×

Conquering Cramping, Once and For All

by Jeffrey Stern May 31, 2017

Conquering Cramping, Once and For All

Brian Zimny’s story starts out as one of a typical multi-decade, elite level competitive cyclist. Having raced a lot when he was younger, he took a break to settle down and got back into the sport a second time to race again. Not only in his masters category, but at the elite level on a weekly basis in one of the most competitive regions in the U.S., Northern California.

In Brian’s case, he got back into racing in 2009 after many years off the bike, but with a renewed focus that required time management with a demanding job, family and training. Along with that training, came a lot of high intensity riding with as minimal time spent in the saddle as possible to balance life.

While he could motivate himself to ride hard, anything more than 90 minutes and he’d cramp every time. In fact, he’s gotten so good he can predict the exact moment he’ll cramp just by looking at his power numbers.

Over the past decade, he’s tried a bunch of solutions; he even outlines them in his own personal cramp history logbook spanning decades. From various electrolyte drinks, to pickle juice, stretching, training sprints only, bike fit adjustments as well as various cleat positions. Brian’s even had blood panel tests to drill to the bottom of his cramps. Most simply, anything you can think of, Brian has tried and they’ve unsuccessfully stopped his cramping issues.

“Typically when I cramp, I'm not tired and it's not an exhaustion thing. My heart rate isn't even high,” he says with frustration.

Around two years ago a teammate suggested taking sodium bicarbonate orally. He tried it, but all it ended up doing was upsetting his stomach, leaving him in poor shape for racing. He felt very limited on how much he could ingest without causing problems and never experienced any positive results.

Even as recently as a month ago, during CampoVelo, Brian cramped after one hard effort during a long, hot ride in the Napa Valley, his legs just seized up and it wasn’t even a race.

Not long after that experience, he raced two hard criteriums and two circuits on back-to-back-days, applying Topical Edge before the first race each day, but not in between.

“I usually can get in one effort per race, look for a timely breakaway and use my energy to go with it. I’m never competitive towards the end of the race by getting into the break though. All I can do is pedal across the line from an eight man breakaway because of my cramping.”

“This past double header weekend was nearly the complete opposite. I was able to ride to exhaustion both days, in all four races,” he continued, finding himself in successful moves and looking for more after his fourth race in two days in Sacramento, California.

This was the first time he’s seen something work on his severe cramping issues in 25 years.

“Usually, when I cramp I'm sore for a couple days. I can't repeat that process to train my way out of it,” he says, “but now with Topical Edge it can be different.” 

Topical Edge can help change the whole way Brian trains and races now. No longer a lifelong problem, but preventable issue, he can line up race day after race day all season long without the fear of cramping.

Train harder, recover faster and fight cramping like Brian did, get your FREE sample of Topical Edge today.

Photo by Jim Elder



Jeffrey Stern

Author

After cutting his teeth in the professional sports world working in sales for the Giants, Jeffrey found his passion for all things two wheels that pose a challenge and involves adventure. He also loves dogs, trail running, storytelling and afternoon recovery naps in hammocks.



Separate yourself from the pack