Posted by: JohnnyB | 2003/12/13

Comrades Training

Hi, I have started running for the first time in the last two weeks. The first day I started I ran 7km in 35 Min, then two days later I ran 7 km in 30 min, then I ran 7km in 25min, but lately I cannot run 4km without my calf muscles cramping up.
I am trying my best to fininsh the comrades next year in under 8 hours, could you please help me with the pain? Why do I get it and how will I be able to get back on schedule?

PS: (I intend to run 25 km before the end of this year!!!)

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Our expert says:
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Hi Johnny B

It sounds to me like a muscular injury, although I really am guessing here. There is no normal physiological reason why you would cramp this early during a run, because cramps are caused by muscle fatigue, and considering that you are running 7 or more km fairly easily, it's hard to see how you would be fatigued in less than 20 minutes. So, my first guess is that there is a muscular injury, and the pain you feel might be fairly similar to a cramp sensation. Another possibility is that you have one of many conditions that can cause cramps, and for this, you would need to see a doctor and just make sure that you are not suffering from one of them. THe other possibility is that the muscle is genuinely fatigued, possibly as a result of resuming training too quickly, which would cause the muslce to recover incompletely from one day to the next. In both cases, my advice would be to rest for a week or so, then see how it goes. Futher, the best thing to do would be to see a doctor, as I said, and just eliminate any other type of problem, because there are a number of things that can cause cramping, and it's not impossible that you have one of them. Therefore, I think that a short medical may be in order, and then rest and build up slowly again.

Good luck

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