While muscle cramps are extremely common among endurance athletes, the potential causes are varied.
As such, when a cramp strikes, you have a few potential remedies at your disposal depending on which muscle or cramp you experience.
READ MORE | How To Conquer The Dreaded Muscle Cramp
Why you cramp
The easiest issue to address is ensuring adequate hydration and electrolyte intake during races.
If the same muscles cramp during races, then you may need to address a strength imbalance or review your training program to identify any possible conditioning shortfalls.
Whatever the reason, when a cramp sets in, or you start to feel the initial twitches you should:
- Decrease your pace or intensity.
- Don’t stop, if possible. Keep moving the muscle and try to extend it through a fuller range of motion.
- Sip on a carb-electrolyte drink or a gel to see if this helps – be careful not to drink too much, though.
- If a cramp sets in, stretch the affected muscle with a simultaneous contraction of the opposite (antagonist) muscle to try and calm the reflex.