Avoiding leg cramps

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by codehammer, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. codehammer

    codehammer Guest

    I ran my first marathon Dec. 11, 2005 (Dallas, White Rock). All was
    good until mile 18, where leg cramps started. I was able to complete
    the marathon, although not in the 4:30 I hoped for. I did stay hydrated
    (water and Gaterade), had enrgy gells as well. At 6'1", 220 lbs, are
    cramps something I will have to deal with, or is there something I can
    do to avoid them?
     
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  2. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > I ran my first marathon Dec. 11, 2005 (Dallas, White Rock). All was
    > good until mile 18, where leg cramps started. I was able to complete
    > the marathon, although not in the 4:30 I hoped for. I did stay hydrated
    > (water and Gaterade), had enrgy gells as well. At 6'1", 220 lbs, are
    > cramps something I will have to deal with, or is there something I can
    > do to avoid them?


    It could be lack of enough electrolytes or sodium. However, I think the
    solution may be in your training. How many long runs did you do that were
    longer than 18 miles?

    --
    Phil M.
     
  3. "Avoiding leg cramps ..."
    ~ Codehammer

    "Ask him."
    ~ Black Chalk

    ~ * A Humane
    Civil Law * ~

    The 'Code of Hammurabi' contains no laws having to do with religion.
    The basis of criminal law is that of equal retaliation, comparable to
    the Semitic law of "an eye for an eye." The law offers protection to
    all classes of Babylonian society; it seeks to protect the weak and the
    poor, including women, children, and slaves, against injustice at the
    hands of the rich and powerful.

    The code is particularly humane for the time in which it was
    promulgated; it attests to the law and justice of Hammurabi's rule. It
    ends with an epilogue glorifying the mighty works of peace executed by
    Hammurabi and explicitly states that he had been called by the gods "to
    cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the
    evil."

    He describes the laws in his compilation as enabling "the land to enjoy
    stable government and good rule," and he states that he had inscribed
    his words on a pillar in order "that the strong may not oppress the
    weak, that justice may be dealt the orphan and the widow."

    Hammurabi counsels the downtrodden in these ringing words: "Let any
    oppressed man who has a cause come into the presence of my statue as
    king of justice, and have the inscription on my stele read out, and
    hear my precious words, that my stele may make the case clear to him;
    may he understand his cause, and may his heart be set at ease!"

    http://www.crystalinks.com/babylonia.html
     
  4. codehammer

    codehammer Guest

    I did a long run every 3 weeks, starting with 16 miles. The last long
    run was 26 1/3 miles about 4 week before the marathon. However my
    weekly mileage was in the 30 mile/week ballpark I only went over 40
    miles 1 week.
     
  5. On 18 Feb 2006 18:46:23 -0800, "codehammer" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I ran my first marathon Dec. 11, 2005 (Dallas, White Rock). All was
    >good until mile 18, where leg cramps started. I was able to complete
    >the marathon, although not in the 4:30 I hoped for. I did stay hydrated
    >(water and Gaterade), had enrgy gells as well. At 6'1", 220 lbs, are
    >cramps something I will have to deal with, or is there something I can
    >do to avoid them?


    Lance? Lance? Is that you????
     
  6. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    "codehammer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I did a long run every 3 weeks, starting with 16 miles. The last long
    > run was 26 1/3 miles about 4 week before the marathon. However my
    > weekly mileage was in the 30 mile/week ballpark I only went over 40
    > miles 1 week.



    I would guess low mileage and some dehydration as Phil suggested.
    Personally, I like the fact that your long run 26 miles but others will
    say more than needed. I say if your body can take the distance without
    injury, then all is well. Having averaged only 30 per week is light. The
    cramps can be a mixture of dehydration and low mileage. How about pace?
    Did you get carried away in the early miles and burn too much glycogen
    and bonked. How about temp? All anyone can do is guess.

    -DougF
     
  7. Coffee Time

    Coffee Time Guest

    hamburger
    good because maybe the knife he put in my back have justice one day....
    or steel........
    see you soon!

    :) Biking year round:)
    :) Hiking year round:)
    :) Trails are so cool:)
    :>) What else is there?:>)
     
  8. Coffee Time

    Coffee Time Guest

    Re: Avoiding leg cramps

    Personally, I like the fact that your long run 26 miles but others will
    say more than needed. I say if your body can take the distance without
    injury, then all is well.
    and bonked. How about temp? All anyone can do is guess.

