Cramping calves

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Cramping calves

Postby g-boaf » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:25 pm

I had an awkward moment again tonight - on my left leg - as I clipped in my right foot, and went to push off with my left leg and lift it to go onto the pedals- I felt the calve muscle on the inside of my leg contract upwards towards the knee and start to get really tight. I stopped immediately and tried massaging it.

It didn't get to a full on cramp with shooting pain, but it feels really awkward at the moment, with some pulsing/twitching. This was after I'd done about 10km, not that much at various speeds between 20km/h and 38.5km/h and averaging 28km/h. I'd made a point to stretch before I left off.

I think my magnesium intake is okay - and I was drinking water, but maybe not enough. What else can I do? I love riding but this is making things pretty uncomfortable. I'm icing it at the moment.
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by BNA » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:08 pm

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Re: Cramping calves

Postby Addictr3 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:08 pm

you can stretch the calf quite well clipped in and position the pedals like 3 and 9 oclock and lean forward on the bars. Hold and really feel the stretch on the upper calf. Point toes for more deeper stretch etc. (all while balancing on the bike, but trust me, its gold) may also feel the hams stretch too.

besides stretching, have you ever had an injury with your calf, could be old scar tissue ?
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby high_tea » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:20 pm

I find pulling my toes back towards my knees works best. Pointing my toes hurts, a lot. It keeps hurting too. Wouldn't go there, myself.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Addictr3 wrote:you can stretch the calf quite well clipped in and position the pedals like 3 and 9 oclock and lean forward on the bars. Hold and really feel the stretch on the upper calf. Point toes for more deeper stretch etc. (all while balancing on the bike, but trust me, its gold) may also feel the hams stretch too.

besides stretching, have you ever had an injury with your calf, could be old scar tissue ?


Not my left one - no injuries there that I'm aware of. Thanks for the suggestions, I will try that. :)

high_tea wrote:I find pulling my toes back towards my knees works best. Pointing my toes hurts, a lot. It keeps hurting too. Wouldn't go there, myself.


I know about the pulling the toes back towards the knees - it does seem to work well.

I stretched it out last night and today it has been feeling better for general walking and getting around, even the crouching and kneeling of a last minute rush-photo-shoot this afternoon didn't bother anything. I got home far too late for a ride, but I'll go tomorrow and see how it is.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby greyhoundtom » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:00 pm

Invest in a HoMedics handheld massager about $60 in the Shaver Shop.

It has a couple of half round attachments, and a banana shaped one that is ideal for massaging tight muscle tissue.

Brilliant for cramped muscles or for loosening muscle tissue prior to stretching.

About twenty strokes with the massager to each muscle group is usually enough to make a huge difference.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby g-boaf » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:21 am

I haven't had any issues since the last time it happened - been stretching and making sure I'm hydrated. I will have a look at that hand-held massager. I need to drop into ShaverShop for some new Feather blades anyway.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby pacra » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:18 pm

If you can feel the cramp coming, stand on your pedals. It will pull your toes up.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby BoardRider » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:31 am

Hi g-boaf ,
I have recently been experiencing cramping as well after getting back to cycling and put it down to muscle fatigue and the build up of lactic acid.
More than likely caused by my lack of conditioning for moment.I find backing my intensity off helps my legs recover clear the toxins ,then I slowly build my intensity again .

A ridding buddy found that some prescribe medication was causing his cramps .I hope it improves for you.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby g-boaf » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:34 pm

Thanks guys! :)

I haven't had the problem come back so far. I've been doing a lot of stretching before I start, ample hydration as well. If I feel a bit of tightness happening, I just stretch the leg out as others above have said and it seems to be okay later on.

I do shorter rides at higher average speeds on the weekdays and longer rides on the weekends when I get the time to do so. I'm hoping I'm not jinxing anything - but so far, so good. :D Sprinting away from a magpie today didn't seem to cause any bother either. :shock: Evil bird, I didn't even see it coming, first thing I knew was WHACK!! Thankfully it only decided to go for me once. I'll be more aware of it next time.
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Re: Cramping calves

Postby g-boaf » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:58 pm

I did have the problem come back after some longer rides. I went for a bike-fit, and a few things were pointed out, saddle a bit too high (hips rocking) and the cleat position was still too far forward, and they needed to be moved outwards. Did 60km this morning, the distance that would give me problems without any troubles at all.

I did it with just a couple of bottles of water with some E-load in it. I could feel the difference sitting down at McDonalds over at Prestons, no twitching feeling in the legs this time. Just normal. 8)
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