Leg cramps which occur during jogging cause severe pain and paralyze muscles. Pain in the legs can be so strong that a runner withdraws from training or racing. On the other hand, some individuals, no matter how intensively they are training never get cramps, while others get them more frequently.
Doctors believe that there is only one reason underpinning the cramps. According to some it is considered that a person is genetically predisposed to convulsions. Leg Cramps can occur at any moment, and some of the reasons are:
All muscle contractions are controlled by electric impulses in the brain, and this information is transmitted via nervous system. One theory suggests that the very long period of running can overload the nervous system and create fatigue. Muscles are then over stimulated, so it is not surprising that muscle cramps often occur with long distance runners.
Solution: Gradually increase the jogging distance, using the 10% rule. This rule says that a runner is allowed to increase the length of the running distance maximum 10%of the distance that he or she had run the previous week. After the race deep massage is the best therapy.
Wrong way of warming up:
Due to the overload, the muscle cell membrane can burst. These cracks stimulate growth of new and stronger muscle fibers. Excessive overloads in a short period of time lead to the disintegration of muscle cells. In this case, their content, electrolytes, leak into the intramuscular space which increases the possibility of cramps with the muscle fibers in the vicinity.
Solution: Before serious loads, like heavy training sessions and races, prepare your muscles with a good warm up. This way you will relax muscles and increase blood flow. Jog about 15 minutes before you start with a strong training.
Hydrating is balancing between two extremes: hypohidration and hiperhidration. Insufficient intake of water (hypohidration) will result in convulsions, because of the high concentration of minerals in muscles. Excessive intake of water (hiperhidration) will dilute electrolyte levels in the muscle to the extent that the electrical signals from the brain which command muscles to contract will experience problems, therefore, appear cramps. Because of that a regular hydration is very important, where isotonic plays an important role to compensate for water and electrolytes needed for the for long distance jogging.
Solution: Regular water is good for short distance jogging, up to 60 minutes, and for all over that you need isotonic. It is also important to control the temperature of the liquid you use, because cold drinks can cause cramps. Supplementation of minerals before and after races or long training sessions is a good way to avoid disturbance in the electrolyte if you drink water. First, you need magnesium.
These are just some of the reasons for occurrence of muscle cramps in legs during running, and which can irritate the most powerful and sporty individuals.
If some of the solutions above do not help, or muscle cramps are constant and intensive contact to consult your doctor, physiotherapist or coach for an opinion, to eliminate other, more serious possibility for leg cramps during the jogging.