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I've been putting in more miles than usual so far this year (~200 a week). They are a mix of daily work commutes of 10-25mi each way (depending on route) and a long ride 50mi+ twice a week. I usually take one or two days off each week.


For the last 6 weeks or so I've started having really bad cramps in my thighs 2-6 hours after my long rides. Typically they hit when I've sat on the couch for a bit and then go to stand up. My inside thigh cramps in a bad way, very painful and I can't straighten my leg or stand up straight. It usually goes away within 3 minutes.


Looking at a few anatomy diagrams I *think* the muscle in question is the adductor longus. I can't see the actual muscle that is cramping, it's deep in my leg.


I've been using "the stick" recently before and after big rides to try and ward off these cramps but it doesn't seem to be working.


Any advice from others who may have these same sort of cramps after rides? I've never cramped during a ride *knock on wood* so it's not impacting my riding but being somewhat incapacitated a few hours after a long ride kinda sucks. :/
 

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chug some mustard, like a good spicy mustard.

supposedly the turmeric in the mustard (check the ingredient list), alleviates cramps rather quickly.
 

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What are you doing for Hydration and Electrolytes before during and after the long ride? I find after long hard rides, I've dropped a couple lbs probably due to water loss and focus on regaining that deliberately afterwards.
 

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Your body is probably reacting to the increased load. Just make sure to take in enough post ride nutrition and maybe stretch a little. The same thing happened to me last year when I started riding with the local Cat 1s and 2s during the weekly Worlds ride. For the first few weeks of that, my legs were absolutely shot after the ride. I'd cramp up sometimes while just sitting on the couch an hour or so afterward even. Eventually though, my body adapted and got stronger and the fatigue and cramping went away.

Just stay with it. You'll find yourself finishing those rides easier and easier after a little while. Be sure to eat real food, get lots of rest and drink a crapload of water. All those pre, during, and post type boutique nutrition products sound good in theory, but you really don't need as much as you think, even for 50mi. Real food is what you should be focusing on. I don't even put gatorade or the like for a 50mi ride in my bottles. Just water, no snacks. I have a breakfast with grains and dairy (usually a bit of cottage cheese and homemade chewy granola bars), a fairly large lunch with more proteins and veggies, and a light dinner. I snack on mixed nuts throughout the day to keep my metabolism moving.

Hmmm... this post is a bit rambling... Anyway, focus on the nutrition basics, stick with your training plan, win the everything! Simple as that. ;)
 

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My opinion is hydration. I equate cramps to lack of blood volume. Drinking water won't stop a cramp, but if you're already hydrated then you stand a much better chance of not getting one to begin with.

Simple way I see it is if my urine is not clear, and if I'm pushing my limits, I'm at risk for cramping wherever I'm weakest. Potassium is supposed to help, so drinking coconut water or a sports drink mixed in now and again can't hurt. I make sure I'm completely hydrated before long rides or else I cramp at the end or after. Usually after 60 miles. I find that stretching does nothing to help and I'm a huge advocate of stretching. I consider myself very flexible and I stretch deeply almost daily. That does nothing to help or even influence cramping in my experience.

So my advice is simple, starting two days before a big ride drink a minimum of 4 quarts of water that day. Better gauge is to just make sure your urine is clear or very close to clear. The day of the ride you should have clear urine before during and hopefully after the ride. Simple and effective in my experience.
 

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My opinion is hydration. I equate cramps to lack of blood volume. Drinking water won't stop a cramp, but if you're already hydrated then you stand a much better chance of not getting one to begin with.

Simple way I see it is if my urine is not clear, and if I'm pushing my limits, I'm at risk for cramping wherever I'm weakest. Potassium is supposed to help, so drinking coconut water or a sports drink mixed in now and again can't hurt. I make sure I'm completely hydrated before long rides or else I cramp at the end or after. Usually after 60 miles. I find that stretching does nothing to help and I'm a huge advocate of stretching. I consider myself very flexible and I stretch deeply almost daily. That does nothing to help or even influence cramping in my experience.

