first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

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adey8ball
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first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby adey8ball » Sat Dec 01, 2012 22:37 pm

hello all

today i managed to complete my first 25 mile ride on my new triban 3. a really good bike and a really good ride.

about 22.5 miles in i had a bout of cramp in my right top calf muscle. i managed to stretch it out whilst still in motion by sliding my foot further forwards the front wheel. this the stretched the muscle on the down stroke. however when the right pedal was at the top of the revolution my calf would cramp momentarily. after a few minutes this sorted itself out but i knew that it was a sign to get home.

about a mile and a half later i started get a bit of a sore on the left of my bum. due to my size i cannot get into cycle clothing so i wear jogging bottoms. i changed the original saddle to a gel saddle for comfort.

from the two situations i have talked about, is there any advice to firstly stop the problems in the first place, or ways to sort out the problem. i guess a bike fit would work wonders but i don't think that the stores in Plymouth do fits.

if you would like to see my profile and maybe add me my addresses
http://app.strava.com/athletes/adrian_criddle


any help and advice would be greatly appreciated


thanks

adrian

Buckie2k5
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby Buckie2k5 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 23:00 pm

best cure for pains is more time on the bike. I had all the exact same complaints when i started. Cramping was a problem for me i found drinking more helped a lot.

adey8ball
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby adey8ball » Sat Dec 01, 2012 23:25 pm

ok thanks for that

i took a 1 litre sports bottle filled with squash with me, also had another 750 bottle but only had a small bit from it and i had a medium coffee about a hour in. i dont know if i drank enough but i felt that i wasnt thirsty. well i guess you learn something for next time.

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MajorMantra
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby MajorMantra » Sat Dec 01, 2012 23:33 pm

You may find a gel saddle is actually counter-productive to comfort, as they tend to allow your butt to sink in, which presses on the wrong bits of your anatomy. That's why the saddles you'll see most roadies using are fairly hard - most of the weight goes on your sitbones to prevent the rest of you going numb.

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elderone
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby elderone » Sun Dec 02, 2012 00:25 am

Well done on the 25miler.keep at it and that will soon creep up.Has as been said ref the cramps,its just something you have to go through or maybe shifting yourself about on the saddle may have put you in a less favourable riding position.See how it goes next ride.
Im surprised you cant get cycling shorts to fit,surely some where would sell the size you need.Maybe ask in road advice section.
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Peddle Up!
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby Peddle Up! » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:20 am

Try some stretching exercises before your next ride (warm up a little first). Padded shorts seem to be available in sizes to fit just about any body shape/size (try Wiggle for examples). Cyclists' cream can help with chaffing.
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MajorMantra
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby MajorMantra » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:24 am

Not trying to be confusing, but stretching before exercise (i.e. cold muscles) is not a good idea. Warming up should consist of starting at a low effort and increasing intensity to the desired level.

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unixnerd
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby unixnerd » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:28 pm

You may find a gel saddle is actually counter-productive to comfort


+1. But as you get used to it and the weight falls of things will improve. Also, the more power you put into your ride the less weight is resting on your bum so that'll improve too. The main thing is to keep at it and you'll be amazed by the benefits, the first few weeks are the worst!

As for the cramp try some stretching exercises before and after a ride. Maybe check if your saddle height is OK too.

Maybe try not to up the distances too much at this time of year but as you get fitter increase the power / speed.
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FlacVest
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby FlacVest » Sun Dec 02, 2012 17:53 pm

Your body ran out of usable resources.

This happened the first time I decided to just go for a 50 mile ride; I tend to ride 30 or so miles now, and work on improving my pace within that, but 2 or so months ago when i did my first 50, I'd have leg cramps around mile 45 and until finish.

I use a HR monitor and although the Calorie counts aren't spot on, I feel like I run out of energy at 2000 Calories, which is consistent with every ride I've hit that at.

I normally ride and binge on food when I get home, so this doesn't happen often. I'd suggest riding shorter distances, maybe 20 or so miles, but working on going FASTER for that distance. You have to get your body to adapt to using energy, and using it up for a long period of time.

If you can, bring a banana or some snacks the next time you ride; coffee just increases your metabolism, and causes you to burn energy faster, without actually doing anything, so it won't help you here. You don't need energy gels or anything, just make sure you eat properly after the ride and bring an apple or something during.

Drinking should be done before/after, maybe a little while you're riding. As you stated, drink when you actually feel thirsty, not when you "think" it's time.

adey8ball
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby adey8ball » Mon Dec 03, 2012 01:30 am

thanks for the replies so far

with regards to the saddle i have changed it back to the origial triban saddle. i will give it a go but i must be honest i think i will find it tough.

about the shorts and cycle clothing. due to my size i wear 50/52 inch waist trouser and looking on some of the online bike shops, i cannot see anything that will fit. if anyone know of shops or brands that may go up to my size, if you could let me know that would be great. however since i have started riding i think i have lost a few kilos so maybe i might get into size 48s. if not right now then that will be the immediate goal.

FlacVest thanks for your reply, as i said on the ride i took 1.75 litres of squash with me but only drank about 1.2 litres during and just after the ride. i also took 6 bourbon biscuits for a little food and energy hit. i had 2 stops on the ride both stops were about 20-30 mins. on the first stop i had the coffee and 2 bourbons and the second just some boubons washed down with squash.

anyway with work and other commitments it means that i probably wont be able to go out till tuesday, so hopefully i should be well rested to have another decent ride then.

thanks all and as before any advice greatly appreciated

adrian

IWearSpandex
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby IWearSpandex » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:48 pm

Congrats on riding longer distances. I'm also a large rider. I've been through similar issues and concerns.

