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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Baseball Leg Cramps - The Difference Between Winning & Losing

Leg Cramps & Baseball

We keep stating it over and over – that preventing leg cramps can be the difference between winning and losing for professional teams and individuals.

This article shows what happens when leg cramps reduce the performance of just one player . . . and it can be prevented – easily!

In any sporting event where you have demands on energy reserves over a period of several hours, your chances of suffering leg cramps, calf cramps or any type of muscle cramps can go sky high.

And cramps can lead to injury, meaning time out of the game – and no athlete or team wants or needs this.

In Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide we spend several chapters on nutrition and hydration and these are two areas I know many professional teams can improve on.

Good nutrition in the lead up to any game, monitoring what players consume before, during and after training and having a hydration and nutrition plan for a long game will mean the difference between suffering a leg cramp or being able to play the entire game.

Next is flexibility – and with just an extra 10 minutes of flexibility exercises before, during and after training, the muscles get more efficient at moving blood and your chances of injury are reduced.

It’s all in the Guide - you just have to decide how important it is to win and keep your muscles cramp-free.

Hill Cramps - The Difference Beween First and Ninth Place

Leg Cramps and an Uphill Battle

Sipho Ngomane doesn't like running uphill – he gets leg cramps - and he admits his chances of winning this year’s 85.7 Ultra Marathon race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban aren’t very good.

The race leaders will do 85km in about 5 and ½ hours – that’s a long way to go and a big drain on the energy reserves.

There’s actually a lot even an experienced athlete can do to avoid cramps caused by fatigue, even in an 85km event such as this.

In Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide we set aside specific chapters dealing with pre-race nutrition, training techniques, energy techniques and procedures you can used during the race you’re unlucky enough to suffer a cramp.

One of the training techniques I’ve been very successful with is increasing the component of hill training for marathon runners. Hill training workouts and changing our exercise patterns definitely take your muscles out of the comfort zone and may initially result in more cramping.

This is exactly what you should aim to do – in training. It’s very common for marathoners to suffer calf cramps when running up hills, particularly if the hills are in the latter stages of the race

By applying just a couple of the nutrition suggestions, slightly altering your intake ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein, and modifying your training a little, your chances of suffering cramps are seriously reduced.

And in the high altitude conditions likely to be experienced in this race the cramp-breaking program we outline will only be enhanced . . . the key is energy – having enough available, having enough for a long term and hang enough of the mineral cofactors needed to release it.

And as the article points out, this means the difference between a “dismal ninth place” and having a top three finish.

Cramps & Recovering From Injury

Cramps & Recovering From Injury

This article shows just how susceptible to cramping you can be when training to recover from an injury.

The athlete, Dean Tillema, sustained a fractured neck in a car accident and has recovered to post new personal best times for the 300m hurdles – he recently won the 300-meter hurdles at Rensselaer in a personal best time of 41.77 seconds.

Initially neck pain and muscle cramping was an issue during the recovery process. O combat this he incorporated a weight training program to increase his muscle mass.

In the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide we discuss the role of weight training and cramp prevention in our chapter on training techniques and explain why it is so important when recovering from an injury.

Sometimes rest and recuperation – like that ‘forced’ on this athlete an be a significant factor in improving performance and promoting relief from painful leg and muscle cramps – we discuss this in more detail in our Chapter on Eastern healing techniques.

In fact we recommend that some professional athletes actually reduce their program by as much as 60% so that they can perform better – sounds crazy and it works.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Avoid Cramps and Other Sproting Injuries by Listening

Preparation means listening

What the heck am I talking about when I say, “Listen to your body talking”.

If you listen correctly and notice the warning signs – excess sweating, tight muscles, leg cramps, earlier onset of fatigue, upset stomach, feeling a little unwell – these are all signs that something isn’t right and a good cue to ‘back off a little.

To use an example – there’s two ways you can drive a car. You can do it strictly by the book or you can listen to the engine, feel how the car’s performing and then drive accordingly.

The body is really no different at all – it’s a fine machine an needs to be handled with care. If you start getting leg cramps then it can mean you haven’t prepared yourself and are definitely not listening to what the body is telling you.

As the article in this blog suggests, we need to prepare for sport and exercise as the weather warms up. If you’ve been out of sport or haven’t been so active over the winter months, then you’ve probably forgotten how to listen to your body.

Someone doing regular physical activity will be more prepared and notice the warning signs leading up to muscle cramps and injury.

The main thing to be aware of is your need for water. If you’ve been out of practise drinking water, then it can be easy to get dehydrated – especially if the weather and conditions are fine for a work out or a run.

Just remember that by the time you’re thirsty and exercising, it can be too late and you’ll get dehydrated.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Imagine Running 21,000 metres in an Hour!

Haile tries once more for immortality in Hengelo

An amazing creer made even more amazing by the fact that hes still running at such a high level.

