cramps

cramps

Post by George McF » Thu, 14 May 1992 06:16:01


I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
football coach said that serious athletes needed to avoid dehydration and
recommended that we drink lots of gatorade during games and that salt
tablets were helpful.  Well, I've found that gatorade keep the energy high
during tri's and I eat about 5-8 salt tablets during a race, depending on
how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

George

 
 
 

cramps

Post by Dale Dozi » Thu, 14 May 1992 06:39:33

Quote:
>I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
>cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
>how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
>hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

>George

I had the very same problem. I did a great 10k (for me) and was
half way through the 50k bike part when both calves almost at the
same time got severe cramps. I had to slow down to 10-12 mph for
almost 3 miles to massage the calves. I was on the edge of getting
calf cramps the rest of the race. I was so pissed! (still 21.43 mph avg).
What causes it? Lack of minerals? Dehydration? Not stretching properly?
Lack of salt? Too much Carbo loading? If anyone could help me aviod this
the next time it would be greatly appreciated.

-Dale

 
 
 

cramps

Post by Mike Gilson ............... x 31 » Fri, 15 May 1992 02:02:49



Quote:
> I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
> cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
> football coach said that serious athletes needed to avoid dehydration and
> recommended that we drink lots of gatorade during games and that salt
> tablets were helpful.  Well, I've found that gatorade keep the energy high
> during tri's and I eat about 5-8 salt tablets during a race, depending on
> how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
> hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

I get comparable cramps during the first few races of the season, only
during the cycling leg.  By mid-June I don't get them at all, so I've
always assumed it was a fitness issue.  Could this be the case for you?

Mike Gilson

 
 
 

cramps

Post by Tom Kuch » Fri, 15 May 1992 04:18:04


Quote:

> I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
> cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
> football coach said that serious athletes needed to avoid dehydration and
> recommended that we drink lots of gatorade during games and that salt
> tablets were helpful.  Well, I've found that gatorade keep the energy high
> during tri's and I eat about 5-8 salt tablets during a race, depending on
> how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
> hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

This comes from mostly personal experience.  Salt tablets during the
race probably won't help too much, because of the time it will take
the body to absorb the salt.  Water is a different story, since it's
important to stay hydrated during the race.  Cramps can be a sign of
low potassium too, not just low (sodium) salt.  So keep bananas as a
good portion of your training diet. They'll supply you with potassium
as well as energy.

--
Tom Kuchar                        

Department of Astronomy          
Boston Univerity                  

 
 
 

cramps

Post by s0.. » Fri, 15 May 1992 19:50:46

Quote:

>>I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
>>cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
>>how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
>>hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.
>>George
> I had the very same problem. I did a great 10k (for me) and was
> half way through the 50k bike part when both calves almost at the
> same time got severe cramps. I had to slow down to 10-12 mph for
> almost 3 miles to massage the calves. I was on the edge of getting
> calf cramps the rest of the race. I was so pissed! (still 21.43 mph avg).
> What causes it? Lack of minerals? Dehydration? Not stretching properly?
> Lack of salt? Too much Carbo loading? If anyone could help me aviod this
> the next time it would be greatly appreciated.
> -Dale

I might be telling you thing s that you already know but here it is all the
same. Lack of mineral/electrolytes, especially Ca and K can give severe
soreness and cramps.  I don't usually ever have problems with cramps, but when
I have problems with getting a lot more sore than I should -- It's usually b/c
I haven't been drinking my milk.  Also, Calcium supplements often include
Magnesium which is necessary for the body to properly use the Ca.  
        Regarding the salt intake, If you are getting adequate amounts of salt
in your diet (most Americans get plenty) you should need little or no salt
supplementation.  George's original post said that he ate something on the
order of 6-7 salt tabs a triathalon,  this seems like more than enough to
counterbalance any salt loss.  I'd look at the other electrolytes for the
cause.
                                                Mark
 
