Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tales of the cramped arch(es)

The past three days when I've gone out running I've battled:
  1. Needing to use the bathroom a half mile away from my door (for that I attest the twins)
  2. Foot cramps
Having already gone the orthodic route and battling the pain leading up to it, I know the cramps are not facitis. So I did what any wise runner would do - I took to the Internet to figure out what's going on, try to fix it, and keep on running on.

Per How Stuff Works, foot or arch cramps in running can come from:
  • Dehydration (from perspiration)
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Shoes without the right arch
Runner's World gives 9 prevention and helping tips (note, most of these are for new runners):
  1. Before running, walk slowly for 5 minutes to warm up the feet
  2. Don't stretch. Stretching often causes a "stretch reflex" that triggers cramping.
  3. Run 1-2 minutes per mile slower during the first 2 miles of the run
  4. For the first 10 minutes of running, run a minute and walk a minute. During the second 10 minutes, either stay at 1-1 or go to 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking.
  5. Visit a specialty running store to make sure that your shoe is right for your foot.
  6. Be sure you're drinking 6 to 8 ounces of an electrolyte beverage within 2 hours after you run.
  7. Never sprint at the end of your run; walk for 5 minutes before getting in your car or the shower.
  8. Consider asking your doctor for a blood analysis. You may be low in some of the electrolyte minerals.
  9. Examine your meds: some can produce cramps as side effects.

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