycling for a couple of year, but never really been over 50kms...
Lately i have been training and at about the 60-70 km mark consistently i get cramps in my VMO (inside top quads)
I can run for 2 hrs no probs so this cramping is a new thing for me
Does anyone experience this ?
How do you manage it ?
Any pointer would be greatly appreciated !
Spec Tarmac SL3
You say you cramp in the area of the VMO, and then mention the top inside of the thigh.
Do you mean the area near your knee?
Could be any number of reasons......bike fit, pushing too hard( cadence) magnesium, potassium etc etc.
First thing I would do is visit a reputable sports physiotherapist, and find out what is going on.
Being a runner I take it you are fully aware of muscle fatigue problems etc.
As a Masters runner and track athelete, and although I love riding, cycling can be very unkind on the legs......especially if you have any underlying small issues, and bike fit is not spot on.
Review the following:
hydration -> see AIS or Sports Dietitian Australia recommendations
nutrition -> adopt diet in alignment with NH&MRC guidelines
previous injury causing adhesions and fibrosis which are compromising local blood flow -> get a good deep tissue sports massage with advice on how to stretch appropriately.
rate of exercise progression - volume and intensity -> get advice from an experienced cyclist or coach on how not to overtrain, or ramp intensity too steeply.
asymmetrical loading -> have pedal technique assessed for symmetry.
I like a bananananana.
One for the health page methinks, over it goes.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I have a few drinks of endura in the days before a big ride and then a packet of Pringles the night before for the salt. I eat two bananas everyday. I did the TDU ride the other day and then rode back, over 200kms, no cramps.
Just try a few things and see what works for you.
I have always had cramping muscles just above the my knee and have always adjusted my settings to take the stress of this part of my leg. This has only ever been a bandaid fix and have now bit the bullet and redone all my bike settings after the 210 ATB in October.
My bike set up is now pretty much spot on but is now highlighting these weak spots on my legs.
As I push my distances out they should get stronger, no pain, no gain.
Hopefully in the long run it will all be worth while.
Some people are like Slinkies, they're really good for nothing..
..But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!
Cramping is a multi-factorial problem. Successful therapy include,
1) Hydration - Drink well and avoid dehydration.
2) Electrolyte - Supplement electrolytes and replenish losses from sweating (Ca2+, K+ and Mg2+ are key). Not too different to the management of cardiac arrhythmia.
3) Neuromuscular - Train for better endurance and pre/post exercise stretching exercises.
You'll have find which of these parameters work for you. YMMV.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Interesting. Way back in the early 80s I had a major quad seize up, precipitated by a long bike tour with a mate, then a week-long car trip with GF. Silly, but I paid for it. Now getting less severe, intermittent, cramping after recently doing commuting and rec. riding on a road bike. Previously did rec. riding on an MTB with road tyres, but a break for about 18 months. Frame on roadie is a pretty good fit, nil probs with dickie knee, (attributable to the BioPace cranks? ...who knows).
Have been trying to do quad stretches, though obviously not diligently enough. Shall give the magnesium a go, for sure. Oh, and work on the stretches better!
Ever noticed how quiet steel bikes are?
My take on cramps is that you are dehydrated from loss of or lack of body salts, not necessarily magnesium. However, i only ever get cramps in my calves and i do not usually get them during a ride. But i have been observing my tendency to cramps for a few years now and recently i was in a position to notice something that proved my theory.
I was on a retreat for 10 days and ate only the food provided. Unlike everyone else there i ate only teh cooked food and did not eat any processed foods such as jam, peanut butter or vegemite which would have plenty of salt. ON day 4 i noticed cramp like pains in my calves. These continued for a couple of days before i decided to test my salt solution. I asked the cook for salt and started adding it to my meals. Just a pinch at each meal. Within two days the pain had gone.
Throughout this period i had been drinking plenty of water and doing little physical exercise but if you are lacking salt, you can still get dehydrated because salt is one of the things that regulates the amount of water you have in your body.
Also the home cooked food on this retreat was vegetarian and very healthy. It included prunes, oats, lots of fruit and veges and grains and legumes so there would hardly have been a mineral deficiency of any sort due to insufficient intake.
Perhaps when people take magnesium tabs, there is something else in them which is closer to NaCl.
All that said, i don't know if my calf cramps have anything in common with cramps in other parts of the body because its only ever been toe and calf cramps that have come in the middle of the night. And now when i think back on it, one loses water during the night so it makes sense that when dehydrated one would have night cramps.
I really think there is a strong link between cramps and salt. its such a simple remedy, perhaps its worth trying. You don't even need to go and buy electrolyte sachets.
Everyone knows we need about 1 tps a day of salt, don't they, though this will vary for bigger people and very active people.
Great post I was dehydrated badly about a year ago even though I was drinking heaps of water due to a lack of salt in my body, I even had a hacking cough because of it. Since then I take magnesium and have salt on my food problem fixed.
Get off the saddle more! Give those muscles relief by shifting the load around the quads, hams and glutes.
And my regular dosing with magnesium is keeping the exertion headaches at bay.
It’s more like our thoughts are thinking us than we are thinking them.
Its probably a good idea to read this before you go popping magnesium pills like it was a cough lolly. Though innocuous compared to other substances, you can over do it. And overdoing things nearly always results in unwanted effects, even if it takes years.
Given the health claims that aren't made, i'd say the magnesium thing is overblown like most dietary supplemental recommendations.
Rex for an experiment, why not try just increasing your salt intake and keeping your water intake up as usual. Salt and water balance works in harmony. No need to overdrink but if salt level is down, water level will be down too. Leave out magnesium and see if you still get cramps or not?
Its not hard to get enough magnesium and as the wiki entry mentioned nothing about cramps, i strongly suspect this is a myth which is must spread by everyone saying it. So long as you doing teh real curative treatments, you wouldn't know what effect the magnesium is having.
I haven't thrown the Magnesium in the bin yet, but I take it before bed instead of on wake-up.
I have also made an effort to increase salt.
Definitely less cramping.
Will remove Mag from diet completely and maintain salt increase and see what happens.
I find proper stretching before and after a ride is parmount along with the usual magnesium and hydration I would also check the cleat positioning on you shoes as this can also put straing on the knees and legs.
Fuji Altamira 3.0 2012
d - all of the above. Sogood is always correct. i wonder about his/her background. please dont be a (occupation removed to avoid offense) !
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