 
 

cramps

Post by Shane P Es » Sat, 16 May 1992 00:59:27

Quote:
> I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
> cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
> football coach said that serious athletes needed to avoid dehydration and
> recommended that we drink lots of gatorade during games and that salt
> tablets were helpful.  Well, I've found that gatorade keep the energy high
> during tri's and I eat about 5-8 salt tablets during a race, depending on
> how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
> hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

I'm not sure about the salt tablets, but you should make sure you
are hydrated (the day before, you should be using the toilet
about every hour) as well as being well nourished with potassium
(sp?).  In other words, eat a banana every day, and maybe 2 the
day before the race.  Also, make sure that you have trained
enough for the race.  There was a good article in Triathlete
magazine last year (unsure of the month, but I can get it if you
really need it).  In that article, they suggest training times
and distances for a sprint tri.  All you have to do is double
these and you should be in great shape for an olympic distance
tri.  
Shane Esau
Univ of Calgary Tri Team
 
 
 

cramps

Post by Larry Chapm » Fri, 15 May 1992 11:47:33

Quote:
> I tend to get severe leg (calf and thigh) cramps, especially during the
> cycling leg of most of the triathlons I do.  When I was in high school, my
> football coach said that serious athletes needed to avoid dehydration and
> recommended that we drink lots of gatorade during games and that salt
> tablets were helpful.  Well, I've found that gatorade keep the energy high
> during tri's and I eat about 5-8 salt tablets during a race, depending on
> how long it is.   Does anybody know what else I can do to avoid cramps?  I
> hate having to drop out when I still feel strong.

Salt  tablets?  Tell me you're  kidding.  This is a *very bad* idea  unless
you have some  biochemical  disorder  than I've never heard of (which could
certainly be the case).  The Gatorade  should have plenty of  electolyte to
get you through any race.

The salt tabs may, in fact, be your  problem!  When all that salt hits your
stomach  it sucks the water  right out of your  muscles  and into your gut.
Then you  cramp.  Today's  docs only give salt  tabs  when  your body is so
depleted that your life may be in danger.

Hope this helps.

-- LSC

 
 
 

cramps

Post by Mike Kail x24 » Sat, 16 May 1992 22:10:46

On another side, I usually experience severe stomach cramps after
running a 10-K (or greater) road race.  I competed in a 1/2
marathon race last weekend and about 10 minutes after I finished
I had to make a *mad dash* to the men's bathroom...;-(  I was
wondering if anyone else suffers from this or has any suggestions
on how to alleviate the problem.

Thanks in advance,

--
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cramps

Post by Shane P Es » Sun, 17 May 1992 01:12:19

Quote:

>I might be telling you thing s that you already know but here it is all the
>same. Lack of mineral/electrolytes, especially Ca and K can give severe
>soreness and cramps.  I don't usually ever have problems with cramps, but when
>I have problems with getting a lot more sore than I should -- It's usually b/c
>I haven't been drinking my milk.  Also, Calcium supplements often include
>Magnesium which is necessary for the body to properly use the Ca.  
>    Regarding the salt intake, If you are getting adequate amounts of salt
>in your diet (most Americans get plenty) you should need little or no salt
>supplementation.  George's original post said that he ate something on the
>order of 6-7 salt tabs a triathalon,  this seems like more than enough to
>counterbalance any salt loss.  I'd look at the other electrolytes for the
>cause.
>                                            Mark

You should also note that the salt tablets will absorb some
necessary water which your body could use.  If you are going to
take salt tablets, you should drink 2X as much water as usual,
which would equate to about 40-60 ounces (depending on weather
conditions). This is quite a lot (2 large bottles at least).  So
I guess the m***of the story is to train hard, eat lots of
bananas, and drink lots of milk, and drink 7 or 8 glasses of
water per day - all you will do is pee the excess out.
 In fact, there are many people whom I train with who drink water
while swimming - as a former competitive swimmer, I can't do
this, but I do hydrate up afterwards.

Shane Esau
Univ of Calgary Tri Team