08 Dec Cramping: What to do!
Cramping During Exercise & Training
Cramping during exercise often is painful and debilitating. If it happens during a competition or race you might not be able to finish it, at the least your performance will be terrible. To this day the reason for cramping is not entirely understood but two causes seem to be the most likely:
- Electrolyte depletion
- Change in neuromuscular motor control due to fatigue.
How to deal with a cramp:
Gently stretch the cramping muscle. You will need to be very careful with it because stretching the muscle fast can lead to tearing. Secondly, try to identify the cause for the cramp. It might be severe fatigue, or electrolyte depletion, or both. Assess the situation:
- Take in electrolytes with some fluid
- End the training session or competition and let the person rest
How to prevent a cramp:
If you are looking to prevent a cramp you will need to make sure to adjust the intensity of your workout. Workouts that are extremely hard are more likely to lead to cramps, especially when the calves or hamstrings are involved.
If you have a longer sporting event and electrolyte depletion might become an issue, prepare for it in your training by knowing when you need to take in electrolytes with how much fluid.
Adjust for temperature: Your electrolyte household changes more rapidly during hotter weather because of you sweating.
The biggest mistake that is being made is trying to figure this out during race day instead of working on it during your training sessions.
Have a great day,