Post # 1
So this past weekend I “attempted” to run my second half marathon. This one was a bit hilly I might add…okay so everything was going good, it was getting warmer, the race started at 9 and it was out in the country so there wasn’t any shade whatsoever. Anyways I had more water/gatorade than my first half, I did 2 GUs this time, one before the race started and one at 1 hour 20 minutes. I started cramping after mile 7. A guy who was running by me gave me sports beans and a block (gel deal, not sure what it is called but I have had one before) he told me to keep moving and get more water. So the not to far was a water stop, they actually had bottles of water, I grabbed one and kept sipping on it through the next 2 miles. A lady stopped and let me have some gatorade, (this was the hilly part) anyways after fighting with my cramps (calves) I decided to walk/run during mile 9. I tried to stretch it, massage it out a little bit and I made it to mile 10 I walked quite a ways then my legs gave out and I fell, they cramped up so bad I couldn’t move them or walk anymore for that matter. It was scary to say the least, but the off duty cop/volunteer helped me and I decided to throw in the towel as much as i wanted to finish. I had 3 miles or less and that was it! The volunteer had another runner who had to quit who both helped me stretch them and massage so I could get up to walk (and gave me water). They gave me a ride back to the finish line (where my FI took off work to meet me and I just started bawling because I didn’t finish). Anyways today is day 3 and my calves are still hurting. I have tried massaging them, icing them, resting, except I did do yoga yesterday to stretch it out. They are tender to touch, I don’t see bruising, and I think they are a little swollen. When I first get up to walk they hurt and it takes a little bit before its not too uncomfortable to walk. Has anyone experienced this and what do I need to do that I am not already doing?
Post # 3
I hope you are feeling better by now! And sorry this hasn’t happened to me but since you’re not getting much of a response I would recommendthe forums at Runner’s World magazine online. You should get more of a response there.
Post # 4
Sorry if you are already aware of any of the information below, just doing my best to help a fellow 1/2 runner!!
Foam rolling might help, as it is supposed to loosen up muscles and work out knots and kinks, as well as an ice bath if you can handle it.
Also, try drinking chocolate milk, as that helps speed up muscle recovery. And ibuprofin will help with swelling and pain if you aren’t already taking it.
I hope you feel better!! Don’t be afraid to see a physician if things don’t get better soon.
Post # 5
I’m no expert, but it sounds like a build up of lactic acid. I would continue to take a hot bath every night abd tgen stretch and massage it for 30 min to try to break up thr acid. If it is lactic acid, it is a common problem that is easy to prevent. Always stretch for 10 minutes and roll on a foam roller twice or three times a week (this should hurt, you are breaking up the acid). Also, one beer (and that is a single one, not 3 and it doesn’t work with other alcohol) within 60 minutes of a long run helps. I normally run, stretch for 15 minutes, roll, shower, crack a beer to drink in between chugging water, and then refuel.
Before I run I fuel the night before (my body doesn’t like it if I’ve had anything to eat in the past 4 hours) and hydrate the night before. I then chug at least 20 oz of water 15 minutes before I go out. It has helped with cramping a lot!
Post # 6
I’ve been having those cramps a lot lately because I switched to sneakers that have a lot less support. I did this on purpose to build up those muscles and tendons but wow, it’s some unreal soreness. I haven’t cramped up as badly as you have but I also don’t run as much distance. But I have experienced the pain the next day when I”m limping everywhere and going downstairs is soo bad. The foam roller definitely helped, I agree w PP. If its not gone by now I’d def go to the doctor!
Post # 7
I haven’t had any cramping like that during a run, but I have gotten charlie horse cramps in my calves that wake me out of a dead sleep. Usually it’s a combination of dehydration and needing some potassium.
I have never used foam roller after running. (I average 30 miles a week and have done 2 halfs this year). My sister does though and I know other runners swear by it. I guess I’ll add one to my Christmas list.
It sounds like you took in a good amount of nutrition during the race, but that it was too late to prevent/stop the cramping. What was your diet/hydration like the 48 hours before the race?
Post # 8
Muscle cramping like that during a race is usually a combo of dehydration/electrolyte imbalance.
Also, training before a long race like that is really important so your legs are conditioned to running.
Do you have a hydration belt or handheld water bottle? I’d definitely invest in one, that way you can get used to taking small sips every 5-10 minutes from the very beginning of a race or long run. Gatorade at the water stops is a must as well.
As for what you can do now that the race is over and you’re still having pain, well you’ve gotten some great advice above. Ibuprofen, warm baths followed by stretching, then ice to reduce the pain & swelling. You can also try swimming or aqua jogging as the water can be soothing.
Post # 9
Cramping is a sign of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. To prevent them in the future ensure your diet is high in potassium and magnesium.
As far as the pain you are experiencing now it is a muscle strain it is not due to lactic acid. Muscle strains are caused by active contraction (the cramp) and passive stretch (when you stretched them out). Thus, your muscles are torn and it will take a few weeks to recover.
To treat your muscle strain DO NOT use heat (I wouldn’t recommend baths either – even though it feels good it’s not good for you). Heat brings more blood to the area causing more swelling and damage. Use only ice and you can massage/roll out the area as well to break down the scar tissue. You can also use advil/tylenol for the pain and do decrease the swelling if you like.
Finally, if this happens again DO NOT STRETCH while your muscle is in contraction or you WILL tear the muscle fibres.
I hope you feel better soon.
Post # 10
Sorry it took so long to respond back. Wedding was on the 29th then we went on our honeymoon. I came back to work today…I did end up buying a foam roller and it helped. I took something for the pain and went to yoga. I think a combination of them all helped. Either way I felt so much better…although I did have some cramps in my sleep the night of the wedding. I know that it had to be my nutrition, with the wedding being so close and not eating very well was the cause of the pain. I did it better the day before and on Thursday but not the rest of the week. I was barely eating because I just was so busy and stressed out I didn’t feel like it. Although I did keep my water intake up but I know I had to have cut back on sodium. My boss told me if I had actual salt packets available that might have helped. I’ll keep that in mind next time because the friend that ran it with me said she ate salt that morning and thought it helped her.
Thank you all for your helpful advice I will keep it all in mind from now on!
Post # 11
@September29Runner: This happened to my sister when she ran the rock and roll 1/2 marathon in San Antonio. A number of people had similar issues. What she was told by the medical professional that treated her on the spot was that the dramatic change in heat may have had something to do w/it (it went from 60 to 80 in the course of a couple of hours).
When we ran the marathon in Austin (very hilly), she didn’t have any problems despite the hills and twice the distance. She also was sure to stay very hydrated and carried GU packets.
Post # 12
so gald you updated! hope you are still feeling good
Post # 13
@Seashells7: I am thank you! Since the wedding is over and I have free time, I started my training all over again and I will be better this time with my nutrition. I happy for the advice from others!