Why you get cramp & what causes it?
The exact cause of muscle cramps is still unknown, but the theories most commonly recognised with runners are:
• Poor conditioning & muscles strength
• Muscle fatigue or lack or quality rest
• Overloading training & running too quickly
• Lack of quality sleep (!)
• High levels of alcohol & caffeine
How you can overcome cramp when running and what preventive measures can you take before or after running?
Here are some top tips to help reduce cramp:
• Gradually increase training duration and intensity. Take it easy to start with and increase the duration of activity weekly rather than per session. Attend a ‘Learn to Run’ Parkfit for Beginners session to learn to increase duration and intensity to meet your needs.
• Strengthen your core & trunk muscles to offer stability and efficient running. Balance and strength training in Fitball Body Conditioning is beneficial.
• Check you are wearing the correct trainers, Up and Running, a specialised running shop, and wear the correct, well cushioned, supportive trainers. Click here to be linked to their site. If you attend TWK classes or personal training sessions, make sure you quote that you are a TWK Client to recieve 10% dicount.
• Make sure you have something to eat – even if it’s just a couple of bites of a banana before, and take water or electrolyte substance with you (can be bought from Up and Running). Consider what you eat the night before and see if any foods increase your cramp – take away contains a lot of salt so you could be starting depleted of nutrients for example.
• See a nutrition and weigh managment specialist to check out your diet and make sure it is all good. See our Youtrition for a consultation. www.youtrition.co.uk
• Warm Up before running – dynamic, steady and relevant to what you are doing.
• Increase your speed and mileage gradually.
• Listen to your body – if you feel cramp beginning – lessen your pace and breathe.
• Stretch regularly after exercise – at least 10mins.
• Have regular sports / deepe tissue massage treatments (available at www.chapelspa.co.uk ).
• Relax and enjoy your running – if you are tense and worried it might happen it is more likely it will so breath, gradually progress and enjoy it
There are many products on the market to help rehydrate you during and after a run, increasing the speed of recovery and reducing the risk of cramp and other problems. Ask the boys in Up and Running for the type that would be good for you.