Cramp or not to cramp

so i’ve just completed a 3 day stage race. 90 mins, 3 hours, 3 hours. usual tough going, high stress. however on stage 2, i felt i could possibly have cramped at about the 60 mile mark (of 76 miles) if i wasn’t careful. on day 3, i never felt as if cramp was around the corner, over 72 miles of hard racing with 4 full gas climbs and a climb finish. all hydration fuelling electrolytes etc were to plan over the 3 stages

so why did my legs improve, to the point where i could forget about cramp? what got opened up after 2 tough stages?

What kind of anaerobic efforts did you put out on day 1 and 2?

it was on off all the whole way. up from 2 to 3 mins efforts at capacity and repeat, just holding the group. chasing on, hills. z2 power in between, drafting, surfing. punching above my weight a lot. the distance was no problem today though, i had a good legs as if the other days had broken them in. strange. it makes me think i need to do be “opened up” better?

IME cramps can happen from repeatedly chasing wheels. Going anaerobic and settling in at sweet spot over many hours. One of the reasons why cramping is so common in Gravel.

One thing you can do is analyze your NP compared to you avg power for days 1 and 2.

The best way to combat cramps is high training volume and excellent carb fueling. Electrolytes and hydration are secondary. I don’t think opening-up is a thing with regards to cramping.

The “Stage Race Effect”.

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cramping is usually down to fitness and exceeding your current capabilities, not directly related to electrolytes or even hydration. I’m not saying those things aren’t important, but likely you rode yourself into better shape or the efforts in stage 3 weren’t as hard.

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