I'm hoping someone can help me out. I just finished my first triathlon a few weeks ago and now I have my next tri in about two weeks. The run is longer on this triathlon and I have been training for it. The problem that I keep getting into is when I run I will be doing great at first, but then my side will cramp up and my legs will sort of ache up, leading me to walk for a second. When I go to run again my side is fine but my legs are more sore than when I stopped to walk. Does anyone have advice of what I can do to get past this threshold and run for a much longer distance?
Have you thought of dehydration. Typically, you should be producing a good amount of slightly pale yellow urine every 2-3 hours. Muscle crampling is directly related to dehydration. As for the pains in your legs, that would most likely be from going to hard too often or just flat out more running than your body can handle. Shin splints are a common indicator, but eventually it will catch up to you woth fatigue and ligament/tendon injuries. Becarefull and take a few days off, ice your legs after your runs as well. Another thing to remember is the loss of sodium in the warmer months, a key electrolyte, this will have a major impact on your training if you do not consume enough of it post workout, of course along with proteins and carbs. Listen to your body, it actually knows best, if you feel like you need a break, take one, your training will actually improve with a little unscheduled rest, put a little snap back in your stride. 1 last question, how old are your running shoes?
Thanks for the advice I will def. take those points and add them to my workouts. I bought a new pair of running shoes back in May. I was running with a really old pair and I developed knee pain so I went out and bought a new pair, and my knee pain is gone, but as you read earlier now it is more in my calfs and quads.
Thats sounds pretty common, I know alot of people who wait till a problem develops, then decide to change out there running shoes. Don't get me wrong, I was too an offender of this. As you know when you wait till a problem occurs, sure you know that you need to get new shoes, but by that time the damage is already done. 500 or so miles should do it, don't wait till pain occurs.
I would be curious to know what your bike schedule is like. If you want to run well in longer triathlons, the key is... to bike more. Running more is only going to lead to issues. What is your ratio of bike to run during the week and how hard are you taking the bike in a race (HR Zone?)? How many hours do you bike and how many do you run per week? What's the distance of your upcoming race?
I agree the lack of sodium could be an issue. I ingest sodium supplements on the bike on the hour, starting when I get out of the lake to ensure I don't cramp up on the run.
You don't say how far you're running but two general rules apply for going farther. 1.) Increase gradually. Don't go from 5 miles one day to 10 miles the next. Add 1 or 2 miles per week, total. (Or 10% of your weekly mileage.) 2.) Slow down, at least until you have the mileage up to where you want to be. Then work on speed. This also ties into your side cramps and sore legs. In my experience, two things contribute most to side stitches: too far, too fast; and poor breathing technique. Make sure you are breathing with your diapragm and belly, not just your chest and lungs.
Also, I agree with last poster about bicycling helping your running. I find in particular it strengthens the quads. I hope this all helps.
I will be honest that I was holding off on my biking schedule. I think I had the mental thought that since I had been biking my whole life I would be ok, but since I thought that way the running along with my biking began to suffer. I just got back from ym triathlon this morning and I did great. I took you advice about the biking and stepped up on my training and the run portion of my tri was awesome, I kept a good pace the whole time and I kept shot blocks in my jersey pocket. I could really tell a difference and I will def. not neglect my bike in the future. Thanks again for the support!
First, any athlete athlete that thinks ice is needed after training runs or races is very foolish. Ice is only necessary IF INJURED AND SWOLLEN.
Let me explain what is happening to you. You are simply not taking in enough electrolytes and fluids. Regardless of what anyone tells you, Gatorade, Powerade and such DO NOT supply you with the necessary electrolytes and antioxidnts. Though salt (sodium) and potassium are 2 of them, much more is needed. Magnesium, manganese, copper are a few more that you need. The best way to do this is simple, eat fruits and veggies as nutritionalists have found that electrolyte/antioxidant are not necessarily that good for you. Just simply eat right.
This is causing the cramps. During exercise (race, training or otherwise) your muscles secrete lactic acid. Consider this the same as breathing, you inhale oxygen but breath out carbon dioxide as a result of the chemical reactions within our bodies. Lactic acid builds. Lactic acid also wants to stiffen the muscle. So if you stop, you get "sore" because of the lactic acid.
Going back to the top statement. Lactic acid needs to be flushed from the body. The way to do this is by stretching, massages and some heat. Heat increases the bloodflow to help remove lactic acid. I'm not saying to use a heating pad, but stetching and massage help keep the muscle warm so AFTER excersise it continues to remove the acid. Lactic acid build-up can be very painful. Ice is used strictly to slow down the blood flow so the fluids that cause swelling (in case you're interested it is mostly bursa fluid in the bursa sacs that keep the joints, well fluid). If you use ice after training/racing all you do is help keep the lactic acid in your muscles...
I am also prone to side stiches & achy legs. I have all but eliminated them by exhaling on the opposite side of the pain. For instance if the stich is in the rt. side, like mine, I exhale while landing on my left foot. Now that I'm breathing in a more rythmic pattern, my legs don't ache as much. I guess the leg muscles weren't getting enough oxygen.
The side stitches and achy(flat) legs are most likely conditioning / hydration problems.
Did not mention height / weight.... with regards to running, it can help to lose unnecessary body fat. No dieting though! You're an athelete and your body needs fuel- just the right kind of fuel. Best thing you can do is to drink 16 ounces of water within 15 minutes of waking up every morning. It will trigger your metabolism and get you started on proper hydration for the day.
Watch your hydration closely... especially now when it's hotter. Don't focus on fluids only, also focus on electrolytes. Hammer's E-Caps can easily solve this problem. Gatorade and other sports drinks have electrolyte profiles, but also contain a lot of simple sugars, making it difficult to maintain proper race weight.
Do you weight train? The best exercise to improve running are simple squats. Get a couple of 20-30 pound weights, holding one in each hand, perform stationary squats with feet shoulder width apart. You may notice a difference almost immediatly in your legs - they will feel more alive during the next few run sessions. I do 3 sets of 15 reps. The goal is not to get massive quads, but to properly condition that muscle group. Calf raises can also help.
Finally, focus on stretching. You want to make sure your muscles are given the chance to absorb the work your putting in. They can't do that if they're always trying to recover.