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Quads and cramps

Hi, I completed my 5th Sprint triathlon and after the very tough hill section I found my Quads to be sore and later on the 8km run they cramped up badly that I had to walk on and off for the last 500m. Shameful I know. I do brick sessions twice a week in the gym but wanted advice on whether to push harder in the gym, build by bike distance or try specific conditioning or weight building exercises.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Do your brick sessions outdoors in the race environment. Treadmills & stationary bikes cannot replicate real riding & running. They miss out the irregularities of race surfaces and so miss out on developing stabiliser muscle actions

    Where exactly do your 'quads' cramp up? At the front of the thighs or to one side? One or both legs? In the middle, towards your knees or closer to your hips?

    Also what sort of bike and run training do you do? Type and volume


  • One thing to consider is that the hills are putting a greater level of flexion in your knee that perhaps you're not used to. If this is the cause then squats will help with strengthening with a gradual increase in the depth you go to (remember to keep things balanced and train all the muscles in your legs and not just the quads).

    You may have your saddle a little too high which may be causing you to stretch a bit in the pedalling. If your heel doesn't comfortably drop below the pedal height you could try dropping it down a little. A bike fit will help here if you're not sure.

    As HarryD said, the variation of the outdoor environment is hard to replicate in the gym so just doing things outdoors may help massively - especially if you do hill and trail work rather than sticking to the tarmac.

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