Arm/Hand Training

I just rode a brutal harescramble yesterday. I have been training on my bicycle for two months for this event.

My heart/lungs were fine. What really crippled me was I got very serious arm pump almost immediatley. When the arm pump went away it was replaced with cramping and severe fatigue. So bad that it affected my ability to control the machine. I considered stopping the race because I was questioning my ability to safetly manuver the bike over the very challenging terain.

Obviously my preperation was not adequate. What to do to address arm pump/arm strength/arm endurance?

Take another bend (higher and perhaps more forward) in your bars and try a Camelback with O.R.S. tablets...

...because you got dehydrated.

I am not sure that your arm pump lead to cramping. Arm pump is usually a result of lack of conditioning while cramping is the lack of hydration (water). You may have been riding tense with a death grip. The more concerned you got the harder you gripped the bike. Cramping on the other hand is caused by the lack of water in your system. You should hydrate yourself before, during and after your race. If racing is a season long event, you should should learn to drink water days before an event. Avoid caffinated beverages completely. Once cramping starts, its to late to reverse it, your done and you have to ride with it..............

In addition to excersise, I use those hand trainers all day long at work and do as many grip excersises as possible, if I am on the phone, my hand is working out, if I have one hand free, it works out. I dont really get arm pump anymore, but I do have problems with my hands cramping and hurting when riding. I find, the more seat time a week I get in the better my hands feel. Better bars with the right height will also help greatly. One thing most people do without realizing is proper breathing when riding. I have also found when I focus on my breathing a lot of the pains go away, so try to breathe better when riding. There are pros that have "BREATHE" written across their bars.

Good tips guys it's always good to get ideas from other people, now I have some new ideas to try. I didn't really think about being dehydrated causing hand cramps but it makes sense.

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