CRAMP – WHY DO WE GET IT AND HOW TO AVOID IT

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CRAMP – WHY DO WE GET IT AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Postby bobhill » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:08 pm

CRAMPS – we have all probably experienced cramp at some point in time. I got really painfull cramps in both inside thighs (Adductors) about halfway through the Etape de Tour last year and near the end of the 2010 Etape and at the Cairngorm Classic, so did some research on the subject.

There are several reasons put forward for the onset of cramps;

DEHYDRATION – lack of water or electrolytes during an event particularly if it is hot, so yes the Etape was very hot on both occasions, (but the Cairngorm Classic was not) – so taking more sports drink could be part of the answer. Some of the blogs suggested taking ‘mega’ doses of salt tablets or concentrated electrolyte drinks. Certainly sounds worth trying out before the Etape this year.

MUSCULAR FATIGUE – the muscles get tired in long, hard events and can go into a spasm as a result of fatigue, so you should prepare better by additional muscular conditioning. In my case it is the Adductors that cramp so I should do regular workouts to train these muscles. Again a good idea and worth trying. Stretching of the affected muscles is also suggested to avoid or relieve cramps but it is difficult to stretch the Adductors.

TRYING TOO HARD – yes well it is difficult to avoid doing this in a long hard event where there are time pressures – in my case trying to avoid the cuttoff time. So you really need to prepare better by doing more of what it is that brings on the cramps. Good in theory but difficult in practice as the Etape is in the mountains of France, so its hard to prepare properly for them.

THE ANSWER ? – probably a bit of all of the above!

ANY OTHER IDEAS ???? HAS ANYTHING WORKED FOR YOU ???
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Re: CRAMP – WHY DO WE GET IT AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Postby Colin A » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:48 pm

I sometimes suffer from cramps during the night (stop tittering at the back). Cramp is swiftly followed by me launching myself out of bed to try and stretch out my calf. Its not very popular with Netty :(
May I remind you of that scene
with your arms aloft in Aberdeen
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Re: CRAMP – WHY DO WE GET IT AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Postby megamouth » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:22 pm

As well as Sodium depletion, Potassium depletion (due to electrolyte loss and 'exercise damage' ) is apparantly also a major cause and often associated with cramps at night/while at rest. Most fruits, including bananas are a rich source.

Otherwise insignificant damage close by or to spindle cells (muscle cells with a wee bit of nerve fibre around them that 'tell' the muscle how much stretch it is subject to) can cause bits of the muscle to contract out of sequence with the rest of the muscle body resulting in a particularly painful cramp and often resulting in a 'pulled' muscle at the same time. Overtraining is the main cause.
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Re: CRAMP – WHY DO WE GET IT AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Postby Andy D » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:34 pm

Very rare that I get cramp after Mrs Duncan insisting on 'correct hydration' strategies kicked in.

Personally I use Hi-5 ZERO tablets in my water, quite tasty and very effective in addressing hydration/cramp issues on the bike and even hydrating afterwards. Only thing with them is there are no carbs in them, although I think we need to train ourselves off of carbs on the bike to some degree to increase efficiency on the bike.
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