Welcome to Getting Fit at Fifty

My name is Art Davis and I started running in 2007 to lose weight. Check out my before and after photos at the bottom of the page. I ran my first 5K and 10K in 2007 I went on to run my first half Marathon and full Marathon in 2008.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Preventing Cramps


“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Since cramping up while running a  marathon on 4/6/2013, I have been searching the Internet for advice on preventing this from happening again. Here is what I have learned.

1) Train appropriately – This was probably the main cause of my cramps. I had bronchitis and sinusitis at a crucial time during my training. It occurred during the time that I was scheduled to be doing my 20 mile runs. I was never able to come back and complete them.

2) Eat foods high in potassium – I eat a banana every morning to replenish my potassium.

3) Pace appropriately – Another likely culprit for my cramping because I was having trouble holding my body back. My pace during the first half of the marathon would have shattered my PR.

4) Warm up properly – I always try to do dynamic stretches before I run to get my muscles “loosened up”.


Limping towards the finish line with cramps

Treating Cramps

1) Stop running and stretch the affected muscles. You may have to do this several times before the cramp dies down.

2) Apply deep pressure to the affected muscle. Press into the sore muscle with your fingers for about 10 – 15 seconds at at time.

3) Drink a fluid with electrolytes like Gatorade. I carried G2 and drank it along the way.

4) Slow down and walk which I did.


What advice do you have to treat cramps or prevent cramps?


  1. I think I'll just take your good advice! I know a woman who was running the Boston marathon and her calf muscles seized up. She didn't stop running and ended up in a wheelchair for a month afterward.

  2. Ouch!
    I did not realize I was risking that in Saturday.
    thanks for the comment

  3. I had a similar thing in my first marathon last month and I reckon training or lack thereof plus a faster than usual pace aremore likely the cause. Like you I had missed two of my four scheduled 20+mile training runs. I was also attempting to finish in a fairly ambitious time. With no previous marathon experience I had never run further than 13 miles at this pace. This combination could, I see now, only end one way - intermittent cramps for the last 8 miles. Since the weather was quite cool and I was taking plenty of water and electrolytes I can't see any other reason than a lack of fitness. Oh well next time I'll be fitter

    1. I will be better prepared next time.
      I do not want to go through that again.