Running Cramps During the Marathon

by Ray

When I run marathons I have this one problem.
I always cramp up badly by about mile 20.
How can I figure out what to do?
Don't know how to fix this.
Thanks in advance.


Answer by Dominique:


Hi Ray,
The marathon is an unforgiving distance. Running cramps, especially in the lower leg are quite common for marathon runners.


marathon pace


Without knowing much more about you, there are only a few guesses I can make about what you need to do:

  • Do more long runs (20 miles) in training; you can't really race a marathon until you can do 20-milers easily.


  • Drinking and eating; fluid and energy deficiency might be the causes of cramps. See this page on running with calf cramps.


  • You are starting off too fast and running out of fuel towards the end. You can read more about this on the marathon pacing page.


  • I am guessing that a lot of this problem comes down to insufficient training. However, for us "mere mortals" the 20-22 mile mark is also that point where it is simply enough and our body starts to heavily react to the stress we put on it.

    And even Paul Tergat, former marathon world record holder, said in an interview something along the lines of "...between 23 and 26.2 miles you enter no man's land where you will have to rely on your character and your will to maintain your speed...".

    So, although not much of consolation, at least you are in good company if you are suffering from problems at the end of a marathon!

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Dominique











    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Marathon Training Questions.



    Like this page:


    Share this page:


    Like this site:


    [?] Subscribe To This Site

    XML RSS
    follow us in feedly
    Add to My Yahoo!

    Helpful
    Resources

    • Beginner Running Tips

      Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

    • Running for Weight Loss

      Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

    • Running Training

      The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

    • 5k Running Tips

      The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

    • 10k Running Tips

      The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

    • Marathon Running Tips

      The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!




    What's New?

    1. Half Marathon - Need 11 Minutes Improvement

      I ran my first half marathon yesterday. I'm a 48 y/o female and my time was 2:11 (gun time). I trained with one long run a week and two short runs -

      Read more

    2. 5 Minute Mile at 45 Years Old

      Mid-life crisis question. I'm 45 years old and haven't run seriously since college. In high school, I ran 4:40 for a mile; 10:20 for two miles. I could

      Read more

    3. Sneezing after Running

      Every time I finish a run, I start sneezing (like a minute straight). For the rest of the day, I will have a runny and stuffy nose and will continue

      Read more

    4. Special Running Workouts :: Billat's Four by Five and the Thirty-Thirty

      running-quote-021.jpg
      Veronique Billat trains elite runners. She has found a few great workouts to improve your running and increase your running speed. Learn all about them on this page.

      Read more

    5. Want to Run a Half Marathon in Less Than Two Hours

      Love your website! Today I ran 5 km in my local race. My time was 25 minutes, 38 seconds. I am a 44 year old woman, average height and build (5'5 and

      Read more