    My view is this:
    a druggie. a pervert and a guy who wears dressa and silk under stuff...
    It like all you guys here are.

    room temp. then the race. and I am....
    psy-co....see you soon!

    :) Biking year round:)
    :) Hiking year round:)
    :) Trails are so cool:)
    :>) What else is there?:>)
     
  9. PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYCHO


    On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 08:34:53 -0500, [email protected] (Coffee
    Time) wrote:

    >hamburger
    >good because maybe the knife he put in my back have justice one day....
    >or steel........
    >see you soon!
    >
    > :) Biking year round:)
    > :) Hiking year round:)
    > :) Trails are so cool:)
    > :>) What else is there?:>)
     
  10. PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYCHO

    On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 08:40:53 -0500, [email protected] (Coffee
    Time) wrote:

    >
    >Re: Avoiding leg cramps
    >
    >Personally, I like the fact that your long run 26 miles but others will
    >say more than needed. I say if your body can take the distance without
    >injury, then all is well.
    >and bonked. How about temp? All anyone can do is guess.
    >
    >My view is this:
    >a druggie. a pervert and a guy who wears dressa and silk under stuff...
    >It like all you guys here are.
    >
    >room temp. then the race. and I am....
    >psy-co....see you soon!
    >
    > :) Biking year round:)
    > :) Hiking year round:)
    > :) Trails are so cool:)
    > :>) What else is there?:>)
     
  11. codehammer

    codehammer Guest

    Thank you, pace is slow, 9 - 11 minutes/mile. Slower as the miles add
    up. Also using the Jeff Galloway approach, run a mile, then walk a
    minute.
     
  12. On 19 Feb 2006 08:15:07 -0800, "codehammer" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Thank you, pace is slow, 9 - 11 minutes/mile. Slower as the miles add
    >up. Also using the Jeff Galloway approach, run a mile, then walk a
    >minute.


    Jeff Galloway liked it up the arse.
     
  13. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    "codehammer" <[email protected]> wrote

    >I ran my first marathon Dec. 11, 2005 (Dallas, White Rock). All was
    > good until mile 18, where leg cramps started. I was able to complete
    > the marathon, although not in the 4:30 I hoped for. I did stay hydrated
    > (water and Gaterade), had enrgy gells as well. At 6'1", 220 lbs, are
    > cramps something I will have to deal with, or is there something I can
    > do to avoid them?


    If your cramps were affecting more than a single muscle (eg, both sides, if
    you stop and stretch, something else cramps, if you feel funny pre-cramp
    twinges in other places, etc), then you are dehydrated.

    It took me a couple of years to figure it out. I would cramp on longer
    races typically after 3.5 - 5 hours, especially in hot or humid conditions.
    After one particularly bad race, I weighed myself after I had to walk in
    because of cramps. I had lost about 8 lbs (and I started at 152 lbs).

    You say you stayed hydrated, but did you weigh yourself before and after the
    race? I have downed quarts of liquid in long races and still have come up
    5-8 lbs light at the end.

    The proof that it is hydration is this (if this sounds too simple to be
    true):

    Next time it happens, stop and drink 30+ ounces of fluid. Take a couple of
    salt tablets (I use succeed brand), too. Start walking. If you can begin
    to jog again without cramps, that was it. When this has happened to me in
    races, as little as 20oz chugged quickly with salt has ended them within 2-3
    minutes. Don't try and jog through the cramps -- that causes muscle damage.
    If you rip yourself up, the water will stop the cramps, but not the pain
    from running on shredded muscles.

    You are a big guy, with a high BMI (look it up). The higher the BMI, the
    higher the heat load (less surface area per weight). So you run hotter than
    the skinny ones. So you sweat more. In addition, you may have a high sweat
    rate to boot.

    Next race, weigh yourself before and after, take into account how much you
    drank during, and determine your sweating rate (under that set of
    conditions -- temp, humdity). I need about 40oz/hour when racing in 65
    degrees when its humid, for example.

    Finally, you need to replace salt if you're going to be drinking more than a
    quart or two of fluid in a race. To the tune of 1 gram of sodium/liter
    (about 2/3 tsp of pure salt per quart). This is the amount of salt in your
    sweat. Without salt replacement, your sodium concentration declines. When
    that happens:

    You sweat less (and overheat).

