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How to Avoid Runners Cramps

Learn how to avoid running cramps from competitive runners Doug Oldiges and Stephanie Coburn in this Howcast video.


Sometimes when you're running, you can get sidelined by an increasingly uncomfortable cramp. This can happen anywhere between your shoulder, maybe in your ribs, maybe you get a side stitch, or maybe if you're doing a longer run, you can get a cramp in your hamstring. That will just cut you short, and it's time to go home.

There are a couple of things that you can do to prevent that from happening. Sometimes people who are not as conditioned as athletes who may have been running for a while are more prone to get cramps. This is kind of more in the abdominal region. This is because they may not have as strong of a core. So things start to jiggle around a little bit more. So try to prevent that by working on core strength.

When you get a cramp anywhere between your shoulder, side, hamstring, these can happen from going into the activity too quickly. So we can prevent that by doing a short warm-up, maybe five or ten minutes. Ease into it a little bit, a little walking, a little jogging, maybe a little of the dynamic stretching that we can talk about.

Staying hydrated can also help. Make sure you're getting enough water, enough liquid, sports drink, whatever you prefer, to keep you running. Make sure you're getting enough electrolytes. Maybe you need a little bit of extra salt if it's a really hot day. Maybe you're not getting enough potassium.

These things are some things that you can do to prevent that from happening. Think about the warm-up. Think about nutrition. Think about hydration. Maybe a little bit of stretching, even if you need to pull over to the side, stretch a little bit. Slow down a little bit. Ease up, and hopefully we can get you back running.

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