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Cramping and hydration, or heat 'injury'

3 watchers
Aug 2017
11:42am, 7 Aug 2017
899 posts
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Ultimately invisible
Following a reasonably hot/hilly race on Saturday, I experienced pretty extreme cramping in my legs. The muscles were rapidly twitching, and attempting to stand from sitting caused calves/quads/hamstrings to spasm painfully. I accept that I should have kept moving rather than collapsing in a heap once finished to keep the muscles moving - dumb move and totally expected. Once mobilised again, the cramping eased off and didn't return. There was little in the way of cramping during the event, but I had felt overheated several times on the route.

The next day I experienced mild cramping in my hands and abs/diaphragm when stationary, which I have experienced before after long events in warm climates. I also regularly suffer from temperature regulation issues after long events - night sweats, and feeling cold in direct sun (not sure if this is related).

Is it possible that these symptoms are all caused by lack of electrolyte replacement? There are lots of competing ideas on treating/causes of cramp, and regarding electrolyte replacement (homeostasis all the way through to 'you'll die without it'), and I currently tend toward the "low/no replacement during" end of the spectrum.

Anyone experienced similar? Or got any advice other than 'take some salt'?
Aug 2017
4:51pm, 7 Aug 2017
13983 posts
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I've felt overheated on certain runs and had occasional heat regulation issues. But not the cramps.

Anyone else?
Aug 2017
1:15pm, 9 Aug 2017
276 posts
  • 0
Little Miss Happy
I'd suggest upping your fluid intake. Being dehydrated is the usual cause if I get cramps. Post marathon my calves are hilarious - you can actually see them twitching, it generally fascinates the sports massage students post VLM - they rarely actually go into full blown cramp though whereas my feet will.
Aug 2017
1:26pm, 9 Aug 2017
27101 posts
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fasciculations according to the Sub 3:15 thread where we were discussing it (and Dr Google, obv!) Mostly benign according to Wiki


When I've experienced it in, or immediately after races, it's usually just fatigue, I believe, not hydration or salt / electrolyte related, for me.

After workouts (not usually legs, more upper body for me) again, it's usually just a sign of muscle being tired. Good stretch and rest is usually what I do. Good luck. :-) G

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Following a reasonably hot/hilly race on Saturday, I experienced pretty extreme cramping in my legs....

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