    You drink and the fluid sloshes around in your stomach instead of being
    absorbed.
    (it sloshes around because you need to pump sodium into your stomach in
    order to absorb water. When your body is low on it, it suppresses this
    process to conserve your plasma sodium concentration)

    You feel queasy, and may not even want to drink.

    In extreme cases you can get Hyponatremia and it will kill you. (rare).

    So you get a vicious cycle of your body needing water, yet you feel queasy
    and it won't absorb. The solution is to take a Succeed tablet for every
    pint or two you drink during a long race. Salt with water enables your
    stomach to absorb a 20 oz bottle in 2-4 minutes.

    NFI in Succeed, salt, or water...

    -- Dan
     
  14. codehammer

    codehammer Guest

    Thank you for such a thorough reply!! I may have been dehydrated even
    though I felt that I drank plenty of fluid. Perhaps increase fluid
    intake, alternating water and sports drink. You're right, sweat
    heavily; is salt really the answer, sounds very 'old school'. As far as
    BMI, not a real fan. True, 6'1", 220 boarders on obesity according to
    BMI, but I have a 35" waist?
     
  15. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > Thank you for such a thorough reply!! I may have been dehydrated even
    > though I felt that I drank plenty of fluid. Perhaps increase fluid
    > intake, alternating water and sports drink. You're right, sweat
    > heavily; is salt really the answer, sounds very 'old school'. As far as
    > BMI, not a real fan. True, 6'1", 220 boarders on obesity according to
    > BMI, but I have a 35" waist?


    But you still have a high BMI, whether it's fat or solid muscle. A high BMI
    will impact your running and your hydration and ability to acclimate to
    running in hot/humid conditions.

    --
    Phil M.
     
  16. rick++

    rick++ Guest

    Did you do anything different during your three training runs-
    different speed?, different surface?, different hydration?
    The clue might be in that.
     
  17. steve common

    steve common Guest

    "codehammer" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > is salt really the answer, sounds very 'old school'.


    <personal opinion not shared by all here>
    For most westerners, there's way more salt than needed in everyday food.
    So, unless you were poorly fed beforehand, there's no use popping salt
    caps during a marathon - unless it's in the desert and you're taking 6
    hours to finish or something wild.
     
  18. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    "steve common" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "codehammer" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> is salt really the answer, sounds very 'old school'.

    >
    > <personal opinion not shared by all here>
    > For most westerners, there's way more salt than needed in everyday food.
    > So, unless you were poorly fed beforehand, there's no use popping salt
    > caps during a marathon - unless it's in the desert and you're taking 6
    > hours to finish or something wild.


    True to a point -- that point being when you sweat more than a couple of
    pounds (32 oz), imo. We do carry around excess salt. This is why nobody is
    saying take a salt tablet during your hour run. But if you're out there
    pounding ground for 4+ hours, it does make a difference. I personally don't
    worry about it unless I'm going to be drinking more than a quart.
     
  19. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    "codehammer" <[email protected]> wrote

    > Thank you for such a thorough reply!! I may have been dehydrated even
    > though I felt that I drank plenty of fluid. Perhaps increase fluid
    > intake, alternating water and sports drink. You're right, sweat
    > heavily; is salt really the answer, sounds very 'old school'.


    When I was racing all the time 20 yrs ago, the conventional wisdom (in
    Runners World, of course) was that your body has so much salt stored in it
    that you're not going to need any for a mere marathon. We know more now.
    People have died running 6 hour marathons, drinking copiously (even
    excessively), and taking no salt. The combination of a couple of lbs of
    excess drinking (dilution of salt in the body) and a lot of sweating (salt
    loss) can kill you.

    > As far as
    > BMI, not a real fan. True, 6'1", 220 boarders on obesity according to
    > BMI, but I have a 35" waist?


    If you're a muscular high BMI guy, then you create even more heat ('cause
    muscle creates heat even when relaxed). It's just physics, (heat generated
    versus surface area). I wasn't making any judgements on your fitness, etc.
     
  20. rick++

    rick++ Guest

    Your talking about about sodium.
    The pundits talk about electrolytes. Potassium deficiencies
    can be just as debilitatiing. The average American diet isnt
    that great in potassium. Many fruit have good potassium
    content.
     
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