For saddles, you have to try a few different ones until you find the one that works for you. I started with a gel saddle and eventually settled on a narrow, hard saddle with the cutout in the middle. I went through about 4 different saddles until I found the right one.

For cycling shorts, the padded chamois is the best upgrade you can make. I live in the U.S. and a company here has sizes up to 6XL for their shorts. It's Aero Tech Designs at http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/. They have been great for me...great quality products, good return policy, and good prices.

For the cramps, welcome to the club. Once you start doing longer rides, you will find that your body hits certain limits. Even as a large rider, it's very important to eat and drink on long rides. The other advice here about not eating or drinking on rides is just wrong. I don't mean to call anyone out, but I don't want you to be misled.

When you cramp up, your body is running out of fuel to keep going. The cramps are a sign that you are low or out of fuel. Water is the first thing...drink more water and you will see immediate improvement. Then add some calories. You are burning more calories than you can replenish, but you need to replenish something for those long rides.

Take a look at Hammer Nutrition for some outstanding knowledge on the topic. They are at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/. There is so much great information there. They also sell excellent nutrition products for endurance athletes like us. I use their gels, HEED sports drink, and Perpetuem drink for my long distance rides. No cramps, no problems. Expensive but worth it.

I hope that info helps you. Great job getting out there for long rides. It's really addictive. I'm doing my off-season training for a century ride (100 miles) in the spring.

-Brian
I Wear Spandex
http://www.iwearspandex.com

FlacVest
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby FlacVest » Mon Dec 03, 2012 14:21 pm

Good to hear.

Given, it takes about a week or so of constant riding for your butt to adapt to the seat, and after a while you won't feel pain in that area.

Also, make sure you're sitting on the saddle properly; I'm a small guy (160lbs), so I can easily move around on the seat, but when I started, if I put pressure on my perineum I'd feel pain and discomfort. Make sure the saddle is putting pressure on your sit-bones, and you roll your hips forward.

It's kind of hard to explain, but if you keep your back straight and lean forward, you'll feel a change in your hips; do it on the bike or read up/watch some videos.

After a week or 2 of riding, you'll feel less pain in general, even without the chamois; the stuff does help on longer rides though. After a ride or 2 with the proper shorts, you'll wonder how you managed to ride that long without them.

And just my 2 c; don't think that because of your size, you won't be able to put the power down in a few weeks/months. Weight is a factor in changes in elevation and acceleration, for the most part, so when you're on the flat, you're overcoming the wind mostly, with a bit more rolling resistance, like everybody else.

I've seen guys in the high 200s/300 leave others on the flat, simply because they had strong legs, and that compensated for a lower cardiovascular fitness compared to the lighter guys like me. I tend to spin higher in the 90/100rpm range because I'm light. On the contrary, I see older guys, well, bigger guys in general, spin 80 or so and be comfortable with it, simply because it's easier for them to manage.

Just a bit of positive info to stick in the back of your head when the pounds start dropping.

IWearSpandex
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby IWearSpandex » Mon Dec 03, 2012 15:20 pm

Great info there FlacVest, especially about large riders. As a large rider, that has been my experience. I get dropped on the climbs, but gravity helps me catch up on the downhill. I can hang on the flats if my power is there and I am the group's best friend in the wind. There is lots of drafting opportunity behind me...lol!

That's some great positive info for anyone looking to ride as a big rider. Good inspiration for me. Thanks!

Simon Masterson
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby Simon Masterson » Mon Dec 03, 2012 23:30 pm

MajorMantra wrote:You may find a gel saddle is actually counter-productive to comfort, as they tend to allow your butt to sink in, which presses on the wrong bits of your anatomy. That's why the saddles you'll see most roadies using are fairly hard - most of the weight goes on your sitbones to prevent the rest of you going numb.


Correct, and I agree, but they are designed to be used with padded shorts. I did quite a few commuting miles without proper shorts (I used my ancient school PE shorts!) on my Charge Spoon, and whilst and the saddle sores I used to get were excruciating and would last for weeks at a time. I think the best compromise for high(er) intensity riding without a pad is a saddle that has some padding but isn't built like an armchair!

nferrar
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby nferrar » Thu Dec 06, 2012 09:39 am

You should def sort sore shorts out, I'd recommend bib shorts to as they're more forgiving around the waist. No tried them myself but have seen Prendas recommended before as a source of larger size bike clothing ( http://www.prendas.co.uk ). If you don't want the lycra look jsut yet then you can always wear baggier shorts/trousers over them but I'd still try and stick with cycling specific stuff (e.g. mountain bike baggy shorts) as they'll be designed with cycling in mind so shouldn't have big seams in the seat area etc.

I expect your cramp was more just down to your body not being used to that level of exertion, rather than through dehydration or lack of electrolytes. Just build up your ride distances slowly and keep at it, if you still get cramps in the same area then might also be worth having someone look at your position on the bike in case that's contributing (e.g. not enough leg extension)

Paulhino
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Re: first 25 miler, aches and cramps advice

Postby Paulhino » Fri Dec 07, 2012 09:17 am

After taking a week off, I turned for the weekly Friday morning ride which can be us long as 75 miles. I had lots of cramps in my calve and hamstring and had to return early. Though I managed 45 miles, I believe I would have been fine if I had been out on my usual shorter rides in the week.

Short rides with the occasional medium/long distance ride will ease the pain.


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