Severe calf cramp, this is the cause
Calf cramps are a common problem among runners. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of calf cramps, but to help you understand, below are some possible causes:
What is cramp?
Cramp, or muscle cramp, is the sudden contraction of all muscle fibres. This typically occurs during or after exertion. Usually, only a portion of muscle fibres contract while others rest. During cramping, the resting and contracting phases alternate between muscle fibres, causing a muscle to remain contracted for an extended period.
A deficiency in minerals, particularly magnesium, can lead to cramps. You can easily address this by taking additional magnesium supplements.
Calf cramps due to dehydration
During prolonged exertion in hot weather, especially during marathons, you lose a significant amount of fluid and sodium. Therefore, it’s essential to drink an adequate amount of water. Dehydration can be a potential cause of calf cramps with other possible causes, including calcium deficiency or blood circulation disruptions.
Simply taking additional minerals will not solve the problem. Proper training is essential. This allows your body and legs to adapt to the prolonged stress. Using the excuse, “I could have run faster without cramps,” is not valid.
Stretching your calf muscles to prevent cramps
If you experience acute cramping, you can stretch your calf muscles by pulling your toes towards your shins or asking someone to assist you. Take a short walk and then gradually resume running. It’s also important to stretch properly before your training sessions.