Rider Q&A: Cramping Quads, Race Day Nutrition & Training “Cramming”

Q: I really perspire like hell and have been using Hammer nutrition and it works well with me. I have a question though – how do I strengthen my quads further for endurance? I sometimes cramp on long rides when its really hot and humid especially here in the Philippines. Can you give me exercises to strengthen my quads? Thank you very much!!

A: I can give you two thing to try. If your quads are tight then you need to foam roll and stretch them everyday. Tight muscles will tire and cramp sooner and have nothing to do with strength or fitness.

If that is not the problem then you can do Tabata squats. Do the 20seconds on/ 10 seconds rest protocal for 6-8 rounds starting with bodyweight squats and working towards DB front squats (holding the dumbbells in front of your shoulders like at the top of a curl).

In truth both will probably things will give you the best results. Hope this helps…


Q: Anything special I should eat or do on race day to maximize energy?

A: To be honest “race day” nutrition and routines are a bit over rated. I find them to be a psychological crutch for people who know that their diet and daily routine is sub-par. The truth is that if you have a solid nutrition plan you will know what to eat and do for performance on race day because it is what you do and how you eat every day. Race day is simply an extension of your training and life.

Wish I had something more interesting to say but it really all boils down to how you eat every other day. Hope this helps…


Q: I have 3 weeks until my first race. What should I concentrate on?

A: There really is not a whole lot you can do in 3 weeks to cram for a race but if I were you I would focus on what you have not been doing up to this point. If you have not done a lot of mobility work then foam roll and stretch every day. If you have not been strength training then do 3 sets of 8 reps for a lower body exercise, an upper body push and upper body pull exercise. Stick with free weight and bodyweight exercises and avoid machines.

Keep working on these areas during the season, you can make gains without killing yourself. Hope this helps…

-James Wilson-

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WordPress Comments:

  1. Jeff says:

    Your muscle cramping maybe solved by proper hydration and electrolyte replacement, this would be the first thing I would look into.

    Reply • April 20 at 12:32 pm
  2. Jason says:

    Hi James. A couple of questions as it relates to mobility:
    Which foam roller do you recommend?
    Any specific movements?
    Do you include these in any of your programs?

    Thanks for all the info!

    Reply • April 25 at 4:39 am
    • bikejames says:

      @ Jason – I like the high density ones, they last a lot longer. There is no brand that is much better than another, just look for a high density roller and you’ll be set. I get all of my stuff through Perform Better.

      Here is a video demo of some stuff you can do on the foam roller to get started.

      Reply • April 26 at 11:07 am

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