leg cramps (Read 87 times)

    I have a marathon runner friend that gets killed by leg cramps.  My only advice is that he went out too fast, do you have anything else I can tell him?  I haven't experienced this myself.


    My miles were

      There are multiple causes I am sure but I think fueling could be the main reason.  Even in great shape you will cramp up with a chemical imbalance.  Maybe check his race fueling routine, it is all I can think of with no more background.

        5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

      10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

      Half Marathon = 1:38.53  Summer Sizzle 7/13/14

      Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

      Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

      Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34


      Faster Than Your Couch!

        It might be due to going too fast for too long, going too long a distance, a fueling issue, a neurological issue (sometimes resulting from a bad back),... it may have many causes.


        The splits suggest to me that going out too fast might have been the issue, or that he/she is just not fit enough to cover the long distance, but the slowdown around halfway might also have been from higher temps, lack of food, etc.. Check the fueling/hydration habits.


        Some things he/she can do without hurting himself anything are:


        - take a magnesium supplement daily for some time, perhaps shortly before the run (but not one that contains 100% of the RDV, as this might give you the runs - literally! - try 25 to 50% before a run)


        - take in potassium before or during the run: bananas, cantaloupes, potatoes, or a dash of "Nu-salt", a table-salt substitute you can get in any grocery store (tastes awful, however, and might upset the stomach if too much)


        - take supplements that contain vitamin B6, or a B complex (e.g. Endurolytes), especially before or during the run (follow instructions on labels, and don't take them daily)


        - eat some protein before or during the run (yoghurt, protein drink, small milk shake,...), a small amount goes a long way


        - have iron levels checked, but don't take an iron supplement without a doctor's advice!


        - have some salt, or salty food, before or during the run (don't overdo it, check labels, 100 to 500 mg of sodium are enough, depending on the length of the run and the amount of sweating)


        - stretch very gently before the run, or after 1 or 2 miles, make sure to stretch especially those muscles that tend to cramp up


        Good luck!

        Run for fun.


          Based on several sources I've read, it looks as though we don't really know for sure what causes cramps.


          i know that if I'm not in good shape, I'll get cramps very easily, especially in the calf area.


          when I used to watch soccer and games went into overtime, and the weather was hot, it was not unusual to see players collapse with cramps. Whether it's muscle fatigue or a nutritional deficiency due to physical activity (or a combination of factors), who knows?


          it doesn't appear to be that electrolyte loss is the culprit, though:

          "In 1996 Manjra, Schwellnus and Noakes did a study of over 1300 marathon runners and found the following criteria to be primary risk factors associated with muscle cramps during exercise:

          * Older age
          * Longer history of running
          * Higher body mass index
          * Shorter daily stretching time
          * Irregular stretching habits
          * Family history of cramping

          They found no evidence of a large electrolyte imbalance in runners with cramps. Nor was dehydration deemed to be a causative factor. Other studies done throughout the 1980s and 1990s came to similar conclusions."