Leg Cramps While Running

About midway in my run both of my legs start to cramp. It is really painful and I don't know what to do about these leg cramps. What can I do to prevent this?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your running training question.
Unfortunately the jury is still out on what causes leg cramps.

However, a few factors have been identified which are considered to be causes of leg cramps while running.

These are:
  • Too much exercise

  • Dehydration

  • Poor nutrition

  • Too much exercise
    When you get too tired your muscles can cramp up. It is their way of telling you they need to stop.

    Dehydration can also be a reason for leg cramps. This could explain why many people can wake up in the middle of the night with sudden leg cramps. That's usually when our body is most dehydrated.

    Poor nutrition
    Runners need plenty of sodium, potassium and magnesium. When you don't get enough of these you could be experiencing leg cramps.

    So, why do you have leg cramps?
    I am not sure without knowing more about you. Do you run really, really fast and burn yourself out midway through the run?
    Do you maybe not drink enough before or during your run or do need enough for your exercise habits?

    You will have to find the answer for that yourself I am afraid. However, I hope that this answer has at least helped you identify some possible reasons. As with any running problem: if the leg cramps persist, go see a doctor.

    Kind regards,

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