Remember when you were a kid and all your coaches and camp counselors and those vaguely hippie-ish guys who took your youth group hiking would tell you to drink, even when you weren’t thirsty? Turns out they were trying to murder you.
Leg muscle cramping is a big issue for runners, and it particularly gets a lot of play in marathon and ultramarathon circles. When cramps hit, there’s really nothing you can do but walk. The traditional argument for the causes of cramping boils down to one or both of the following factors…
We don’t know what cramping is, but we’re ruling things out.
It’s been months since I had leg cramps. It was in the pool, and I can’t remember why it would have occurred. I remember it being more frequent, for myself and others, when swimming after running. Most often, the cramps would be triggered by pushing off the wall when swimming laps. This is part of why I only do two of the three events (swimming, cycling, running) in a day.
In the 1930s, it was generally accepted that the body needed sodium to function, but no one had studied what broke down when the sodium in a person’s diet was removed. One researcher researcher and four volunteers decided to find out. It was awful.