Running is possibly one of the easiest sports anyone could do. All you have to do is lace up a pair of shoes and voila! You are ready to run. However, if you are getting serious about your running, and have set specific running goals to achieve, this simple sport becomes a little bit more technical.
Leg cramps while running and sore muscles from running are some of the most common obstacles any distance runner would face. What causes leg cramps while running, though? Simply put, it is because your leg muscles do not have important fluids and electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium). But all this can be easily avoided if proper nutrition is in order and a correct workout followed by a post-workout routine.
Whether it is a speed set or a long easy run, you must get in a good warm-up before the main workout.
This may vary depending on the particular workout you have to perform. Regardless, a warm-up is necessary because it gives your muscles the chance to loosen up. Whether it is dynamic stretches or special running drills, you have to make sure this is done properly. However, make sure that you do not overdo it, since it can lead to exhaustion during the run.
One other thing that should be kept in mind during your warm-up is hydration. Failure to drink sufficient amounts of water will lead to cramps and stitches all over the body when performing the main workout.
Following the Workout Schedule
Sticking to the workout schedule is a must; since it is based on your body’s limitations. In other words, do not go all guns blazing in the beginning because you will hit the wall, as they say, mid-workout. Do not do more than what you are supposed to either since you are risking not only cramping but injury as well.
Make sure you keep to a manageable pace and take in lost electrolytes regularly during your run. There is no exact science proving when you should hydrate during the run, since everyone has different capabilities. So listen to your body during your workout. To be on the safe side, have some energy bars on you, just in case your body starts overworking.
Even if you do experience a calf muscle cramp while running, the intake of electrolytes at regular intervals will quickly reduce the pain, since the legs are replenished with essential fluids.
You are now done with your main workout, but your calf muscle hurts after running, what went wrong? Nothing. Running is an impact sport, and you are bound to experience sore calves while running, since that is a muscle group that takes a lot of the ground impact.
Once you are done, take a few seconds to rest and continue to do a light jog. This helps in flushing out the excess lactic acid in the calf muscles, which is responsible for calf cramp. Running slow after the main workout will also allow your heart rate to gradually drop down to a more stable level. An easy 5-10 minute jog would suffice as a cooldown.
Stretching and Recovery
Follow your cooldown with a good stretch session to further flush out the lactate build up in your legs. Remember to stretch your quads, calves, glutes, and hamstring. Throw in a little bit of yoga positions too, as it helps in stretching out other muscle groups.
That is not the end of it though. Expect to have sore calves after stretching as well. To make the recovery process faster, make sure you have a balanced protein diet and incorporate the use of recovery tools.
Active Compression Through SPRYNG
For this, SPRYNGs should be at the top of your list, as SPRYNG’s active compression helps in circulating pooled blood in the calf muscles by mimicking the natural muscle contractions. This, further aids in flushing out any excess lactic acid from the leg, and enhances the muscle recovery.
By following a structured routine like this, with good nutrition and adequate rest, cramps that occur while running would be a thing of the past.