I have been off the booze for an incredible 10 days. Which for me is great. I managed to do a 6 mile run on Sunday morning at a leisurely pace. It will now take me several months to stop sweating. I was going to have a rest today but the weather is still great so I went for a 3 miler after work. The hills in the background are the Clwydian Range. These are always in view when I do this 3 mile route.
I have had a recent spike of clients reporting muscle cramps and requesting advice on how to avoid them. Cramp occurs when a muscle goes into spasm (usually during the contraction phase) and refrains from relaxing for some time after. This can be either just an irritating twinge, or can be a serious debilitating pain. Everyone has experienced cramp particularly those that exercise regularly or who take part in high intensity or endurance events.
So what causes cramp? The main factors are dehydration, sodium (Na) potassium (K) imbalance and fatigue. Dehydration and Na / K imbalance probably explains the current surge of occurrences during this spell of sweltering weather. Typical loss of fluid during exercise is around 1 litres per hour of exercise (although this varies dramatically between individuals). Sweat volumes increase considerably when exercise is carried out in hot conditions. This illustrates how much fluid is required during spells of hot weather such as we are experiencing currently and for those that are not used to this volume of fluid, cramp and underperformance may be inevitable. It’s not a great idea to try to load on fluids before exercise, as hydration needs to be gradual so that the water has time to adequately hydrate our muscles. Furthermore performing sport with a belly full of fluid is pretty difficult. Therefore athletes and exercise fanatics need to have a fluid policy that fits their event or schedule.
It’s not only water we lose through sweating, the other important loss is electrolytes. Electrolytes are mineral salts which break into small, electrically-charged ions when dissolved in water. These electrolytes include sodium, potassium and chloride which support muscle and nerve function as well as maintain normal blood pressure. Calcium aids muscle contraction and potassium and phosphate regulate energy and ph balance. If the balance of electrolytes is disturbed and unable to quickly normalise, cramps may ensue.
Our bodies lose water at a much faster rate than electrolytes, however, so it’s usually not necessary to replace electrolytes if exercising for durations of under an hour. But for longer workouts or sporting activity, especially in the heat, would be important to add a little salt to your drink. Just a pinch will suffice and if you can taste the salt, you have added too much. If the amount of sugar in the drink is around 4-5% and there is a pinch of salt, you have an ideal isotonic sports drink. Made from a standard carton of supermarket concentrated juice (around 14% sugar) you can make your isotonic drinks at around 20p per litre why pay £2.50/litre to the commercial drinks companies – its daylight robbery.
Finally, fatigue linked with dehydration due to the significantly reduced output of power from muscles deprived of sufficient water. Warming up gradually even in the heat is important, and you needn’t let the warm weather and cramp stop you from exercising..
Information provided courtesy of Discovery Learning – providers of UK fitness and personal training courses.
Got up early after a sober Friday evening and went for a nice 3.5 mile run down to the beach. The weather is great and I feel guilty being indoors when the sun is out so later on in the afternoon I went for a little 6 miler on my rattling old bike. Chris Froom would crap himself if he saw me rumbling along on it.
Going to get out and do a 6 mile run in the morning.
The big toe has healed well and as such i managed to get out for a 3 mile run after work. I missed out on running in all the glorious sunshine we had here in the UK (officially a heat wave by our standards) which was frustrating. Anyway I'm back at it and have been searching around for a good 10km training programme to tackle.
If you’ve done your share of 5K’s and 10k’s and want to step up the pace, or just fancy doing something in-between your marathons, why not take part in the Great North Run on the 15th September?
The event has now grown to a record 55,000 accepted entrants from over 100,000 applicants last year – it’s the World’s biggest and best half marathon, the ultimate mass participation event!
Starting in Newcastle, the course takes in the iconic Tyne Bridge, goes through Gateshead passing the famous international athletics stadium and finishes in the coastal town of South Shields. Live music, on course refreshment and thousands of cheering supporters will keep you motivated every step of the way.
If you’re keen to take part, there’s still chance to get a place through the
British Lung Foundation.
Deadline – 26th July!
Don’t miss out!
The charity requires a £50 registration fee and ask all runners to raise a minimum of £300 to help them support those with lung disease.
Running for a charity doesn’t only mean you’ll help the lives of those less fortunate, but they’ll also make sure your day is extra special! The BLF provide:
- BLF running vest and t-shirt
- Training Guide
- Fundraising pack
- On hand support from start to finish
- Any fundraising materials you need
- Post race marquee, with refreshments and a massages on race day!
For more information visit: http://www.blf.org.uk/Event/Detail/Great-North-Run
020 7078 7912
I won’t be running for a few days after doing this to my toe. I thought it would be funny to turn the hose off that my wife was using in the front garden and run off in a blaze of hilarity. In my bid to run off my foot caught a brick on a drain and this was the end result.
How my wife laughed.
Over here in the UK we are in the middle of a great spot of sunny weather. This needs to be pointed out because of its rarity in this country but also running in such a change of heat has a massively debilitating effect on performance. I have two gears when i run, slow and even slower but when it’s like this i always feel like im wasting a great opportunity to run. So what i do is just run at an almost snails pace so i can maximise the time i spend outdoors doing something i love. When I’m finished i let the tap run so i get the coolest water, fill a container full of ice and a bit of blackcurrant juice and pour it all down.
Make the most of it.
I have to admit I had not heard of Luta Sportswear before they got in touch and gave me the blurb. I can honestly say its impressive. So good to see a company in this day and age with good ethics.
LUTA Sportswear gives HALF its profits to Fight for Peace, a non-profit organisation that uses boxing and martial arts, combined with personal development and education to help realise the potential of young people affected by crime and violence.
The kit is also very cool and on standard with the top brands. You can find the UK site here at http://www.luta.co.uk/