By John Hughes
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Preventing and Treating Cramps
You’re riding and having a good time and suddenly a muscle seizes up. What should you do?
Coach John Hughes explains the leading theories of what causes cramps including fatigue of the nerves to your muscles and sodium depletion. He then explains why your gastrocnemius, hamstrings, and the rectus femoris part of the quadriceps muscle are the most prone to cramping.
Coach Hughes describes what you can do to prevent cramps including sufficient conditioning to prevent fatigue of the nerves, stretching regularly, effective pacing and proper pedaling technique as well as the roles of hydration and electrolytes.
The article illustrates with photos how to break the most common cramps by stretching gently and then how to flush the affected muscles to prevent them from cramping again.