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Thread: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

  1. #11
    Senior Member Alan Lucker's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Agree with all of your post.
    I suppose its a matter of the more you do something the better you become at it. I do a lot of flattish runs, and struggle on steep climbs, mainly durring long efforts.

  2. #12
    Senior Member brummievet's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    I also agree. I'm new to the steeper stuff and have weak calves in comparison to a lot of the seasoned fell runners. I actually find it easier to run when steep, but then I'm knackered very quickly. If I walk I conserve energy, but my calves feel it so much more. I've tried experimenting different ways, but I guess the only way I'll improve is to get fitter and do more steep hills!

  3. #13
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Like others I think the cramp issue is partly about doing things you're less used to. I do long runs (30+ miles) on my own without ever getting cramp, but they're mostly fairly easy paced, at most steady. However, I've recently had twinges of cramp on shorter (5-10 mile) races. I don't really understand it (was always adequately hydrated, salted, etc.) but can only assume it's because I'm running much harder/faster, putting the muscles under slightly different stresses. [I'm not denying longer runs and hotter conditions will also be a factor sometimes, clearly they are.]

  4. #14
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    whilst there's a lot of salt/electrolyte related anecdote around and this used to appear to be backed up by some science, the physiological evidence is fairly conclusive that runners' cramps are not related to these factors. There's a good summary of the current state of the science in Tim Noakes' excellent recent book Waterlogged. The best evidence at the moment does seem to point towards myofibrillar trauma from using the muscles for activity well in excess of trained volume or specificity. There's also a good chapter about it written for a more general readership in the Runners World book The Runner's Body. So the science is with training volume and specificity to match your racing goals. And then there's the whole compression gear can of worms still to be properly opened...

    P

  5. #15

    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Thanks for all replies.
    I'll try to train harder and recreate the race terrain etc more closely, race more (I don't do many races and I find it difficult to push hard in training) and salt / high5 load a few days prior to the race.
    It feels odd to actively add salt to things as it is generally something I try, without success, to reduce. I guess the thing is to minimise it as much as possible normally and then load up a few days leading up to the race.
    Iain, I can't imagine eating more bananas than I do already, but maybe I could find something similar to go with the bananas? - avocado, butternut squash......

  6. #16
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by A-B View Post
    ..and salt / high5 load a few days prior to the race.
    It feels odd to actively add salt to things as it is generally something I try, without success, to reduce. I guess the thing is to minimise it as much as possible normally and then load up a few days leading up to the race.
    As I said, I add salt routinely, according to training load. It's as important during training as during race prep and is related to cellular hydration, which you want to maintain at all times. Having done that, I don't further boost it before race days. It's after race day that it's more important, if you have become dehydrated. If you keep feeling much more thirsty than usual, then a nun tab in your drink will help the body absorb and use the water.

    Edit: I hope that didn't come accross as harsh, I just mean that you may as well add your salt over a longer period of time rather than doing anything different and cramming it in as race prep. And I agree completely with training on the right terrain for the race and getting your body used to working hard.
    Last edited by LissaJous; 22-06-2013 at 04:24 PM.

  7. #17

    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by LissaJous View Post
    As I said, I add salt routinely, according to training load. It's as important during training as during race prep and is related to cellular hydration, which you want to maintain at all times. Having done that, I don't further boost it before race days. It's after race day that it's more important, if you have become dehydrated. If you keep feeling much more thirsty than usual, then a nun tab in your drink will help the body absorb and use the water.

    Edit: I hope that didn't come accross as harsh, I just mean that you may as well add your salt over a longer period of time rather than doing anything different and cramming it in as race prep. And I agree completely with training on the right terrain for the race and getting your body used to working hard.
    No not harsh at all, I appreciate any help. I just think of salt as a bad thing generally to add to food etc, but I am not very clever and do not have any knowledge of nutririon etc.
    If you are training regularly and running a decent amount of weekly miles, does this mean that adding salt generally becomes less of a health risk than for someone who does no exercise.

  8. #18
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by A-B View Post
    No not harsh at all, I appreciate any help. I just think of salt as a bad thing generally to add to food etc, but I am not very clever and do not have any knowledge of nutririon etc.
    If you are training regularly and running a decent amount of weekly miles, does this mean that adding salt generally becomes less of a health risk than for someone who does no exercise.
    In your case I don't think salt will help too much ~ it's not a very long race and the specific/hard training should help a lot more.

    Everyone needs some salt as part of their diet, which you need to add yourself if you often cook from scratch, but may get too much salt if you eat ready-made meals and take-aways (etc). The need for salt increases if you do lots of very hard training.

  9. #19
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    We evolved in a low salt environment and our bodies are actually very good at holding onto salt - which creates problems in Western society as many foods contain a lot of salt - bread/cereals/crisps are the obvious ones but there are plenty more - you would have to try pretty hard with your diet to not get enough salt. Sweat contains more water than salt - it only tastes salty as the water evaporates, and kidneys can cut salt excretion to close to zero when necessary. Hunter gatherers manage on well under a gram of salt a day, and they do quite a bit of exercise ..... the more salt you eat, the more your body will excrete in urine/sweat - and the chances are the higher your blood pressure will be. I realize this will be an unpopular post with some ....

  10. #20
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
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    Re: Cramp – Snowdon Race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    I realize this will be an unpopular post with some ....
    creationists? :angry:

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