So my advice is simple, starting two days before a big ride drink a minimum of 4 quarts of water that day. Better gauge is to just make sure your urine is clear or very close to clear. The day of the ride you should have clear urine before during and hopefully after the ride. Simple and effective in my experience.
Ditto. I think stretching can help a little when you are first adapting and when you are re-adapting at the start of the season. Otherwise, planning your hydration is likely going to yield your best relief. If you want to kill cramps quickly and you can afford it (and get it down) sip cold plain Pedialyte, a bunch of it, 10-12 oz. it tastes like water, but vaguely chemically. Some people don't notice and some people would rather have cramps. I mix protein in coconut water as a recovery drink (regularly) from everything... Good all purpose combo IMO. If I need endurance recovery I like Cliff Shots powder. Carbs, electrolytes and it is affordable (it goes a long way) when you buy a tub. I use a little 12 oz. insulated thermos, I mix the powder with water, 8 oz. or so, shake like hell, then top it off with ice. It works great and I rely on it when it gets crazy hot. But just plain staying hydrated all the time is the best thing! On days, off days, early in the day, late in the day... Only down side is you will need to get up at night...
 

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What are you doing for Hydration and Electrolytes before during and after the long ride? I find after long hard rides, I've dropped a couple lbs probably due to water loss and focus on regaining that deliberately afterwards.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This.
 

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since your cramps are due to increased workload, it is doubtful that they are caused by hydration/electrolyte status. Stretching also doesn't prevent cramping (though may help alleviate acute pain while cramping). Read up on exercise-associated muscle cramping.
 

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since your cramps are due to increased workload, it is doubtful that they are caused by hydration/electrolyte status. Stretching also doesn't prevent cramping (though may help alleviate acute pain while cramping). Read up on exercise-associated muscle cramping.
In my experience if I don't properly hydrate and maintain electrolytes I will get these delayed cramps when I ramp up my mileage or the weather gets hot. When I do properly hydrate and maintain electrolytes I don't get cramps. I have roughly 40 years of experience with this. YMMV.
 

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well, I've only been racing for 34 years, so you have 6 years on me. However, as opposed to your anecdotal just-so story, the opinion I expressed is supported by the empirical research on this question - there is little to no evidence to support the notion that dehydration and corresponding electrolyte loss is the causal mechanism underlying cramping. In fact, the study below examined this for significant dehydration (5% body mass). Despite the anecdotal enthusiasm for the dehydration account, there's little controlled research to support it...

Braulick, Kyle W, et al. "Significant and serious dehydration does not affect skeletal muscle cramp threshold frequency." British journal of sports medicine 47.11 (2013):710-4.

In my experience if I don't properly hydrate and maintain electrolytes I will get these delayed cramps when I ramp up my mileage or the weather gets hot. When I do properly hydrate and maintain electrolytes I don't get cramps. I have roughly 40 years of experience with this. YMMV.
 

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well, I've only been racing for 34 years, so you have 6 years on me. However, as opposed to your anecdotal just-so story, the opinion I expressed is supported by the empirical research on this question - there is little to no evidence to support the notion that dehydration and corresponding electrolyte loss is the causal mechanism underlying cramping. In fact, the study below examined this for significant dehydration (5% body mass). Despite the anecdotal enthusiasm for the dehydration account, there's little controlled research to support it...

Braulick, Kyle W, et al. "Significant and serious dehydration does not affect skeletal muscle cramp threshold frequency." British journal of sports medicine 47.11 (2013):710-4.
Thats fascinating... I wonder if they have found (or will find) the same applies to illness with co-occurring fluid loss? High fevers, diarrhea, vomiting... When those symptoms are present the treatment docs and nurses recommend almost always has an electrolyte replacement component. Pardon my anecdotal, "this works in my personal experience" statement, but in those situations, where I have been rocked by cramping I have found incredible relief from said products, especially Pedialyte. And I have had the same experience with my family, granted an N=3 is far from impressive! Exercise induced muscle cramping must be a different mechanism?
 

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I was in the same boat on rides over 40 miles. I was good till I hit around that 40 mile mark then my legs would start to cramp up. I sweat a lot and I am covered with salt crystals after a ride. I now use Endurolytes or Kramp Krushers before and during long rides. First thing on ride days I drink 32oz of water when I first wake up and take 1 Endurolyte pill per 50lbs of weight. Then Endroytes every hour during long rides. Kramp Krushers are new and are chewable. I don't get cramps anymore unless I don't drink at least 1 bottle every hour.
 

