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 Post subject: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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I've seen a variety of tips online, but this week I'm having major side cramps both when walking and running.

I did just start Week 5 of couch to 5k last week and I may not have stretched enough before I tried to do day 2 yesterday, and failed miserably because of my cramps.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:10 pm 
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I don't get them regularly, but when I do I just try to run/walk through them. They seem to fade away as I get in better shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:32 am 
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no advice but commiseration. I am on week 4 of c25k and the side cramps kicked my butt all week.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:38 am 
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Lubes With Earth Balance
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If I get side cramps, for example on my right side, I try to exhale when my left foot hits the ground, at least for a minute or so. It has worked better than anything else I've tried. I read about that method somewhere but I can't remember where, or why it works. Maybe try that?


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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:59 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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The only time I get side cramps is if I eat right before I run (or, I eat way too much over a period of a few days). Maybe try running on a completely empty stomach?


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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:22 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I try and keep steady breathing and I push on the cramp. I don't get cramps often, but when I do this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:24 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Eat bananas and drink plenty of water. If I get them mid-run, I hold my hands together and raise them above my head, then stretch to each side. Like the others said, hopefully they will be fewer and farther in between the more you run. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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I realize I'm on Week 4, too, not week 3. So maybe it's something to do with the jump in running time, and my body not being used to that.

Thanks everyone! I tried the exhaling thing already. I wondered about the stretching thing because since that run, every time I walk quickly I get them, even if I'm just walking down the street. I don't know how I'll survive another run if I can't even walk without them.

If I get them, pressing on it helps a lot, but I'm trying to prevent them.

I'll just stretch a lot, eat bananas, drink water, exhale on the opposite foot step, not eat before I run, and hold up my arms as I run! :)

I'll try out a few and report back in a week or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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When I was in cross country the coach told us to breathe deeply and try to run them out. Never really worked for me, but there you go.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Invictus wrote:
I try and keep steady breathing and I push on the cramp. I don't get cramps often, but when I do this helps.

Ditto. Not just steady breathing, but deep, slow breaths. Usually the cramp happens when you are pushing it and breathing pretty hard and it can be difficult to stop panting and switch to long, deep breaths. But that's what helps the most, in my experience. Pushing on it also seems to help, but I'm not sure how much of that is mental.

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:55 am 
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Saggy Butt
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ShawnieT wrote:
Invictus wrote:
I try and keep steady breathing and I push on the cramp. I don't get cramps often, but when I do this helps.

Ditto. Not just steady breathing, but deep, slow breaths. Usually the cramp happens when you are pushing it and breathing pretty hard and it can be difficult to stop panting and switch to long, deep breaths. But that's what helps the most, in my experience. Pushing on it also seems to help, but I'm not sure how much of that is mental.



Aaaaaaaaaand we have a winner!!!

So Saturday when I went running, I decided to pay really close attention to each aspect of what I was doing - my arms, legs, breathing, when I breathed, my posture, etc.

And I realized that before, I had been doing a form of diaphragmatic breathing to help prevent asthma, but then I'd stopped because my breathing seemed fine. I wasn't panting or doing short breaths, but they were about 1/2 as long. As soon as I started to do it again, no more cramps! I still get it very mildly when walking fast but I will remember the breathing.


Thanks so much everyone for your help!

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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm going to hijack this thread a bit with my running cramp. I've had them in the side before, but the real kicker for me is a cramp underneath my left shoulder blade. Anyone have this? It's so weird and makes no sense!


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 Post subject: Re: Runners - how to deal with side cramps?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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pickledtreats wrote:
I'm going to hijack this thread a bit with my running cramp. I've had them in the side before, but the real kicker for me is a cramp underneath my left shoulder blade. Anyone have this? It's so weird and makes no sense!

I don't believe I have had this particular thing before, but to offer an unqualified opinion anyway:

You may be tensing up a bit while running which, while you may not notice it on shorter runs, or just one run, it can be a cumulative effect. Lots of people (me included) allow their shoulders to inch upward toward their ears as they run. Try to be aware of this and correct it by standing up straighter, dropping your shoulders a bit, and shaking out your arms and hands every once in a while to relieve any built-up tension. Also, I had a track coach who once told us to run as though we had a rolled-up piece of paper in our hands, but an important one we did not want to damage. The point was to not squeeze your hands into a fist, which makes you tense up and actually waste energy. This may not be your problem at all, but it's worth a shot. Good luck!

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