Cramp before a race!

OK - I’m pretty p*ssed right now. I warmed up to race 100m today and got cramp in my left calf just before starting, I don’t often cramp especially if it’s the first race… I’d drank a lot of water and a bottle of lucosade before… Before i put my spikes on I took 10mins to go and find a toilet, put my spikes on and did a falling start and bang: cramped up calf. I started coming out of blocks and it carried on cramping every stride :mad: .

Only things I can think of that could have attributed :confused: :
I got a bit cold before the warm-up, but not my legs (tights and compression socks).
I took 3g creatine at breakfast (after 2 weeks off it)
I took 500mg l-arganine before warming-up.
Had a can of redbull and a pro-plus.
Had a massage on Thursday… but he didn’t touch my left calf (im clutching at straws!)

I really don’t want this to happen again - I was feeling good and should have won the 100 and 200 - the cramp spot was sore (and still is) so I didn’t do either…

The creatine doseage seems pretty low to cause the cramp and if you drank plenty of water, I would have thought that would have negated the diuretoc effect of the caffeine in the pro plus and red bull, however, you mentioned going to the toilet, and the excess water could have caused you to actually dehydrate by going far more than normal. However, I would think that was unlikely.

I think you are clutching at straws with the massage.

Was your warm up different to normal? Sometimes people modify their warm up for competitions.

I really don’t know what else to suggest, I had the same thing, but in the right glute in training.

I didn’t drink a sh*t load… just a fair amount a bottle of lucosade and maybe the same amount of water. Having 10mins without running and then going straight into a falling start with spikes may have caused it - that was certainly the first I felt of it.

Funnily enough, the masseuse only did my RIGHT calf on Thursday and it was really sore in the same place that my left calf cramped… i was walking round with a really sore RIGHT calf yesterday after the massage - I don’t know whether it’s some weird left right compensation thing lol!

The only other thing was an early start (maybe lack of sleep over the past few days) and a different breakfast to usual. I was late so I ate Nutrigrain bars and a sandwich whereas usually I have porridge with berries and tea…

I took 3g creatine at breakfast (after 2 weeks off it)
I took 500mg l-arganine before warming-up.
Had a can of redbull and a pro-plus.
Why you would drink this stuff any way is beyond me, needless to say on race day.:confused: But hey these kind of things do happen. It could have been worse, you could have been at full sprint and cramped or worse. Dont worry bout it to much. O’yea drinking water on race day is not goin to hydrate you, its just goin to run through you, you should (not saying you dont) be drinking about 8 classes of water a day. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for you to become fully hydrated, where you not feeling thristy or any of the other minute signs of dehydration. Sorry for your calamity:(

Tea doesnt help, with hydration either. You shuldnt have gotten that deep of a massage that close to race day. But maybe it was the lack of sleep and other things i’ve commented on working together.

I wouldn’t have thought the different breakfast really impacted, and to be honest the 10 mins of not doing anything before a flat out run shouldn’t have caused too many problems assuming the weather was reasonable, which I’m guessing it was based on what it was like here. Were you in Cosford?

I agree with Austin regarding the tea, it won’t help hydrate you, but also your body will be used to the stimulation, so limiting the benefits you would get from the red bull and pro plus.

Austin, do you think the negative effects of Red Bull and Pro Plus outweigh the potential benefits on race day??

It might have been accumulative - didn’t get my usual sleep last few days (but plenty last night) - I drank too late - I was thirsty last night and this morning. Didn’t warm the calves up enough…

I took the creatine this morning because I was meant to do 100, 200, 4x100 and wanted my muscle creatine to be right up.
I took the l-arg because it was a cold day and I’ve read that it promotes blood flow.
Redbull + proplus = 130mg caffiene - half that of some strong, large coffees.

The area is very sore, just done some self-massage and spot pressure and am wondering what else will help… ice like a normal strain?? I’ve jogged about today and it felt fine but it’s sore to touch and stretch.

It was at Cosford, and I mean redbrush tea - hydrating and naturally caffeine free… I don’t drink Caffeine out of competition.

I appreciate the feedback guys.

Yeah, I know the tea you mean. If it’s sore at all like that, I would suggest resting it, but that is far easier said from an external standpoint. I would treat it like a strain, the whole RICE thing. However, I rarely just get cramp, so I’m a little inexperienced on this. Other members could give you better advice I’m sure, and I will no doubt follow it too, as my glute is kinda the same, although stretching it feels fine as does touching it, I’m just aware of some mild discomfort at times. I can run up the stairs two at a time no problem, so I’m guessing it’s not too serious.

Probably “concomitant factors” is the best answer.

I think you are probably right. In retrospect, dehydration may have been the biggest factor as I drank to late. Do you think a bottle of Isotonic the morning before a race is a good idea?

As far as recovery - contrast showers seem to ease the soreness most…

It’s an odd thing - the soreness after cramp… it’s sorer than strains i’ve had before but it doesn’t seem to affect my calve functioning like a strain would… always seems to be the same after cramp…

You cannot try or change something the day of the race.
Try during your training day some new ideas for your recovery/performance and write your sensations on your training log.