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I am knew in cycling, 2-3 years, with more emphasis in the last 2 years averaging 200-300km/week-have an extensive running background-and have been experiencing inner thigh cramping especially at the end of 80-130krides, usually; everything said here is correct, and was also told by my specialist to stop every 40-50 km and stretch the legs; for ex. if you need to stop for a natural break, stretch the legs. Ive noticed that I dont have any problems on shorter or easier rides, but there is a 10-20% chance of cramping on longer and harder ones.
 

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I've found cramps happen pretty much because I stress the muscles more than they have been stressed (in say a yearly training cycle). For example, I can ride for a few hours endurance/tempo in warm weather and not cramp. Yet, if I jump in a 75-90 minute fast crit with the usual super high power spikes again and again I cramp. Later in the season not so much. With that said, if I go past a normal 4 hour endurance pace ride and stretch it to 6-ish then cramps occur.

Anyways, the frequency of high power spikes is what seems to determine how soon and sever. I don't want to say electrolytes/fluid aren't important just that I've had cramps being fully hydrated...
 

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One thing no one has mentioned yet is to try what pros do after racing or training rides, etc...and that's massaging! in any case, I am convinced that it's the intensity and length of the rides, because I do all of the above, except the massaging part of the deep inner thighs to get the lactic acid moving...that said, has anyone else had cramping in any other part of their legs besides their inner thighs?
 

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One thing no one has mentioned yet is to try what pros do after racing or training rides, etc...and that's massaging! in any case, I am convinced that it's the intensity and length of the rides, because I do all of the above, except the massaging part of the deep inner thighs to get the lactic acid moving...that said, has anyone else had cramping in any other part of their legs besides their inner thighs?
Yep. I along with everyone who has done a bit of riding has probably experienced, hamstring, calf and quad (general) cramps. Not all at once mind you...

As for message...yes. It works very well to aid recovery. Just expensive so many self roll on various devices to aid recovery. I love epsom salt baths just cause I'm getting on in years and it feels good.
 

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I've been putting in more miles than usual so far this year (~200 a week). They are a mix of daily work commutes of 10-25mi each way (depending on route) and a long ride 50mi+ twice a week. I usually take one or two days off each week.


For the last 6 weeks or so I've started having really bad cramps in my thighs 2-6 hours after my long rides. Typically they hit when I've sat on the couch for a bit and then go to stand up. My inside thigh cramps in a bad way, very painful and I can't straighten my leg or stand up straight. It usually goes away within 3 minutes.


Looking at a few anatomy diagrams I think the muscle in question is the adductor longus. I can't see the actual muscle that is cramping, it's deep in my leg.


I've been using "the stick" recently before and after big rides to try and ward off these cramps but it doesn't seem to be working.


Any advice from others who may have these same sort of cramps after rides? I've never cramped during a ride knock on wood so it's not impacting my riding but being somewhat incapacitated a few hours after a long ride kinda sucks. :/
Did you ever get this resolved ? I have exactly the same issue now - stretching has helped. I’m trying to do a better job hydrating. Did your adductor issue only happen on 1 Leg or both ? I get adductor cramps when I lie down after a hard ride but only on my left leg. How did you resolve the issue ?
 

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Did you ever get this resolved ? I have exactly the same issue now - stretching has helped. I’m trying to do a better job hydrating. Did your adductor issue only happen on 1 Leg or both ? I get adductor cramps when I lie down after a hard ride but only on my left leg. How did you resolve the issue ?
Stretching and cramps? These are different mechanisms. If you have adequate nutrition you shouldn’t have cramps.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Stretching and cramps? These are different mechanisms. If you have adequate nutrition you shouldn’t have cramps.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I’m sharing what has actually made a difference, however I don’t cramp on the bike usually - it’s at night or when I like down. If I’m walking or standing, I don’t have an issue. Stretching seems to have made me less susceptible- significant improvement. But I still cramp at night after a hard ride but only adductor on the left leg. This seems strange and I’m trying to understand what might have helped or resolved this issue for others. I only cramp on left adductor ? Seems strange.
 
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