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Cramps in the calf muscle(6 posts)

Cramps in the calf muscleAlpedhuez55
Aug 11, 2003 6:24 AM
I am getting back on the bike after a month and a half off due to an vacation and an illness. I am getting cramps on the calf muscles after 15 or 20 minutes. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.

I am stretching and trying to take calcium. My guess it it might be the saddle heght or position. Does anyone have any suggestions for changes that may help take care of this??? My cleats look OK and have not shifted. It may just be a matter of getting the legs back, but this has been going on for a couple of weeks. Any info is appreciated.

Mike Y.
potential causesDougSloan
Aug 11, 2003 6:44 AM
I used to get these, but no longer. What I found:

1. Just not being in shape. Calf muscles, I think, I used disproportionately more in cycling than other endeavors; they just need to strengthen. This is particularly true of you are riding hard.

2. Actively using them in pedaling too much. Be more passive with the lower leg. See no. 1.

3. Move cleats rearward on shoes. Really helps.

4. Saddle too high. Forces more use of calves.

5. Electrolytes and water. Need sodium and potassium, as well as potassium, all balanced with enough water. The more you are in shape and acclimated to the heat, the less concentrated your sweat is with minerals. The opposite is true, too. This should resolve itself with more riding.

6. Stand up and stretch on the bike, dropping heals. Doing this occasionally helps.

Drop your heelpitt83
Aug 11, 2003 6:45 AM
If you point your toes, your calf muscle takes the brunt of the isometric force to hold that position. Try it at your chair; if you hold and apply pressure to your toes, you'll cramp your calf muscle. This is a function of too high a set position as well.

Drop your seat of ride with a flat foot.
Common Problem?B2
Aug 11, 2003 7:33 AM
I've had a similar problem. It has occured at the same point on a particular route, about 20 miles into the ride. The only correlations I could draw from my experience were:

1) I was a bit fatigued from hard riding for the first 20 miles
2) It always happend on flat section where I usually increased my cadence from about 90 - 95 to 105 - 110.
3) It's a early season thing. I hardly ever have it happen late in the season when I'm in better cycling conditon.

On other occasions where my calfs have cramped my cadence has been high. I think the combination of fatigue and high cadence have an effect. Usually I can "work through it" and get the cadence back up there, but when my calfs start getting twitchy, I've got to slow the cadence down.

I think the drop the heals suggestion is a good one. Again, if you're calfs start feeling twitchy, concentrate on dropping your heals and may be able to avoid them.

Thanks for the help!!!Alpedhuez55
Aug 11, 2003 7:41 AM
I will lower my seat a bit and see if that helps. I have tried to stay hydrated and to stretch. I think lowering the seat and stretching on the bike will help. I am sure I will be back to my usual cram free pathetic self in no time at all ;)

Mike Y.
Try moving cleats back 3/16. And ride for a while easy. NMHigh Gear
Aug 11, 2003 1:55 PM