This weekend I ran an 8 hour endurance race. At the 4 hour mark and just after a quick Pit Stop I LOCKED up. And Bad! From my VMO to my hip flexor in my left leg absolutely went to full FREAK OUT mode and I fell on the ground in pain. After losing my mind, I quickly harnessed the inner scientist and tried to diagnose my problem. After a few moments of nutrient analysis I came to the the conclusion that, CRAMPS fucking Suck!
While there are a few different theories about why we cramp during exercise, they are simply reduced to either a mineral imbalance in the body caused by overheating or a nervous system shortage caused by prolonged stress and overheating.
Sodium is intrinsically linked to the contraction of you muscle fiber. Among other minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium they allow electrical transmission to happen between brain and muscle. When an imbalance occurs, BAM!! your shit locks up and you hit the deck screaming. This weekend I wore my wetsuit which increased my body temperature and increased my perspiration on the hill climbs. I sweat, I dropped my mineral levels over a ing period and 20 miles in ... holy crap I got bit!
Electrolyte management is absolutely something that athletes must pay attention to, no matter the sport or athletic discipline. Pills, Gels, and shakes are great ways to make sure you stay on track. I seemed to respond well to salami and pickle juice. By 25 miles, I was right as rain!
Secondly is the heat. Cramping occurs when the body short circuits from the heat. Your muscle cells work very closely with your neurological system. The neurological system is what controls muscle firing and relaxing. When the muscle cell is stressed and/or heated to the point where it loses mineral quantity or overworked, BAM , Cramps begin.
Cramps suck for a number of reasons and honestly, they have an extra special suck factor because most of the time they are preventable.
As I lay on the ground, out of my mind... I felt very amateur. I have been an athlete my entire life and yet I still have not mastered endurance running. Cramping or rather 'Sub Par muscular preparation' knocked me down for a moment and hindered my ability. DON'T let this happen to you! Electrolytes are essential and should be another part of nutrition you should be paying attention to.
Some tips that help me,
1- Salty snacks or juices.
2- Stay away from diuretics when doing endurance work.
3- Balance the water intake. Don't flood yourself without drinking a bit of electrolytes.
Good luck out there, and for Gods sake.. if you see someone writhing in pain on the ground, cramping... help stretch them out... Because Cramps Frickin Suck!
2X :30 @ Each
-Elbow To instep
-Single Leg Burpee
-Divebomber Push Up
Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Rotations, PNF, Squat W/ T spine Rotation.
Developing Power Out of the Squat
*Using your backsquat numbers,
3X8 @ 50%
3X 8 @65%
-speed out of the bottom is the goal, descend under control and tension.
**In between Each Set, Perform 20 Side Plank Knee To Elbow. 10 on each side.
15 Toes To bar
Spend 3-5 Minutes Rolling out Calves On Kettlebell.
-if tight from squats, roll out IT bands.
Doubles Under Warm Up:
:30 Single Under Jumps
:30 High Knee Rope Skips
:30 Cadence Drill (3 single, 1 Double)
:30 Cadence Drill (2 single, 1 Double) or Double Unders
Samson Lunge W/ Reach
Reverse Side Step Lunge
Cobra Push Ups
**Spend 3- 5 Minutes working Hinge Position and pulling of DB for snatch.
15 Minute AMRAP
12 Alternating DB Snatch 50/35
12 Burpee Over Box
24 Double Unders
Split the class into 3 Separate Groups. Each group will perform 3 minutes at each station. 1:00 break in between stations.
1- 10X Sandbag Thruster/10X Cals on Bike/ 10X sandbag Cleans
2- 10X KB Sumo Deadlift High Pull/ 1X Plate Push on turf/ 10X KB Swing
3- 10X Slam Ball/10X Dumbbell Push Press/ 10X Pull Ups
**goal is not speed, rather to just move the body through full range of motion.
Ankle Rotations, Elbow To Instep, t spine reach, Hamstring Pulses, Hip Capsule Stretch, Pigeon Stretch, Down Dog
Clean and Jerk Warm Up:
-Muscle Clean + 3 Press
-Front Squat+ 3 Push Press
-Hang Clean + 3 Push Press
-Clean + 3 Split Jerks
10 Rounds for time
5 Clean and Jerks 135/95
10 Wall Ball
(16 min Cap)