Fitness Friday: Cramps

No, I'm not referring to the throbbing ones that come once a month hand in hand with bitchy mood swings, chocolate cravings and profuse bleeding which makes you wonder why the hell God punished you so by providing you with a vagina, ovaries and a uterus. Although those suck almost just as bad. (Sidenote: if any men are reading this, wrinkling their nose and saying "Ewwww!" my response to you is this: Get over it ya wimp! You couldn't make it through one day with a period let alone a life time, and if you were ever faced with the task of popping a kid out you'd throw a bitch-fit like none ever seen before! Trust me, I've seen what you're like with the sniffles and a cough).

Today I'm complaining seeking your advice about running cramps. You know, the ones that suddenly seep through your intestines mid run and force you to double over as if you've been soccer punched in the guts. Mhm. Those.

During this morning's run (which was filled to the brim with those dreaded running cramps), I gritted my teeth in pain, spewed profanity, and came the conclusion that cramps are vindictive and selfish. Mini Hitler's rummaging around our insides wreaking havoc. I mean seriously. Why is it that they never happen during the shitty runs? Of course the answer is to obvious: because  that would be too convenient. Instead they always spring up, like weeds in a perfectly pruned flower bed, completely sabotaging your best runs. The ones where you start out feeling as though you've morphed into a gazelle because your feet are springy and as light as air. For the first 2/3 of your run you're gliding along the pavement, smiling at strangers and breathing as calmly as if you were still plunked on the couch at home. Everything in the world is right and the sun is practically shining out your ass. You're like Jack in Titanic screaming "I'm on top of the world!" as you thunder down the pavement. Usain Bolt aint got nothin' on you!

Until the cramps come....And then you feel like you've been shot in the side and wonder if you'll ever make it home or if it's more convenient to lay on the dog-crap-covered-sidewalk right then and there and die. But instead you stop running - completely obliterating your awesome pace - because let's remember folks, a few minutes ago you were practically a freakin' gazelle pooping sunshine, and you walk. And walk. And try to run some more but make it 10 steps and stop again to look around and verify that no one really has stabbed you in your side. And walk again. Until you get home, dragging your feet and feeling completely defeated.

It's frustrating. It's disheartening. It's enough to kill the graceful gazelle inside you.
So this is where I turn to you my sweet friends. This morning, for the 3rd time in a row, my pace and run was absolutely trashed as a result of awful cramps - even with eating my tried and tested banana an hour before running. I need to get rid of these Hitler cramps that keep sabotaging my runs. They're peeing on my parade and I'm so very paranoid that if I don't figure out how to get rid of them now I'll have serious problems when I start my 5k-10 training next week. I can't eat anything (aside from my banana) before any runs or else the cramps are immediate and I'm unable to even make it a 1/2 mile before I'm down and out. But are there any foods I should be incorporating in my diet that help with cramps? Any pre-run exercises you know of?  A certain breathing pattern I should try? Does posture affect running cramps? 

For cereal peeps, feel free to throw anything out there - whether it's things that have worked for you personally or tricks you may have read in a running magazine. I'm open like a book to any and all advice because if I don't kick this now I'm likely to go bat shit crazy. And we all know nobody wants that.

Thanks so much in advance for your advice. It means the world and you all rock my socks.


  1. ughhh...this has to be frustrating! I have no advice, because I'm not a runner or training to be a runner...but I hope you get some good advice friend! this would definitely be a motivation killer!

  2. Hey girl, have you tried magnesium? I get leg & foot cramps if I don't take daily. Just a thought

  3. Sorry to hear you keep getting cramps! I don't tend to get them when I run, but I make sure to keep hydrated throughout the day. I, too, take magnesium (for other reasons) so perhaps that helps!

  4. Drink LOTS of water! My runs definitely reflect my water intake. If I have had enough, runs go great. If I haven't had enough, my runs suck! I don't know if this has anything to do with my lack of cramps, but I eat a banana everyday. Normally 2 to 3 hours before my runs. Hopefully you figure out what works for you.


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