I'm sure he's suffered his fair share of running cramps in his career - in the story it refers to him having to pull out of the sam race in 2002 with severe leg cramps.

This can happen from a number of reasons - the most likely in this case having something to do with getting enough energy to the muscles to help them contract properly and shift the blood.

In the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guidewe interview kinesiologist and osteopath, David Wells and speak with sports nutritionist and trainer, Richard Renton about energy supply, the role of micronutrients in helping make that energy available and the best ways to maximise your energy reserves in the lead up to an event.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A few Things Elite Athletes can do to prolong their Career

The Seattle Times: Storm: Storm: A new season, same old pain for Jackson

This article on basketball star Lauren Jackson, highlights thecare we all need to take to prolong our youthfullness . . . and in Lauren's case, her career and income.

Shin splints, stress fractures, increasing incidence of leg and muscle cramps, extreme fatigue, regular illness and back pain are health issues we all need to deal with if we play and train to a high level.

'Fortunately' - all of these conditions have something in common - Nutritional Deficiencies!

When an athlete sweats, they sweat out more than just 'Gatorade'. They sweat out and burn up a 'soup' of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidant nutrients and at the high rates of sweating and nutrient loss regularly experienced it needs to be replaced.

Unfortunately just getting our nutrients from food isn't enough. Recent studies from the UK only confirm what farmers, soil experts and nutritionists have known for years - that our foods contain less nutrition than we think and it's getting less and less every year.

There are many reasons for this that we won't go into for now, but the solution is simple - if you are seriously interestdin prolonging your sporting life then you need to supplement.

Our recomendations for athletes are the same for anyone suffering degerative bone and joint diseases-supplement with the

90 Essential Nutrients and an additional bone and joint supplement.

The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide has several chapters dedicated to nutrition and is well worth a read.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fast Food Likely to Give You Muscle Cramps & Leg Cramps

Review: JPod - Arts & Leisure - International Herald Tribune

How true is the second paragraph of this article - fast food is more than just responsible for stomach cramps and cramping in athletes.

Try adding diabetes, obesity, heart disease, weakened immune system and auto-immune diseases, stomach disorders such as IBS - even arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer.

How? Empty calorie foods contain no minerals, are full of dangerous trans-fatty acids and free radicals (including food additives, preservatives, antibiotics etc) and take more out of the body than they give.

It's our cravings for minerals and good fat which lead us there in the first place but as soon as the 'bad' food hits our system the problem starts and keeps going.

One of the bonuses we give with the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide and in our health and nutrition website, Global-Longevity, is called the Healthy GI System.

We include it because without looking after your digestive tract it's ultimately IMPOSSIBLE to be healthy.

Nobody's going to pay for the report, it's not a sexy topic like 'making money on the internet' or'losing 20kg in a month' - but without it, let me tell you that you have little chance of ultimate health.

Triathletes and Leg Cramps

Triathletes & Leg Cramps: "cramp"

Without doubt, triathletes represent a large percentage of sports men and women who suffer leg cramps.

Generally we find a triathlete is more likely to suffer regular cramps early in their career - particularly when attempting longer events for the first time.

It comes down to experience, training, being in tune with your body in terms of hydration, energy and nutrition and making sure you have a good and regular flexibility program in place.

Perhaps it's focusing on the physical too much that is responsible for weaker performances - sounds cazy, bu from an Eastern Medicine point of view, if you're suffering physical problems such as running cramps, calf and leg cramps etc - then sometimes 'less' is better.

In the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide we have a chapter on Eastern medicine techniques for dealing with leg and muscle cramps from a 'whole body' point of view and part of that treatment process involves 'backing off' the training to get a better physical result.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Preventing Leg Cramps in Marathons

Be Prepared!

This article is a huge reminder to anyone planning to run a marathon that good preparation and experience with the conditions you'll be racing in is key to success.

You can get severe muscle cramps - calf cramps and leg cramps - in any environment.

The key to preventing them on race day starts with your nutrition plan at least a week before the event.

Next is a hydration plan for the conditions you're going to be facing - after all, if you're running the Hong Kong Marathon in summer, you'll need more water than running the Boston Marathon in Spring.

Next is an energy plan for the race - what are you going to eat 24 hours before the race, on race day and in the three hours before the event?

What type of Sports Drink are you going to use - an Isotonic or an Energy drink?

Is it a hilly course, have you trained enough on hills?

If you get regular calf cramps, what have you done in terms of massage therapy, flexibility and stretching to make sure the muscles are in their best shape?

And finally, if you do get a cramp during the race what exactly are you going to do to get yourself going?

If you're interested in reading more about our advice for you or anyone thinking of racing a marathon for the first time or looking to improvetheir performance, then our Running Cramp Relief website may be just what the Sports Doctor ordered.

How to Hydrate Properly and Prevent Leg Cramps & Muscle Cramps

Whatever you do this summer, stay safe

If you want to do well in a sporting event or just stay alive and healthy, one of the best pieces of advice is "avoid stepping on the land-mines".

