Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anybody could help me with a question. I have been getting cramps at about the 40-50 mile mark in my rides.This is a problem I have had for a while. I have tried eating, hydration and all of the other things that one could try to eliminate this form happening. In March I purchased a new Look 585, it was fit by the shop. When I asked him about the cramping issue ,he said he noticed that my cadance was a little on the low side and that I should try to get it into the 90s.My question is would changing me large chainring from a 53 to say a 52 or 50 help me. I know FSA has a 50 that works on a 130mm pattern, and since that is the crank I have I was thinking of giving it a try. Anybody hace any thoughts.
 

·
NeoRetroGrouch
Joined
·
6,493 Posts
goshawk1 said:
I was wondering if anybody could help me with a question. I have been getting cramps at about the 40-50 mile mark in my rides.This is a problem I have had for a while. I have tried eating, hydration and all of the other things that one could try to eliminate this form happening. In March I purchased a new Look 585, it was fit by the shop. When I asked him about the cramping issue ,he said he noticed that my cadance was a little on the low side and that I should try to get it into the 90s.My question is would changing me large chainring from a 53 to say a 52 or 50 help me. I know FSA has a 50 that works on a 130mm pattern, and since that is the crank I have I was thinking of giving it a try. Anybody hace any thoughts.
The chainring will make no difference, just shift to a lower gear. Some will argue (not me) that a shorter crank arm helps with a faster cadence.

To me, cadence just requires practice. On your next ride, just keep the bike one gear lower than you are comfortable with for 5 minutes out of every half hour. Keep increasing this time until it becomes natural to spin at 90+.

TF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
IMHO, if it's thigh cramps (as I used to experience at ~ 40 mile mark)....I eliminated my thigh cramps by adding baking soda (1 tsp/48oz water)to my water...there'll be pro & con responses to this solution, but it's definitely worked for me & others.
http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm#muscrmp
http://www.health-nexus.com/muscle_cramps.htm
From Bill Misner's "Nutrition for Endurance (Find Another Gear):

Getting the right amount of water
On the average, an athlete loses a liter of fluid/hour of exercise. These perspiration-loss rates may be controlled or lessened by acclimation and training. The human body, when fit, will store enough muscle glycogen to provide energy for approximately 90 minutes of aerobic exercise. This extra glycogen storage through training helps balance the hydration equation. As muscle glycogen is burned to create energy for movement, water is released within the cells as metabolic by-product and is diverted to cool the body through skin-surface sweat.

Shepherd and Kavanagh (1978) found that during a marathon, competing runners released an average of 2 liters of perspiration through the process of burning muscle glycogen stores. If an athlete supplements this glycogen water by taking in 16 ounces of fluids for every hour of exercise, dehydration will normally be avoided in those events which last from three to four hours.

Researchers, however, have recently noted the dangers of too much hydration during events lasting over four hours. Noadkes (1985, 1988) reported that runners who drank too much during ultra-marathons and triathlons developed hyponatremeia (low blood serum). Hyponatremia, it turns out, may be caused by drinking too little or too much.

In ultra events, it is typically the front runners who dehydrate; those in the back of the pack tend to over-hydrate. Both suffer from the same hyponatremic symptoms – one from too little fluid intake and too much sodium loss due to profuse sweating; the other from too much fluid intake with proportionately less sodium loss.

Of the 17 runners who were hospitalized from after the 1985 Comrades ultra-marathon, nine had hyponatremia caused by diluting blood sodium levels with too much water. The tendency to linger at aid stations in a vain attempt to relieve the symptoms of fatigue or heat by drinking too much water is a fault found primarily in the runners who populate the back of the pack (Noakes 1990).

Overcoming the Heat
Air temperature and humidity are factors for overcoming heat related stress that one must consider along with fitness and acclimatization. When external temperature and humidity both exceed 70%-degrees, or when either temperature or humidity exceeds 80%-degrees, an athlete may do better to slow down his/her pace, expose as much skin as possible to cooling breezes, and take frequent walk breaks.

Some believe that simple mesh shirts are the coolest (Noakes 1990) but wearing no shirt at all will reduce core temperature 1º in the first mile of running, compared to wearing any type of shirt).

Increased body mass also increases metabolic heat production. A 100kg runner puts out twice the heat of a 50kg runner. No wonder the smaller, thinner runners tend to do better in the heat, year after year.

