Cramping

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11 years 10 months ago #12448 by Rightarmbad
Cramping was created by Rightarmbad
So, I'm sitting here on a computer looking out the window at the surf, well lack of really, the reason being that as usual I have been for a long bike ride (130km through the hills, over 1400m of climbing)and lately I am having trouble with calves cramping in the first few KM's in the ski.
So here I am looking at the water instead of being in it.

Most of my recent paddles have been off the back of a ride, or a ride in the morning, long day at work and then straight into a paddle.

Either way, I'm getting calf cramps whenever the bike is involved.
I can usually manage it for a few KM's and then the problem dissipates. Just limiting rotation seems to help.
I have quite inflexible ankles, probably the source of some of the problem, nothing I can do about that, the joints just don't bend anymore than they want to.

I found that compression tights help, but probably just from keeping a little cold water off them, and I try to dress too warm for the conditions.
Water temps here haven't dropped under 20 deg C all winter though.

I show no signs of cramping on the bike and walking around, only after I get in the ski does it show.


My big worry, is that I have cramped in the past when trying to remount, and it makes it bloody hard.
I have also torn my left calf muscle twice in the past and don't wish to do so again, First time was a sprinting injury, the second time was from a cramp.
So I'm a bit on edge at the moment, especially as I have been heading out a lot by myself.

So, anybody out there had similar problems and found a cure for it?
(Western Australian adventure racers spring to mind)
It may simply be dietary, but I still eat similar to what I have always done.


As long it is not simply getting old, I'll be happy........

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12449 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: Cramping
Never had a problem with calves cramping in the ski, only from going from running to swimming in the AR's and in the hammy's/quads towards the end of long distance AR's.

Since starting daily magensium supplements I have not had any problems with cramp over long distances (fatigue induced) I just steadily lose power. I also rest better at night when I take the supplement with dinner.

Any WA athlete reading this should note that our soils are usually deficient of magnesium so you may not be getting enough through our fruit and veg. www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_asse.../veg/cp/veggie_3.pdf

Always looking for the next boat :)

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11 years 10 months ago #12458 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
Hmmmmm, mg, must check

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #12459 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Cramping
Yeah Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium taken together will help. You really need all three to get the most benefit and absorption.

Don't let anyone tell you its salt related either lol.
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Kayaker Greg.

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11 years 10 months ago #12460 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
Normally in the past, potassium has been my cramping cure.
Never really looked into magnesium.
Must investigate my diet a bit more.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12462 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Cramping
Its been a while RAB but I was into this stuff as a serious competing cyclist years back and you basically need the other minerals to transport or absorb the others, a google search should hunt out the correct info.

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11 years 10 months ago #12464 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
Funnily enough, I've been craving nuts lately, although I don't think the cashew chocolate i bought yesterday really counts as a good choice.....
I must admit, I'm a bit short on the greens at the moment.

Time to rethink my groceries.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12465 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
Or more importantly, loose the habit I have developed of wandering down to the cafe three doors down at work and picking up a caffeinated energy drink.
I do remember that caffiene is a calcium uptake inhibitor.
More than likely also an effect on other minerals as well.

Good, I needed a good excuse to kick that habit.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12466 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: Cramping
I kicked caffeine (coffee, tea, in softdrink etc) a few months ago and within 3 weeks was noticing a huge reduction in muscular tension, aches and pains. Went without for a couple of months and then in a moment of weakness I started drinking tea and decaf coffee as the occasional treat (which still has small amounts of caffeine). With no initial effects I upped that to a decaf coffee once a day plus cups of tea about 2 weeks ago and the tension and aches have returned.

Needless to say I am going back to no caffeine as I think I have become more sensitive to this as I have aged.

Still wanting to train and race hard as you get older means looking for ways of looking after your body a little better and my muscles need all the help they can get.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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  • JeandeFlorette
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11 years 10 months ago #12468 by JeandeFlorette
Replied by JeandeFlorette on topic in a moment of weakness I started drinking tea and
Hi ARC, a friend of mine has a coffee roasting business and one day there was a bucket full of raw beans immersed in a clear liquid, So I asked him what was going on in the bucket and he advised me that it was the decaffeination process. Basically, raw coffee beans are immersed in some chemical not dissimilar to bleach in order to reduce the caffeine content. in a similar vein to smoking low tar cigarette, you'd be better drinking less 'normal' coffee than the decaffeinated stuff as you don't really know what the residual chemical does to your system after the cooking process... the coffee beans are roasted up to 300-400 degrees with the residual chemicals which one would hope evaporate into the chimney...
With regards to cramping, I have been taking magnesium for the past 6 months and have noticed that my muscles recover quickly and I can paddle more, I also now cyle to work 3 times a week and find that the cross training is generally good for my body. I've also just started on protein supplement to aid in the recovery process as I have a tendency to loose weight if I paddle too much which to me is a sign of muscle degeneration... being middle aged, one becomes a touch more aware about one's health condition.

and one last thing, my apologies to some of you who have been offended by my comments in my last post. No harm was intended, it was just a sign of my frustration with having bad experience with the construction of my 3 last surf skis, all have delaminated and began developing soft spots all over the hull starting where you apply pressure when carrying the ski to and from the car on many shoulders or hip. Then another major hiccup was the current ski, a Vajda Orca racing started to flex in open ocean in choppy condition, not a good feeling when you are far from shore and you can only rely of your own abilities to return you safely. The last thing that you have to worry about is whether the ski might crack or break oever the next hump... cheers guys, JDF

ps. talking about humps, in the last 3 years, I am now sitting at 9 humpback whales...! looking forward to my next encounter. It is the mere gracefulness of this gentle monster as it glides in and out of the water with barely a ripple making you shiver and wonder about your own vulnarability and wonder about life that makes me want to paddle out in the ocean. Perhaps one of the reasons why I prefer stability over speed as I do not compete anymore, rather paddle with whales now...