In terms of running cramps and muscle cramps, that means ensuring your fluid and electrolyte is high when performing strenuous physical activity in hot and humid environments.

The best advice is not, as this article suggests, to 'eat pretzels, saltines or wheat crackers', instead increase your intake of fresh food - mainly vegetables, drink more water than you think you need (most people don't drink nearly enough)and use a high quality sports drink like Rebound fx.

A good quality sports drink will be typically high in electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and contain some protein for recovery and sustained energy.

We discuss the role of sports drinks, the best ways to hydrate, keeping the body fueled and sources of fresh food nutrition in the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

If You Want to Stop Football Players from Gettng Cramps and Deaths on the Field - then take a Good Look at Nutrition

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Screening for Sickle Cell Trait, Immediate Icing..."

The biggest risk to football players and professional athletes isn't how hard they push themselves or how much they sweat, it's actually their nutrition.

It's a 'no-brainer' that people who sweat more ie professional athletes performing to a high level in hot conditions over a continuous period of time - are sweating out more than just gatorade or powerade.

Their sweat is literally a soup of vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients, and they have much higher demand for antioxidants and mineral and other nutrient replacements.

If you couple this with the fact that a lack of Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids is associated with cardiovascular disease (the lead cause of sporting deaths on the "field") then it's an absolute no-brainer that a professional athlete is going to give themselves the best chance of survival by having a good diet.

And a good diet for someone training all the time to a high level needs to include some form of supplementation to make up the difference. Either that, or you'll need to constantly eat fruits, vegetables, and nutritious food literally 10 times a day and I don't see many people prepared to do that.

Thyroid Disease and Persistent Cramps

Rupp's mystery has been solved

If you're suffering cramps frequently and they last for more than 10 - 15 minutes and respond poorly to conventional treatments of resting and stretching to relieve the pain, then it could be an indicator that there's something more serious going on with your health.

Thyroid disease, as in this example, is one condition. Other conditions include ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), hardening of the arteries, spinal stenosis, endocrine disorders, chronic infections, metabolic imbalances and liver cirrhosis.

Remember to consult your doctor if your cramps are persistent and severe, says the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide's Dr Adrian Cohen.

Why Hills Give You Running Cramps

Monterey County Herald | 05/01/2006 | AS USUAL, HILLS TAKE THEIR TOLL

We've written several articles on how hills can be associated with leg cramps in long distance and cross-country events.

Just to recap, if you plan on racing on a hilly course, then you need to train on hills.

Sometimes mixing your training around by running sandhills, doing specific hill training, or even working out on a treadmill with a higher than normal incline will help you at least identify if you're going to cramp or strain.

If you're racing in a hot environment, then of course the usual rules of nutrition, hydration apply.

How To Beat Running Cramps & Muscle Crampsin Distance Events

delawareonline � The News Journal � Learning to love distance despite pain

As this article shows, it's running calf cramps that are a major problem for many marathoners and half marathon runners, particularly in the latter stages of the race.

In this article the runner, a relatively experienced athlete, has calf cramps in one leg - then gets them in the other leg - and they're so debilitating that he's reduced to just being able to walk.

In our book on Running Cramps we have several suggestions that would help this athlete and others like him.

In this case I'd start with changing the nutrition, and introducing a sports drink with additional electrolytes.

In cases of chronic cramping I've also found Japanese acupuncture techniques to be extremely helpful. One of the techniques we outline in the book, we show you pressure points for the calf and the leg that can help keep you moving and show you exactly what an experienced acupuncturist will do to keep you running pain-free all the time.

Preparing Against Running Cramps in Ultra Endurance Events

Las Vegas SUN: Ron Kantowski on an extreme athlete who gave it all before hitting the wall and landing in an unusual place

For ultra endurance events - it's more about very slow and very steady and months of preparation.

Once cramps and fatigue set in in an ultra endurance event, the only thing you can do is stop, rest and rehydrate with a sports replacement drink high in glucose and protein.

For faster recovery you can try massage therapy but this is only recommended about 24 - 48 hrs after completion.

Bottom line, if you plan on running on a treadmill for 24 hours, then practice on a treadmill for 24 hours (!!) - simulating the actual conditions you're going to perform in is one of the best ways to prepare.

You can read more about race preparation, training techniques, hydration, nutrition tactics, massage, sports drinks, flexibility and stretching in the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Beware of a hilly course if you suffer from leg cramps when running

Beware of hills!: "cramp"

Hills are definitely one of the factors that can cause cramp particularly when you're already tired.

One of the best things you can do is increase the amount of hill training in the lead up to an event - especially an event that has a hilly course.

Many of our Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide readers have followed the advice we give in the book for designing a program that reduces the likelihood of cramping.

We found people get best results if they combine this type of workout with the flexibility exercises we recommend.