/ Cramp after 40-50 miles

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woolsack - on 22 Sep 2013
Seems to be something that crops up more and more. Specific muscle, I think it is the vastus medialis, the one above your knee in the inside. Always plays up when I start pushing up hills, had it today in a race on one leg.

Any suggestions? Not drinking enough electrolytes?
Lord of Starkness - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:

Sounds about right. I often start cramping up towards the end of a longish day. Getting older does definitely not help - particulary as I end up mostly riding on Sundays and doing a 60 - 80 mile clubrun.
wilkesley - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to Lord of Starkness:

Try drinking a little regularly, rather than all in one big go. Also have a drink as soon as the symptoms start, it may well stop a full blown attack. Personally I find that cramp gets worse if I stop, my muscles seem to go into instant spasm. Keeping going more slowly while drinking usually lets me work through it.
Marek - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:
I used to have the same problem a long time ago. I think it was sorted by just spending some time strengthening the muscles round the knee, particularly antagonistic ones. Sit on the edge of a table, legs dangling with a weight on a sling over the foot. Straighten leg. Repeat. Seemed to fix it for me. Good luck.
Marek - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:
One other thought...
I've always been prone the cramp in the calves. This weekend I tried calf compression socks on a 40 miler. Usually I would get twinges of cramp from half way round, particularly on going over summits (uphill to downhill changeover). This week - nothing! Well, not till the last wall/stile a couple of miles before the end. A sample of one, but compression/support/insulation seemed to work for me.
bigdelboy - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:

Stop racing on one leg! ;o) ...sorry
woolsack - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to bigdelboy:
> (In reply to woolsack)
> Stop racing on one leg! ;o) ...sorry

I was having to pedal with a one leg bias for a little while.

I was wondering if it is a cleat position/saddle height thing.
Banned User 77 - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack: It seems odd that its such a specific spot. Normally when I'm properly dehyrated, exhausted, I get cramp in multiple areas.

I'd look at positioning.
nniff - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:

I had a thread going a little while ago on here about essentially the same thing but, annoyingly, a different muscle (top of the calf). Much debate ensued, but the answer seems to have been to drop my saddle a bit.

The electrolyte argument doesn't convince me - largely because the extend of the problem would presumably vary with temperature and degree of sweatiness rather than effort/duration. Curiously though, and although I still get it a bit, it only happens when I'm on my own and working hard to keep an average pace up - if I can get a break now and then by drafting behind someone then there's no problem at all. Tends to kick in when I go over the top of a climb.

A friend thinks certain gels bring on cramp with him - however that may be, getting all wobbly and falling off is worse for me, so I'll stick with gels!
woolsack - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to nniff and Iain: I don't think it was so much hydration. It was a specific muscle. I had been taking regular drinks up until then with some powdered additive added (can't remember which, SIS something or other)
It was only a problem when having to push on the hills, drafting in the pack and even gunning it a bit to move up to the front of the bunch wasn't a problem

I will move the saddle down by 10mm and see what gives then play with cleats
tjin - on 23 Sep 2013
Could be several things:
- Check bike fit
- Ride in a lower gear
- Pushing to hard
- Not trained enough?
- Or HTFU ;)
Trevers - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to woolsack:

Have you considered that it might possibly be this:


I got knee pains initially from long distance trekking then from cycling too. I now wear inserts in my shoes most of the day and don't get this pain any more (even though I don't wear the inserts on my bike)

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