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  1. #1
    OptionJedi's Avatar
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    Sprinting Cramps and Soreness

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    In another thread I posted, I was told that actual sprinting is so different from using machines like elliptical machines. Boy were they right!

    I started sprinting a few weeks back (only done it maybe 3 or 4 times) and the kind of heart rate elevation and effort required is so much greater but the feeling of "runner's high" combined with the fresh air is just awesome.

    However, I seem to be consistently getting calf cramps (right calf specifically). It's more like a pinpoint pain in my calf. Also my hamstrings are sore for days afterwards. Lastly, after the first sprint, my adductors were really sore. That's not happening any more but the calf and hamstring thing persists.

    I've tried drinking more water, doesn't help. I don't want to eat bananas due to the sugar, should I take potassium supplements?

    I think the sprinting is hugely helpful but the calf cramp in particular holds me up from going all out. I typically warm up at about 50-60% speed 3-5 intervals before trying to go as fast as I can. Sometimes the cramp starts slowly creeping up during the warm ups. Otherwise I feel it somewhere during the full sprinting. Not wanting to severely injure myself, I usually stop before the pain is really noticeable (I've had intense calf cramps before and it's so painful and debilitating, I'll just have to lie on the ground until the pain subsides).

    Any ideas on how to address this so I can progress my sprinting further?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    simpstr's Avatar
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    maybe add salt to your diet.
    Health is Wealth!

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    iniQuity's Avatar
    iniQuity is online now Senior Member
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    This will pass. You’re stretching your calves and putting a lot of weight on them when you sprint but your body will adapt. Just like adductors aren’t as sore anymore, your calves will ease up as well as they get stronger.

    I remember three years ago when I started Muay Thai my calves were sore for I think 2 months, but ever since then I’ve had no issues with them. In Muay Thai you have to get up on your toes a lot to kick and knee and I wasn’t used to that type of weight on them.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Ooh I forgot, try ice baths! I've been reading about them and they seem to work wonders...

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    a good warm up and stretch is going to help quite a bit, but you're going to feel soreness for a little while no matter what you do. starting off with hill sprints will likely be good for you, as it's easier on the body.

    what does your sprint work out look like? how long are they, and how many are you doing?
    i find that shorter and fewer sprints are a good place to start, being sure not to force yourself to do too much. then slowly progress each workout.

  6. #6
    OptionJedi's Avatar
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    simpstr,
    lol, I've got high blood pressure so I actually go out of my way to lay off salt...

    iniQuity,
    thanks. I sprinted this morning and you're right. It has passed some. There was no hint of calf cramps during today's session (drank 2 glasses of water before going out). However, I did have a hint of a hamstring calf in my left leg. I just backed off if it felt like it was going to be painful but I went through the whole workout and pressed through.

    primalrob,
    I warmed up this morning by running light intervals before I sprinted. There isn't a good hill near me. However, there is a grassy area with a slight incline so that's what I'm running on. I'm doing 8 sprints. about 50-60 meters each sprint (takes me like 20 seconds, not really timing them, just trying to make it to the marker). I turn around and walk back (that takes like 1.5 minutes) and then I turn around and do it again. I stretched my calfs, hamstrings, and quads after that. We'll see how I feel tomorrow, but right now is probably the best after sprinting feeling I've had since I've started (meaning no cramps and only a little soreness in my left hamstring).

    Also, my heartrate is definitely elevated, and I am short of breath, but I don't feel like I'm going that fast. Is that common in the beginning?

    Thanks for all the advice.

  7. #7
    primalrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptionJedi View Post

    Also, my heartrate is definitely elevated, and I am short of breath, but I don't feel like I'm going that fast. Is that common in the beginning?
    you'll get faster the more you sprint. don't really worry about your speed; focus on putting forth as much effort as you can. it's good that you get your heartrate up nice and high. sprinting should get you to about 90% of your max heartrate. and you breath...i am gasping for breath in between my sprints, and i make sure my walk back to the start point is nice and slow to get back to a point where i can run again (not back to normal, just enough to run again)...sometimes i even have to hit the ground for a few breaths.

    it sounds like you're doing great. the soreness will go away with time. keep pushing forward, and let us know how it's going.

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