>General Running>GUT CRAMPS! help needed.
I've got my pre run nutrition down, eat about 1 1/2 hrs before. I've nailed it down to taking in water. about 8-10 miles into a long run where I need to (or should) take in water, I get cramps around my lower right intestine area, not a side stitch. This then turns into a solar plexus cramp that I CANNOT run through like a side stitch (which I rarely get). This has happened several times. At first I though I was going out too fast, but I did an 8 mile tempo(as per my 1/2 training program) run Wednesday where I took in no water and felt great. Friday was a 12 mile long run 45 seconds per mile slower. I'm sipping a weak Gatorade solution from a fuel belt. I take a planned 1/4 mile walk break at mile 8, take in some fluids, then 1/2 mile after I start running and they set in.. It was ugly, but am able to finish the run by running slower and walking more than I want.
that 12 miler was my longest run to date, and last run before my taper for my 1/2 in 2 weeks. I don't mind walking twice during a long run as completing the run is more important than having 2 slower splits pace, but not race day. The only thing I can think of doing is drinking as much as possible the day before and morning of the race, and not drinking during. It should be cool-ish so it might be do-able. Thoughts?
What distance are you racing? If 12 was your longest run, then it sounds like a half-marathon? You should be able to get through a half without water if it's cool out (though you might get really really thirsty towards the end...) but longer term, of course, you need a solution to this unpleasantness. Could it be the gatorade causing your intestinal issues? Or could it be your pre-run meal? What are you eating before your runs, and the day/evening before?
I'm assuming here that your issue is gastrointestinal, but I guess it could be a muscle cramp - does that sound possible?
Most of my runs are short and early enough that I don't eat beforehand or drink during, mabey some sports drink 15 minutes prior, but that's it. For an endurance day (any sport, paddling cycling, or running) I like steel cut oats with an egg or 2 mixed in 1 1/2-2 hrs prior. But for my great 8 mile tempo and crappy long, I had the same breakfast, 1/2 a bagel with an egg on top and some greek yogurt with blueberries. The only difference was fluids during. It's not the Gatorade (weak solution) I've tried other sports drinks, I really like Accelerade, but it foams up from the jiggling. It happens with plain water too. I can somewhat control the cramps by slowing down and altering my breathing pattern, but that only works to a point. Yes, I'm racing a 1/2. My only previous 1/2 marathon last year I had the same problem and ha to slow and walk after taking in fluids, no solids or gel. I had gotten sick in the meat of my training for that one, so I chalked it up to lack of prep. I have a pretty solid core from paddle boarding, TRX, planks, and other gym work. I think it was strengthening my core that did away with the side stitch.
Yeah, I really need a long term solution.
I've had the problem of water causing cramps, too. My solution was to avoid drinking during races. This is a fine solution for up to half marathon distance as long as it's not too hot out. Not sure what I'll do if I ever run a marathon!
Wish I knew why water would cause a cramp - maybe we swallow too much air with it or something.
Maggie & Molly
I wonder if taking in less but more often would help rather than chugging half way through (not saying you are chugging but just a thought
"It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop."Wisdom of Confucius