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Thread: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

  1. #1

    Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    I would welcome any ideas to combat cramp.
    I have done Snowdon Race the last 2 years and have suffered very bad cramp.
    There is something about the terrain combined with warm days that must bring it out, compared to having done Ben Nevis Race also the last 2 years without any cramp whatsoever (steeper terrain and cooler temperatures?).
    I have had cramp at other races like Edale Skyline, Holme Moss……but nothing brings it out like Snowdon.
    So I am getting excited about Snowdon Race this year but cramp spoils it and am looking for ideas - quack or otherwise!

  2. #2
    Master IainR's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Aye the big difference is the heat.. Snowdons almost always a warm day..

    I tend to suffer more at the Ben, not cramp, but muscularly..

    Which muscles cramp?

    I find that loads of banana's have made a change in how often I get cramp.. but I also now salt in advance.. so lots of salt on food which seems to help.. especially when training in hot places, like TX.

  3. #3
    Senior Member murph's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    I too suffer with cramp when its particularly warm and the session / race is intense, I use Hi5 Zero tabs and drink this inplace of regular drinks (tea coffee juice etc) for a day or 2 before hand as well as on the morning of the race itself, touch wood = no cramp.
    Good going down !!

  4. #4

    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Thanks for replies.
    It is the calf muscles.
    I'll try salt / Hi5 for a few days beforehand, I haven't previously tried electrolyte stuff etc prior to the morning of the race.

  5. #5
    Master IainR's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    So its in the more runnable races? The Ben is basically a hill walk..

    Snowdon you actually run a good 75% of it at least.. similar edale?

    Do you have tight calfs? a weakness there?

    I tend to get it in my groin if ever I do, but its pretty rare.

  6. #6

    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by IainR View Post
    So its in the more runnable races? The Ben is basically a hill walk..

    Snowdon you actually run a good 75% of it at least.. similar edale?

    Do you have tight calfs? a weakness there?

    I tend to get it in my groin if ever I do, but its pretty rare.

    I didn't think I had tight calfs or a weakness, but might be worth stretching specifically beforehand...........

    You pointing out the runnability has made me realise that maybe my hill training is too steep, ie too much 'hill walk', better for ben nevis, but not enough running for snowdon.
    I do the same hill training for snowdon and ben nevis which can't be right.
    Maybe I need to find something not as steep and more runnable for snowdon training.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    You need to practice the same gradient, for the same length of time, and going up it the way you do in the race.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Alan Lucker's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Lack of salt for the amount of sweating, combined with long hard efforts seam to lead to a build up of lactic acid. I think this is the combination, and reason, that gives me cramp. I think liquid is needed to get enough salt through fast enough during a long hard run, the only other way would be salty food with plain water. I have tried running with a minimal liquid and food intake and have cramped up a lot near the end after about 4 hours.
    I agree that training for the gradient of climb will help. Snowdon is in a lot of parts runnable, finding those sorts of runnable climbs to train on would definitely help. Probably in you getting used to processing lactic acid efficiently at the given effort levels. Intervals too..... Horrible I know but useful.

  9. #9
    Master IainR's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lucker View Post
    Lack of salt for the amount of sweating, combined with long hard efforts seam to lead to a build up of lactic acid. I think this is the combination, and reason, that gives me cramp. I think liquid is needed to get enough salt through fast enough during a long hard run, the only other way would be salty food with plain water. I have tried running with a minimal liquid and food intake and have cramped up a lot near the end after about 4 hours.
    I agree that training for the gradient of climb will help. Snowdon is in a lot of parts runnable, finding those sorts of runnable climbs to train on would definitely help. Probably in you getting used to processing lactic acid efficiently at the given effort levels. Intervals too..... Horrible I know but useful.
    Aye before the snowdon race I always had a few key sessions.. first was tempo runs for 20 mins, either to half way, base of allt moses or the top half, and a few continual runs up, plus reps on that sort of gradient, 5 x 4 mins, and then a steep steps session.. which I think helps for allt moses itself.. so vivian steps..

    The main thing was undoubtably getting used to running and not walking at that gradient, its far more runnable than most proper mountain fell races.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by IainR View Post
    .. most proper mountain fell races.
    LOL

    Funnily enough I seem to be more liable to cramp in a long race with a lot of steep power-walking; this might be because most of my training is done actually running, and usually on nice firm ground or rocks. At Cwm Pennant on Saturday I eased off a little on the squidgy grassy ascent of Hebog to avoid trouble later in the race (succesfully).

    As I've said before, I put salt in my cups of tea on a routine basis. The only time I have struggled with cramp in recent years was at Borrowdale last year, but I was just back from travelling, racing, and being very sick with stomach flu in mainland Europe, and not very focussed on my race prep.

    I think a lot of people don't know how to do the power walking very well. Whether walking or running slowly, but even more so when walking, it's about maintaining constant push as much as possible. Technique and sure-footedness plays a big part in this ~ some Calder Valley guys at Hebog a week ago were saying I benefit from my long stride on some of the steeper uphills, but I would say both they were knackering themselves running on short flatter bits that I was walking, and then messing about using hands on steeper rocky stuff where I was walking up it like a road. This is because I'll stand on my foot on almost anything. Occasionally I'd do a little jump to get up a big step, but as infrequently as possible. If I do this, then I'd not fully extend my leg on landing ~ it's all about conserving energy.

    Walking vs running again: I think the walking uses less energy overall on very steep ground, but probably greater force/work through the calves. Anyone agree/disagree?

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