Vastum cramps after long rides or hard training

Hi there.
Usually in some circumstances I have strong cramps after a ride in both of my legs : after a hard training, after a long trip or when I have undertraining periods.
They always appear in the same place: vastus and adductors (vastus medialis and adductor longus).
I usually do training 4-5 days a week (around 8-10 hours per week)
Should it be a fitting problem?
Should I do weight workouts for these muscles?
Could it be a training problem?.
Any advice is welcome.
Regards
Hernan

I get cramps in my vastus medialis after an unusually hard effort (race). It usually happens in bed hours afterwards. I have tried everything. Stretch, strength, magnesium, ice, heat……etc.
Hope someone figures this out for you.

The only solution I have found is apply ice cubes directly in the muscles after a race. As you told it, if the race effort is greater than “something” in your muscles, the fatigue will produce cramps. So the question is: should I train harder? Or include weight workouts? Is there any solution?

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(Mostly) former sufferer of medial thigh cramps here. Strengthening medial hamstrings seems to have made a big difference for me - hamstring curls with the tibia slightly internally rotated. Logic behind this is that with weak hamstrings, the gracilis and sartorius muscles were trying too hard to contribute to knee flexion and internal rotation.

Separately to this: everyone should do strength training / weights :wink:

Thanks for your answer.
Do you have any reference for workouts doing this type of exercises? : videos, books, photos, etc.
best regards
Hernan

Gahh, I am sorry you’re experiencing cramping. It’s the worst.

Are you hydrating enough on your rides? You can try salt sticks on your hard rides to help with it. I would also recommend nice stretching sessions afterwards.

I have heard about salt tablets but have never used them. I have a very salty perspiration and in summer time I need to hydrate a lot. I usually consume 1 to 2 bottles per hour. And sometimes more depending on the heat.
But apparently my vastus cramping problem is related to the relative strength of my leg muscles. Perhaps if the vastus is weaker than other leg muscles, it will be more prone to fatigue faster and cramp. It may also be that other muscles in the leg are weak as well and the vastus to compensate must work harder than normal and therefore fatigue.
The truth is that I don’t know if what I am saying above is correct, but I think that the solution forces me to do weight workouts and stretching (before and after).

If you have access to a gym the seated leg curl machine is best, but prone works ok too. If you have to do it at home, the attached image is an example of how to set it up with resistance bands. Try to keep your toes turned slightly to the midline to utilise your medial hamstrings.

image

As other commenters have mentioned, it is also worth making sure your hydration and nutrition are going well. Another part of my reduced cramping is getting the sodium, water and carbs intake up.

Thanks a lot !!

don’t go as hard (relative to current level of 'fitness). I’ve seen compelling evidence that there’s minimal to no correlation with electrolytes. The best correlation I’ve seen is with riding too hard relative to current fitness level. If you increase fitness level you would likely increase how ‘hard’ you can go without cramping in an absolute sense but probably not likely in relation to your level of fitness.