So i've been recently having some problems during work out sessions. About a year and a half ago i tore my ACL playing soccer. I play tennis for my school, and have always been in pretty good physical shape so i recovered quite quickly. i was back on the court hitting in about 4 months and playing full pace again after about 7. I also had great PT, which aided in the recovery process. I've already had my last doctor visit a couple of months ago, and according to him i'm about 98%. I can start, cut, lunge, stop and everything on court like i used to before the surgery.
So my problem is this.. I gave up playing soccer after the surgery, probably simply because of fear or re-injury. So after i quit playing soccer i started to get interested in running. i've been running for a while now, but recently i've started getting really bad cramps (or at least they feel like cramps). I always drink water before, during, and after running, and always stretch before and after running. The cramps start in the back of my lower leg, around my calf muscle, and then seem to travel down my leg. A lot of the times my foot goes numb which causes me to stop my workout all together out of fear that i might injure something. The weird thing is, i can spend hours on the tennis court and i don't have this problem. Is there anything i need to change to prevent this? Could it possibly be somehow linked to my surgery or my recovery? i'm trying to avoid going to the doctor at all costs because of financial and insurance reasons, so any help would be greatly appriciated.
Yanks - I usually run on partially flat surfaces.. sidewalks, streets, etc. I live in downtown St. Louis, but i also live on a college campus, so its fairly easy to find some flat ground. I've never tried the potassium pills, but i'll definately look in to them.
Brad - thanks for the link. it had some good stuff in there. I think i may be guilty of over exerting myself, as he stated in the link. I try to run every day, though not extremely long distances (around 2-3 miles) but i still may be pushing my body too much. I've come to enjoy the feeling that running gives me, maybe i should look in to other exercises and only run every other day or so.
Does anyone think this might be linked with my surgery? that is really my main concern. I don't know if anyone on here has ever torn their ACL, but i'm just concerned i may be messing something up.
oh and Brad, do you have personal experience with those shoes? i haven't invested in a really good pair of running shoes yet, simply because i haven't had the financial means to, but i may shoot for a pair for christmas so if you have experience with those shoes or any other good running shoes i'd definately be open to suggestions. thanks again.
how much water are you consuming before you run? Because I forget the actual number but I believe its, your only suppose to have 1 cup of water before a run to help prevent cramping. Also if you run then take a day off sometimes lactic acid builds up and it makes you cramp. The biggest thing is what yanks said potassium. I ran and played soccer for yrs I had a experienced runner tell me about the whole amount of water and trust me it def worked for me seeing how I would downa bottle of water before the run I stopped doing that and my cramps went away. But also make sure you drink enough while your running or you will cramp up also. LOL its a thing of balance just play with it. By the way I need to get back into running ive gained like 50 lbs since HS now im 6'2 and way 205 lol compared to my running shape
I definitely believe the cramps are due to water intake like Charlie said but potassium is also linked possibly to your problem because too low of it in your body can cause cramps. Potassium and water work in a balance and I have also found too low of potassium can cause a general fatigue. I believe potassium also helps regulate the heart beat. As far as the numbness i do believe its due to your injury and I would get a professional opinion.
well i think you may have found the solution. I usually down like a bottle of water or two before i run, just because i don't want to carry around a water bottle while i run. i just started really running recreationally, so sorry if i seem like a novice. i'll definately cut down on the water intake before i run and try out the potassium pills, looks like general consensus seems to be they will help. as for the numbness part, i was afraid but fairly sure it had something to do with the injury. i mean i've had cramps before and never experienced numbness, and as far as i can tell its not an affect associated with cramping. thanks for all your advice guys, i really appreciate the help.
and charlie, you should try getting back in to running man.. i always used to laugh at track because i never really considered it a real sport.. but once you start running it gets addicting. the feeling you have during and after a run is extremely satisfying. definately glad its a hobby i picked up.
"i'll definately cut down on the water intake before i run and try out the potassium pills, looks like general consensus seems to be they will help. as for the numbness part, i was afraid but fairly sure it had something to do with the injury. i mean i've had cramps before and never experienced numbness, and as far as i can tell its not an affect associated with cramping. thanks for all your advice guys, i really appreciate the help."
Lots of funy sh1t here in this thread. I run at least 8 miles 6 days a week(Sunday is my off day) and I've drank plenty of water without any problems of cramps. In my experience I cramp up more if I don't have enough water. Potassium is definitely helpful but only if you're deficient in it. I have one great tip for you though and that is to run on an incline, you'll save your joints from all the impact.
See, thats what i always thought Rob, about the water thing. i actually kind of created this thread with you in mind because i thought i remembered you knowing some good info about exercising and what not. any other advice besides the incline? like i said, i'm pretty much a novice when it comes to recreational running.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you're eating enough complex carbohydrates. Without carbs your body won't retain water. I'm on a carb cycling diet, I go very low carbs 3 days in a row and on my 4th day I "load" up on carbs but not too many. The most annoying things about low carb diets are that you're not going to hold your water so at night you'll wake up to take 3-4 leaks(I do), your skin will start drying out and lastly you'll have lower energy levels so intensity will suffer. Try to make sure you're getting enough protein. That may seem like common knowledge but when I was on a lower calorie diet and not getting at least 1 gram per pound of my body weight I was in extreme pain when running. I increased my protein intake and calories and the pain was gone, that was a serious relief for me because I was about to go to the doctor the week before because that's how bad it was but I always try to fix things myself before looking to others for help. Drink more water if anything because I personally cramp up when I drink too LITTLE water not too much. If you drink too much water you'll just piss it out.
Rob is right about the complex carbs and water. But another thing ill add is the minimum daily carb intake recommended is 150 grams if you are not cycling like Rob. And its better to space your carb intake out through out the day so you dont spike your insulin levels.
Like Sean mentioned, it's better to space out your carb intake BUT it's actually a good idea to take it a step further, space out all of your macro nutrients according to your schedule. I find that 6-8 meals a day is much better than your average 2-3. If you're trying to cut down on body fat I've been reading that it's good to run on an empty stomach like in the morning to really burn fat and keep your metabolism up throughout the day. If you're weight training/lifting make sure you're getting a decent pre and post workout meal. For the pre-workout you should eat 2 hours prior to training unless you're only consuming fast digesting things such as whey protein then I'd suggest 30 minutes prior to training. For your post-workout you'll want to eat right after training and no more than 30 minutes later. It repairs and helps the muscles grow.