When running long distances your body can start to cramp up in different areas due to different reasons. When I ran the Spartan Super Race in Las Vegas last month there many, many runners on the sidelines due to leg cramps. Leg cramps can happen to anyone but if you understand what causes them you work towards avoiding them. Here are some tips to prepare yourself and avoid leg cramps.
The easiest and most simple step you can take to avoid leg cramps is to stretch. Using dynamic stretches before a run such as backward jogging to warm your muscles up. After the run, be sure to do normal static stretching to release lactic acid and any tension in your legs.
The most common reason for leg cramps is dehydration. Anytime you are going to run long distances you need to make sure your body is well hydrated beforehand. Try to aim to drink 100 ounces a day the week before a long distance run. Then 2-4 ounces every 20 minutes or so during a workout to keep your body hydrated.
Balance Your Sodium Levels
What some people may not realize is that after sweating from a hard workout or run, your body loses a lot of sodium through sweat. This causes a sodium imbalance which can cause muscle spasms hence the cramping. Keep your body’s sodium levels even by upping your sodium intake during and after a run. You can do this by drinking Sports Drinks like BodyArmor or by popping a Nuun tablet in your water.
Calf Compression Sleeves
Compression sleeves have been proven to reduce swelling and to help with blood flow. So what does that do for you during a run? Compression sleeves do so well at putting pressure on certain areas in your calves that it can reduce muscle soreness and possibly prevent muscle damage. I’ve used Calf Compression Sleeves by CompressionSleek for the last couple of weeks and have seen a large improvement in my leg muscle cramps.
Speaking of CompressionSleek, their compression sleeves can also be used for shin splints, to avoid muscle fatigue, injuries, walking, and standing for long periods of time. What makes them different than other calf compression sleeves?
These sleeves are nice and light which is great but the best part is, they are still tight! I have tried many different compression sleeves and its difficult to find a pair that has the best of both worlds. Usually light sleeves mean no compression or not enough compression in the right places. They are also backed with these benefits:
– OEKO-TEX Standards – Have No Allergic Reaction When Wearing
– Greater Endurance And Enhanced Performance
– Extreme Support For Calf & Shin
– Material 85% Lycra & 15% Spandex
– High Quality Product Made Of The Best Fabric Available
– 100% Money Back NO-HASLE, NO QUESTIONS ASK Guarantee!
What did I not like about these sleeves? They are unisex but oddly enough I have been calves than my significant other. They are a solid 15 inches in circumference and getting the sleeves were a bit of a struggle. I had David try them on since he has smaller calves and he didn’t struggle nearly as much. I would say if you’re “hefty calved” that I wouldn’t recommend these. Other than the tight squeeze, I really enjoyed these sleeves and they are great to wear here in the hot Arizona weather that’s year round.
Overall, I would recommend these sleeves to anyone who’s looking for a light weight compression sleeve. Also, because these calf compression sleeves by CompressionSleek are so awesome I decided to hold a giveaway to give one of you lucky readers a chance to win a pair of your own! Feel free to enter below and good luck!