Muscle seizures after rest days

Hi there, I am training for an Ironman at the moment at approx. 20hrs a week and running a polarised training model
I took 2 rest days and had scheduled 2 hard days of high intensity bike workouts/ runs yesterday and today but as soon as I started the intense sessions my legs went into total seizure and was in real pain as they locked up completely. It wasn’t a cramp but its as if my Central Nervous system had totally shut down or overloaded- not sure…
Has anyone experienced anything similar or have any ideas?

For context, I have trained at over 20hrs for may months and also was well hydrated with PH 1500 ahead of the sessions so don’t think its electrolyte induced and the lock up/ pain was far more painful than a cramp and lasted for hours afterwards!

Any guidance or steer would be greatly appreciated… seems like I need a bigger time period to ramp back into training even after 2 days off?

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I hope your issue isn’t the same, but I get similar sounding symptoms - 10/10 pain after 2-3 very easy days. There seems to be very little known about the phenomenon, but it always happens after time off. For me I usually start getting ‘cramp-type’ pain off the bike in my quads. At this point I need to get a ride in ASAP to stop it escalating. For me there’s no cure other than getting back to riding. This can be extremely painful.
.There’s speculation it’s related to a glycogen storage issue, ala “tying up” in horses. People who have been into the hospital with these horrific pains have been found to have very high levels of ketones in the blood - a sign of muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis). I’ll try and find a link to a post discussing it.

TLDR avoid time off. Take your bike with you/ book hotels with gym bikes/buy a fold out under-desk pedal thingy.

Edit: here’s the link: Extreme quadriceps starting pain after 3-4 rest days | Cyclingnews Forum

20 hours a week seems to me like an awful lot, you’re maybe on the path to over training. Back in 2013 I think I might have been on that path too even though I was well hydrated I would experience random muscle lock ups after a few days off the bike. Easing back slightly seems to have answered that.

I’m one of the guys that posted in this thread, I had three hospital visits due to this condition with CK (it’s creatine kinase, not ketones) levels above 10k. Always been on IV fluids to protect the kidneys.
Pain was beyond anything I ever experienced. We are talking being in tears, almost vomiting or fainting.
I had pretty much every test done you could do besides a muscle biopsy, but the doctors told me they would advise against it, since they most likely won’t find anything.

It’s now over 8 months since my last episode and I think I found ways to deal with it. Never taking more than one rest day and keeping carb load low on these is essential. If you catch an oncoming episode early enough you can ride it out with very hard sprints.

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Nice to hear from another person on here😀

Thanks for clarifying re CK - I was too lazy to go back through that massive thread again! IIRC, one or more people on the thread still had episodes during a keto diet, but if low carb during these periods works for you, then definitelty keep on doing it.

I found smashing out some threshold or higher on the trainer for 5-10 mins worked OK for me last time… well it cured one leg, and improved the other. The time before, I tried to ride it out in Z2, and had tears in my eyes - was horrifically painful. So strange, but going hard does seem to help!

I have a week away in a few weeks and I just hope I can keep it at bay. Thankfully the in-laws have a trainer, so that will keep it away while we’re there, but we then have 2.5 days elsewhere, which I’m worried about! I’m going to suffer if we can ever have beach holidays again!