Help with Running Cramps

Running cramps, particularly running calf cramps, afflict everyone from the person going out for a morning jog, to elite athletes. And it's not just runners that get cramps they can be a factor in any sport - tennis, swimming, golf, cycling and triathlon. This site is dedicated to sharing ideas and information between sports people, athletes, health practitioners, anyone who enjoys training - for the best ways to prevent, avoid and treat muscle cramp.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Football players with cramp

We caught up with Rick Steltenpool - a professional trainer, conditioner & rehab specialist with Australian football teams.

Rick's had 23 years of experience working with professional clubs such as Paramatta, Penrith, St George Illawarra and the Roosters.

He says that cramps are most common in the forward pack (where the guys are a lot bigger).

Rick says he almost always sees cramps occur in games rather than in training or in the gym - always in the calves and very common on a 'heavy' field (ie when it's muddy). He also sees cramps whenever games run into overtime.

Rick sites several reasons for this
1) the calves are a smaller muscle group that are working very hard and frequently 2) football players typically spend more time training for strength and size rather than for flexibility
3) bigger players tend to lose more fluid and don't do as good a job at rehydrating themselves.

McCann 'floats' around stadium - Commonwealth Games - Fox Sports

McCann 'floats' around stadium - Commonwealth Games - Fox Sports

With the Commonwealth Games happening in Melbourne, Australia - you can see that even the very best suffer from calf cramps - the amazing women's marathon race showed the Australian suffering from calf cramps at 38km.

Somehow she managed to keep fighting through them and ultimately it was the crowd that lifted her away from the pain and flew her to the finish.

We can't all have the luxury of 70,000 people cheering us through our pain, however maybe we can use mind over matter to take us to the end . . .

Monday, March 20, 2006



If you need inspiration to run your next marathon - read this article about the Commonwealth Games winner in Melbourne yesterday.

Despite cramps at the 38km mark she still managed to carry on on and sprint the last 300 metres!

Many of the other finishers were severely hydrated and seriously cramping up. Keep drinking those fluids ...

Herald Sun: Supermum defends crown [19mar06]

Herald Sun: Supermum defends crown [19mar06]

The March 2006 Commonwealth Games show that even elite athletes competing at world competition level will suffer cramping.

On the day of this marathon, it was hot and at least 15% of the women's race suffered cramp - some had to pull out, some struggled to the end.



If you're planning to do a distance event, you need to make sure that your training program prepares you well enough for the event.

Running cramps are notorious for striking in the last third of a distance event, because at this point you're suffering fatigue, dehydration, mineral depletion.

Once it happens even a good sports drink will take at least 20 minutes to help with the hydration and energy replacement.

Friday, March 10, 2006 presents the Cody Stevenson diary 2006 presents the Cody Stevenson diary 2006: "cramp"

This is one for the endurance cyclists amongst you - you've got to be in excellent condition to do those really long events - and you absolutely have to eat and drink enough good stuff to stop you cramping up in the latter stages . . .

Napa Valley Register Online | LocalSports

Napa Valley Register Online | LocalSports

In stark contrast to the Malaysian Ironman Triathlon, muscle cramps can also crop up in cold & wet weather conditions. It's just as important to keep hydrated in cold weather conditions - your body is still sweating and using up energy, minerals and electrolytes - even if you don't feel like you're losing fluids as you would be in hot weather.

I guess the message is, hydrate plentifully whatever the conditions!

Inside Texas Running -- Feature Article

A great all-round summary article on running cramps appearing in Inside Texas Running - by world famous nutritionist Nancy Clark.

She sites the main remedies as getting more calcium and other electrolytes as well as taking . . . pickle juice!! Read more in here article here . . . . :

Inside Texas Running -- Feature Article | pro zone | wildlife and heat bumps

Read how Chris Lieto battles sea lice, jelly fish and extreme heat to finish his ironman in Malaysia - cramps are almost inevitable in such extreme heat and in such an extreme race - but with constant hydration and nutrition you can give yourself the best chance. . .

Muscle conditioning and acclimatisation, particularly in hot climates, is a really important factor to avoid cramps - as well as constant electrolyte and mineral hydration. You just can't underestimate your fluid loss in such an event. Have a read! | pro zone | wildlife and heat bumps

Ghost busted ( | Courier Times

Don't end up the way this player did - having to leave the field in the fourth quarter due to recurring cramps in his calf muscles - from dehydration!

You can do so much for yourself and your team by preparing thoroughly with plenty of water and good quality sports drink - and drinking continually throughout your training or match.

Ghost busted ( | Courier Times