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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello- This may be a repeat. if so my apologies. Does anyone have any thoughts on race nutrition for 4+ Hour races? I have had some cramping (calf mostly) issues in the past that I am hoping to avoid. I currently have tried Hammer Heed and Saltstick Caps along with Gels or Shotblocks. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on products like Perpeteum or any other alternatives. Also, has anyone tried training products like Endurox etc.?

Thank you,
Jeff
 

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may not be the answer you're hoping for, but... cramps, especially calf cramps, are as much a combination of going too hard/not trained enough as they are a function of nutrition. It's not going to be as simple as trying a new product.
 

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I agree. While there are a whole host of factors, your calf cramps are likely from two things: lack of proper hydration in the hours, even days, leading up to the ride, or a load problem (more strain on the muscles than you are used to/insufficient training with that load).
 

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Gotta agree with Mudge and tk. It's most likely a load or fatigue thing, no magic bullet besides more, longer, tougher training!

Not to dismiss nutrition, but what you're using now sounds fine. If you like the Shotblocks, I guess you could try the Margarita ones with double the salt.

And riding through some mild cramps isn't the end of the world in endurance race. You are, after all, seeing what you can ENDURE, so you're typically pushing your limits.
 

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I used to get calf cramps late in hard rides when I was getting close to being flamed (extremely tired). At the recommendation of a bike fitter/training coach, I moved the cleat back about 0.5 cm on the bottom of my shoe (moves foot forward just a bit with respect to the pedal spindle. That made a HUGE difference for me. I had the cleat slammed all the way forward before making the change, so YMMV depending on where yours is. If you toe down a lot when you pedal, you may have to lower your seat a hair to compensate for the cleat being further back (closer to center of foot).
 

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I tried Tailwind yesterday. Worked great. Only nutrition I had on the bike for 30 miles with some pretty gnarly climbing. No bonk, no cramps, no issues with energy.

As far as cramps...I've found that I get severe cramps in my quads due to fatigue. I can go on a long ride knowingly dehydrated and be fine...but as soon as I start hitting mileages or intensity that I'm not used to, the cramps hit fast and hard. Same thing even if I'm well hydrated.
 

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Have you ever had a proper bike fit? the suggestion about cleat placement was what I first thought of, as you go longer and harder, proper fit becomes a bigger factor. Anyone getting into longer races, and the training required for them should get a good bike fit to make sure you are not hurting yourself with the training volume in a poor position. Ask my knee, it learned this the wrong way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. This is helpful. I'll check the cleats and look into a full fitting. Did one once and I am not sure it was worth the money but I'll look into a better shop.
 
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