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  1. #1
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    hamstring cramps

    Greetings folks, I need help trying to figure out why I keep cramping during races. It doesn't happen every time but it's happened a few times now.
    I try to make sure that I go into the race well hydrated. I drink as much as I can during the race but I still cramp from time to time, usually the hamstrings.
    So do I need a suplement like magnesium/potasium? Could it be the muscle group itself that needs work like stretching,etc?
    What else could I be doing wrong here?
    I appreciate your input.
    Thanks,
    P

  2. #2
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    i have heard a lot of hypothesis about stretching to help cramp issues, but for the most part if you cramp you simply didn't have enough fitness to go that hard for that long. to fix this, increase fitness or pace lower.
    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

  3. #3
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    Either saddle is too far back or you are going to hard.

  4. #4
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    You're probably not getting sufficient electrolytes. Do you feel like water is just sitting in your stomach (i.e. not getting absorbed) toward the end of the race. If so, it's likely you've got a sodium defficiency. Try taking salt pills (during long runs I'll take three to four 'salt stick' pills and go through about 40-50oz of water and 20oz of gu-brew over 3-4 hours).

    How long is your race?

    Is it especially hot/humid on the days you cramp?

    How much are you really drinking during the race?

  5. #5
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    Along with this, what if your cramps come after the race. I get horrible cramps in my hamstrings after the race, after I'm driving home, when I'm getting out of the car. Nothing during the race, nothing directly after.

  6. #6
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    +1 on stretching and adding a supplement like Endurolyte pills. On days where I sweat a lot I'll take a couple before I ride. Also due to another injury that required stretching as part of rehab, I have noticed I get a lot less tight during races if that makes sense. I usually do 30 mins on a foam roller followed by 30 mins stretching lower body 3-4 times a week.

    On a side note, I've found mustard will alleviate cramps during a race. I pick up a couple packets at fast food places before a race and carry them in my jersey pocket.

    From personal experience, I believe cramps are more from being under-trained than dehydrated most of the time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale View Post
    Along with this, what if your cramps come after the race. I get horrible cramps in my hamstrings after the race, after I'm driving home, when I'm getting out of the car. Nothing during the race, nothing directly after.
    You need Brawndo!



    likely stretching/cool-down after the race would help.
    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale View Post
    Along with this, what if your cramps come after the race. I get horrible cramps in my hamstrings after the race, after I'm driving home, when I'm getting out of the car. Nothing during the race, nothing directly after.
    Eat a couple of dill pickles spears, full size, immediately after the ride /race, with some water and salt.

  9. #9
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    I do feel like the water sloshes around in the stomach but doesn't get absorbed. I train hard and pace myself well so I don't see the problem there. I lean more towards the salt/electrolite deficiency idea.
    I drank a 2 liter camelback in 2 hours and cramped at 2:30 into a 5 hour race.
    I've never had cramps after the ride just during.
    Thanks for the feedback so far guys.

  10. #10
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    I have read that its mostly a training issue. We tend to push ourselves harder during races than during training rides. (kinda the point)
    Like crosstown stew said, get on enduralyte pills. I cramped three races in a row until I tried em. I haven't cramped since.

    They make a pill for everything where did I leave my epo?
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  11. #11
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    Drinking too much water and over-hydrating can also lead to muscle cramping since the extra water reduces the concentration of electrolytes.

    Personally I've only had cramping issues when I'm out of shape, or when there is a cold rain during a long race.

  12. #12
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    I agree with everything I've read on this board. The electrolytes are a great idea before, during and after. I suggest a Gatorade 2 hours or so before as well as a banana. Maybe some sport legs right before and gels, shot blocks, or an edible form during that contains carbs. After is crucial as well to make sure you continue to intake essential foods.

  13. #13
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    We get several of these posts each season; full on quad/hammie etc. cramps are a result of your body not buffering lactic acid enough to keep up with your exertion/pace. I used to get the most horrible cramps EVERY race until I actually did a proper base training plan and built my aerobic endurance to where my body could handle a race with out cramping.

    I tried all the stupid home remedies (endurolytes, dill juice etc.) and I thought they helped sometimes but they really didn't.

    This season I went without enduroylites or anything, just normal heed and I had the best season ever.

    Cramps=pushing too hard for your current fitness level

    Minimal or No cramps=properly pacing yourself during a race

    My 2cents
    Racing and Training Blog
    http://dirtandgears.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    glutes

    I tend to have that problem as well. I got an LT Test done this spring and spoke to the PT about that issue. She felt that a contributing factor was using the hamstrings too much and not incorporating the glutes. She said the cramping came come from fatigue. Strengthen the glutes and the hamstrings will do less work.

  15. #15
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    how long have you been racing? what is your training regimen?

    do you have a base built and how did you build your base?

    in my experience, it was fitness first, then it was stretching my hams and glutes.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    We get several of these posts each season; full on quad/hammie etc. cramps are a result of your body not buffering lactic acid enough to keep up with your exertion/pace. I used to get the most horrible cramps EVERY race until I actually did a proper base training plan and built my aerobic endurance to where my body could handle a race with out cramping.

    I tried all the stupid home remedies (endurolytes, dill juice etc.) and I thought they helped sometimes but they really didn't.

    This season I went without enduroylites or anything, just normal heed and I had the best season ever.

    Cramps=pushing too hard for your current fitness level

    Minimal or No cramps=properly pacing yourself during a race

    My 2cents

    ^^^^^^^ This!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    we get several of these posts each season; full on quad/hammie etc. Cramps are a result of your body not buffering lactic acid enough to keep up with your exertion/pace. I used to get the most horrible cramps every race until i actually did a proper base training plan and built my aerobic endurance to where my body could handle a race with out cramping.

    I tried all the stupid home remedies (endurolytes, dill juice etc.) and i thought they helped sometimes but they really didn't.

    This season i went without enduroylites or anything, just normal heed and i had the best season ever.

    Cramps=pushing too hard for your current fitness level

    minimal or no cramps=properly pacing yourself during a race

    my 2cents
    +1,000,000
    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

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