What replacement fluids should contain
Body fluid losses include both water and electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemical substances which, when dissolved in the water within the body or lost in our perspiration, are the missing electrically-charged particles, or ions, necessary for cellular metabolism. They help the body’s intra-/extra- cellular chemical balance and assist in the neuro-metabolic expenditure of caloric energy.

Athletes who are more fit and more acclimatized to heat lose less fluids and electrolytes. The rate of loss through sweat for a fit marathon runner includes a sodium loss of 2,000mg in that liter of fluid lost each hour (2kg/liter/hour). The average American athlete stores an excess of 8,000mg of dietary sodium within body tissues

Losses per 1 hour of exercise:
Electrolyte: Fit/Acclimatized athlete: Unfit/Unacclimatized athlete
Sodium 1,800 mg 3,500 mg
Chloride 900 mg 1,400 mg
Potassium 100 mg 200 mg
Magnesium 100 mg 100 mg
Water 1 liter 1 liter
When one considers the possible losses during a 4-hour competitive event, it becomes obvious that maintenance of a balanced electrolyte supplement and moderate amounts of liquid are absolutely necessary both for survival and optimal performance in the heat.

Dose Recommendations per hour for beyond a three-hour performance
Calcium 250 to 500 mg
L-tyrosine 50 to 100 mg
Magnesium 125 to 250 mg
Manganese 5 to 20 mg
Potassium 99 to 198 mg
Pyridoxine HCL (B-6) 20 to 40 mg
Other formulations worth your consideration would increase sodium levels, if not raised to the point where they become problematic and cause negative side effects, more sodium may serve to assist electrolyte depletion and performance depletion in hyperthermic circumstances.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body; about 2.85 lbs. are retained in the average person. When blood volumes run low, the body extracts calcium from the bones in a process that usually takes more time than even endurance competition typically allows. A constant blood calcium level is required for a normal rhythmic heartbeat, healthy nerve transmission, and strong muscle contractions.

Deficiency in blood calcium levels during endurance events may produce high blood pressure, muscle cramps, and weakness. During exercise, energy is produced by the conversion of fatty acids and amino acids with enzymes which are calcium-dependent.

Magnesium accompanies calcium in an ideal ratio of 1-part magnesium to two-parts calcium. It works like this: when calcium flows into working muscle cells, the muscle contracts; then when calcium leaves and magnesium replaces it, the muscle relaxes. Deficiency of magnesium contributes to muscle cramps, tremors, sleep disturbances and, in some cases, convulsive disorders. Many enzymatic reactions necessary for fuel conversion to muscular energy occur with the aid and presence of magnesium substrates.

Potassium is the chief cation, or positively charged ion within all muscle cells. It is necessary to obtain the lowest optimal concentration and balance of sodium. Potassium deficiency symptoms are nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, muscle spasm, cramping and rapid heart rate.

Sodium is the chief cation outside the muscle cells. As previously noted, American dietary practices cause the average person to carry a reserve of 8,000 mg of sodium in his/her extracellular tissues. During endurance events, 3 to 4 hours are necessary to deplete this reserve of sodium. Deficiency usually begins to occur after 4 hours and may produce symptoms of abnormal heartbeat, muscle twitching and hypoventilation.

The relative anion which must accompany sodium in the extracellular tissues is Chloride. This mineral is absolutely necessary to maintaining the osmotic tension in both blood and extracellular fluids.

Manganese is necessary in trace amounts for optimal muscle cell enzyme reactions, permitting conversion of fatty acids and protein into energy. Research shows that Manganese deficiency plays a vital role in glucose tolerance factors, free-radical buildup from intense exercise and nerve function disorders, especially in older athletes (Balch 1990).

Pyridoxine HCL (Vitamin B-6) is a co-enzyme which plays a role in 60 known enzymatic reactions involving metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. This water soluble B-vitamin actively maintains the sodium-potassium balance and assists in the formation of red blood cells.

L-tryosine, an amino acid, has been added recently to the electrolyte formula. When blood plasma deficiencies occur during extreme endurance events, low thyroid and low adrenal production result. The lack of adrenal and thyroid glandular secretions are due to endurance exercise-induced L-tyrosine depletion, which may be observed by measuring decreases in blood and catecholamines during such exercise.

These glandular secretions are necessary for maintaining the rate of metabolism. Deficiency of the amino acid L-tryosine in blood serum appears first as depression, later anger and then despondency, degenerating gradually into total despair.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top