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bikerbert
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Don't drink your food: keep your hydration in the bottle, and the food in the back pocket
Camebacks don't let the body disperse heat effectively. If you do need one, try to get one that allows airflow between your back and the bag.

We had a heat acclimation/cramp prevention seminar at our facility yesterday. Our speaker was a PhD Environmental Exercise Physiologist specializing in all things heat.

She's worked with guys from Tour, has raced on the World Cup circuit and she definitely knows her stuff.

Here are a few tips from her talk:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...16508#poststop

If you'd like some help with cramps, I can pass her contact info along, I'm sure she'd be more than happy to answer your questions.
 

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desparate!! for cramp help

I am completely at a loss for how to stop my quads from cramping every single race. No matter how I train eat or drink I get'm every race. Believe me I have tried every single recommendation posted by everyone everywhere and still I cramp. I would give my big toe to solve this as it forces me to ease up every race. I would happily welcome any advice from this person you speak of.
 

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wants a taco
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mtcowen said:
I am completely at a loss for how to stop my quads from cramping every single race. No matter how I train eat or drink I get'm every race. Believe me I have tried every single recommendation posted by everyone everywhere and still I cramp. I would give my big toe to solve this as it forces me to ease up every race. I would happily welcome any advice from this person you speak of.
I feel your pain man, im in exactly the same position and its annoying as hell because even between cramps i still feel strong but i cant stop them *****es from coming back.
 

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Exactly!

nubcake said:
I feel your pain man, im in exactly the same position and its annoying as hell because even between cramps i still feel strong but i cant stop them *****es from coming back.
I feel strong as hell during and I have to spend the last lap or two riding on eggshells to avoid full on cramps. Either something is missing from my diet which I don't think is the case since I'm healthy as they come and I get all the vital things a body needs. I'm wondering if I'm just starting out to strong? Either way I feel like I'm the only guy in the race fighting this problem. I'm still managing to place in the top ten; But, If I could just have one cramp free race I know I could hang with the lead pack. I have done the endurolytes, the calcium supplements, the sport legs, Heed, and gel packs but, somehow I can't avoid the cramping. I only get to train two or three times a week; but, I do intervals, long rides, and sweet spot rides. Plus I get plenty of rest. Not to mention it's the middle of the season and I also have alwasy had this problem any time I race. F**K........... !
 

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Casual Observer
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mtcowen said:
I am completely at a loss for how to stop my quads from cramping every single race. No matter how I train eat or drink I get'm every race. Believe me I have tried every single recommendation posted by everyone everywhere and still I cramp. I would give my big toe to solve this as it forces me to ease up every race. I would happily welcome any advice from this person you speak of.
What a great coincidence!! I have read that some professional athletes have been able to fight cramps, lose weight, and improve their overall performance by amputating one or both big toes!!!

Good luck with that, and let us know how it works out!! :)
 

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Never occured to me - a correlation between packs and cramping due to reduced core cooling - but I hate wearing anything on my back anyways - racing or on a long ride. I just get hot and sweaty and irritable with those things.

Got crampng problems? Train harder/longer/better as well as eating healthy and staying hydrated and electrolyted.

Simple, eh?

;)

FWIW, I can qualify my POV from doing pretty well at everything from expert level XC / STXC to solo 24 hour racing. Know how many races I've cramped in, out of about 100?

One.

My very first sport-level race in 2003. Even then - they were minor hamstring cramps.
 

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glenzx said:
Got crampng problems? Train harder/longer/better as well as eating healthy and staying hydrated and electrolyted.

Simple, eh?

;)

FWIW, I can qualify my POV from doing pretty well at everything from expert level XC / STXC to solo 24 hour racing. Know how many races I've cramped in, out of about 100?
I just upgraded to expert and only have one 12 hour under my belt, so I'm clearly no expert, but I must agree that training and proper nutrition will help you way more than just using bottles.
 

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aword4you said:
...so I'm clearly no expert, but I must agree that training and proper nutrition will help you way more than just using bottles.
Well said, And by the looks of your results you are quite the expert! Many, many top finishes show a level of dedication and focus that illustrate some method to the madness - or a super duper genetic gift :D.

As far as one's preferred method of hydrating - bottles or packs - to each there own. I know for me, when I'm screwed-to-the-wall during anaerobic efforts, not only do packs make me too hot (think brutal, sustained technical climbing) they start feeling like some insane furry monster clawing into my back trying to not only overheat me, but drag me down. Like being strangled. Not sure why - but half the time I feel like this my own skin bugs me - nevermind a weird appendage. It's a special cross-eyed, need-to-pee again almost out of breath feeling at the top of those climbs, or after those sprint efforts, or hard fast starts where it feels like I'm caving in or something.

Hard to describe correctly, but perhaps that lends a little insight to my wacky-ness. :)
 

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I don't know how people wear those camal back things. I tried and it just caused back pain and was uncomfortable. Not to mention the heat retention. Now I took the bladder out and use it as a backpack for night riding. Holds battery perfectly. :)
 

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Waiting for Godot
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I run hot. No I run really really hot all the time. Riding with or without a camelback in my situation makes no difference as far as heat on my back.

I have learned to use a smaller, minimal version that has some back air flow. Also running hot I need more liquid.
So far I have not had Cramping problems under 3 hours of hard riding/racing. Eating is a must after that(high metabolism).
 

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Still learning
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mtcowen said:
I am completely at a loss for how to stop my quads from cramping every single race. No matter how I train eat or drink I get'm every race. Believe me I have tried every single recommendation posted by everyone everywhere and still I cramp. I would give my big toe to solve this as it forces me to ease up every race. I would happily welcome any advice from this person you speak of.
What stretches are you doing. If you're just doing the normal 'hold foot behind leg' quad stretch, you're doing it wrong :)

Also, are you taking magnesium and potassium in the days/weeks leading up to events?

The stretches I've been doing in the last few months, when done properly, are *seriously painful*. But they work properly.
 

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I believe the key to keeping hydrated is disciplined drinking throughout the ride. If you are riding 4-6 hours or more in the heat, you need to be drinking alot, all the time. Bottle or camelback - it doesn't matter as much as really drinking.
 

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Wouldn't it be easy to check how much difference a pack makes?
Fan, core temps, a heated room and a trainer?
I ride in 40c+ temps in summer and never cramp with a pack on.
Maybe some people have more issues with it, maybe it's other problems?
I would be interested to know what testing has been done,how and what the results were.
Cooling is very very important but for many, maybe having a pack on and more water would mean they drink more. I wouldn't think there is one answer for everyone or that IF the ONLY change is just adding a pack that there is not a more serious issue here. Being that sensitive that adding a pack is the switch between cramping and not seems like you are right on the edge and could run into the issue through many other causes when on a ride.
 

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sandmangts said:
Did anyone ever think to just put ice in the camelbak? I am not a PHD but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
:thumbsup:

It all comes down to what the individual is comfortable with. I've always liked having a CamelBak and never had any problems (4+hr rides) Putting ice or freezing the whole bladder also helps as sandmangts said. The taste (xenoestrogens?) I get from the bladder is a whole different story that needs addressing at a different time.
 
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