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11 years 10 months ago #12471 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
Now that's what I call thread drift!

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12476 by Physio
Replied by Physio on topic Re: Cramping
exponentialperformancecoaching.com/wp-co...11/12/EAMC_April.pdf

this article on exercise associated muscle cramps might not have the answer but does address some assumptions and could give RAB some more leads to chase down.

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11 years 10 months ago #12483 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
I'm sure my body can adapt, I remember my first triathlon, as I bent down to put on my running shoes after the bike, both calves cramped.
I tried several times then give up, sat on the ground to put them on and then headed on my way.
Soon went away as I trained running off the bike.

The easy answer is ride one day, paddle the next.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12506 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Re: Cramping
Late entrant in the thread but absolutely affirm all above re magnesium (tabs as a supplement or in Muscle-Eze at pharmacies) and potassium (bananas predominantly). I sweat a heap so have always kept up my salt intake but I'm a sodium fiend anyway. There's good research to suggest otherwise however (google it- I'm lazy three beers and now a red; if no joy Ill find and post). The old salt / electrolyte replacement thing is really well documented.

Protein replacement during exercise while unrelated to cramping for me anway diminishes the overall punishment you inflict on yourself and possibly reduces potential for bad shit happening. This has worked for me in the past in triathlon training and events, Ironman (well one anyway), Rottnest Channel swims, long rides and long paddles - eg 150 ks Avons. Not big noting :whistle: but as with AR when your body responds positively to some serious punishment you have to think you are doing something right.

An incidental and interesting one was a hard 200km ride on a very hot day with a bunch and I went into serious and worst thigh, hammy calf cramps two thirds way through. (Rarely experienced this.) Spat out the back and called in to a service station - couple of litres of cold water later and man I was on fire, amazingly back to normal in short time. Hydration impact was huge. Drink shitloads of water.

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11 years 10 months ago #12507 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
I'm pretty sure that the answer is staring me in the face, well slapping me quite hard actually.
I'm just shit lazy and out of shape and asking my body to do things it hasn't for a fair while.

I went to the rock climbing gym last night, I haven't climbed for as long as I have been out of the water letting my sore fingers/hand do as much healing as possible.

And well, same result, all my climbing muscles want to cramp today.

I'm simply out of shape.
A combination of a few wet weeks, no paddling or riding, some late nights watching that dam TDF and now I'm just a fat lazy underdone pig.

Time to go run around the pen I think.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago #12515 by Shady
Replied by Shady on topic Re: Cramping
For prevention of cramps take a magnesium tablet each day or for 3-5days before a race.

If you don't suffer from cramps but want something for 'just in case' keep some mag phos tissue salt on hand. If/when you get a cramp put a couple under you tongue and your cramp will disappear

Epic V10 Sport Performance

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11 years 10 months ago #12516 by TonyB
Replied by TonyB on topic Re: Cramping
At our Ironman event a few years back our sponsors on-course electrolyte drink (which may have been mixed a bit strong due to some incorrect advice) was high in magnesium. That year in medical there was a huge reduction in cramping, however the downside was the higher magnesium load resulted in lots of athletes with diarrhoea. So don't overdo the magnesium

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11 years 10 months ago #12518 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cramping
I never had cramping problems in Tri's apart from that first one.
I did have a few problems early on with stitches running off the bike, but that went away with more training and moving to a radical for then forward position.

I wonder if moving to the big bad city and eating commercial grown food is a significant change in nutrient level from home grown stuff?

I do remember at a coaching seminar many years ago being told this by one of the presenters, but wrote it off as bunk because he sold a new magic powder designed to counteract this.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #12530 by Shady
Replied by Shady on topic Re: Cramping

TonyB wrote: ... however the downside was the higher magnesium load resulted in lots of athletes with diarrhoea. So don't overdo the magnesium


Its got to do with the type of Magnesium you use....

Magnesium Oxide is what they use in all the 'colon cleanse' products. It'll give you the runs somthing shocking and clean you right up. If thats what your after then its much cheaper to buy Epsom Salts for $5 than colon cleanse stuff for $30-$40....great for a party trick/prank.

Magnesium Chelate should not give you the runs and as its binded (or chelated) to an amino acid it should absorb well. Best look for the total 'elemental magnesium'. you'll always see products with somthing like this....

Each capsule provides:
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate 750mg (Providing elemental Magnesium 150mg)

Alternatively try Magnesium Phosphate or better still go with the tissue salts Mag Phos.

Dont be fooled by the 750mg on the front of the bottle always read the back for the elemental magnesium.

Epic V10 Sport Performance
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Shady.

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