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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Just yesterday I completed my first 12hour race. I was part of a team of 3, and we managed 5 laps each.

Everything went real well, except roughly half way through the 3rd lap i started to develope a small cramp in one of my calfs.

4th lap i got cramping in my calfs, the muscle at the top front on the leg, and the muscle top back of my leg, on both legs (sorry dont know the names). I streched a bit on the downhill sections, but as soon as i put some force into the pedaling, they started to cramp up again.

5th lap: i got servere cramp in both legs (all three muscles mensioned above) basicly had to change to granny gear and slowly pedal.

The thing is, i streched heaps and warmed up before each race, and i made sure to strech them properly. I also used some cream on my legs that help warm them up etc (dencorub).

Each lap was roughly 45minutes, and i also made sure to drink plenty of fluids (1L powerade mixed 500ml water)

I sweat HEAPS which, so i assmue the powerade would have been enough to keep my electrolite level up.

So would anyone have any ideas on why i still got cramps??

Thanks

Steve
 

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Cramping is associated with many things: fitness level, flexability, and electrolyte replacement.

For solo 12 and 24 hour events I use ELETE
It works really well for me. I mix it in just about any existing sports drink, or make my own.

The best part is that it is tasteless, and goes down really easy. Last year was my first year using ELETE. I have pretty much made it a part of my everyday life.

I would look into it. If it's didn't help, I sure wouldn't be taking the time to type this up.
 

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Cramps-no easy answer

Cramping is my personal bane when it comes to racing. Every one is different and there is no clear magic answer.

I asked my coach about cramping and this was part of his explaination:

"Cramping is simply a situation where the muscles fail to relax. While mineral (electrolyte) deficiency can lead to cramping, more often than not the cause is fatigue. Not only do we need proper mineral levels for contraction and relaxation, these minerals have to be in the right place at the right time. For instance, calcium must be present in the muscle fibers to allow contraction but must be removed and replaced by magnesium in order to promote relaxation. Considering the number of times you are contracting and relaxing during a race, it is easy to see how this system of mineral transport can become overwhelmed and lead to cramping."

While there is no definitive cause for cramping you can and should do everything possible to set your body/muscles up minimize cramping.

That involves hydration and electrolyte balance. Elete, endurolytes, sportsdrinks, salting food, etc. Pickle juice, Tums....
This page discusses several products that some people have found success with:
http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm

And of course training. Training as hard as your are going to be going in races will help get your muscles ready for the high intensity of racing. I have personally tried to cramp in training and there is a mental defense mechanism that kept me from pushing past that point of muscle lockup. But in races that defense gets pushed aside by the thrill of the race. So my training has not been the best simulation of racing.

In your preparation for this 12 hour race. Did you do 5 laps over the course of 12 hours at a race pace? Because if your body has not been through this before than there is no way of knowing how it is going to react.

I am of the opinion that any magic bullet is worth trying (as long as it's legal) to see if it might work for you. I love Elete but more so for its ability to minimize heat related nausea and other ill effects because I still cramp in races even when using it.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence for the ambrocation creams or stretching in terms of cramp prevention. But like I said, find the things that work for you whether the effect is real or placebo and stick with it.
 

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I have had great success with Endurolytes from Hammer Nutrition also, I cramped like you wouldn't believe at my 1st solo 12 hour, took me a month to recover. After that I got the endurolytes and did the bridge to bridge ride with no cramps. The best thing is they are a pill so you can drink water and take them, i can't stand sweet drinks when i sweat.

Also they have something with glycerol in it. that works great also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey guys,

thanks heaps for the info. Ill check out the Endurolytes. I think fitness has a huge part in it though. Due to time constraints, i didnt get any training in before the race so i think thats the main cause of my problems.

Results came in and we came 14th out of the 18 3man teams, which i think is good for our first race (plus ive only been riding 6 months)

unfortunetly they didnt count my last lap as i was 2 minutes too late.

was great fun anyways

steve
 
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