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highclimb

what to do about intense thigh cramping?

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This sunday i was attempting to climb rainier in a day. just above muir my thighs started to cramp and charlie horse and give me horrible pain. at some points i would have to stop and kneel down and stretch and massage them. this only helped for about a minute. so whats up? am i just out of shape? so does any one else suffer from this? what should i do about it? lift weights?

 

thanks

Aidan

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Aidan, it could be several things:

1) if you're taking any supplemental creatine, try it without and it's likely the cramping will go away;

2) it could be that you got dehydrated; instead of just drinking water (I didn't see any mention of what your food/beverage solution was), try a Gatorade or Powerade (or other juice) solution diluted with water to replenish the electrolytes, as well as the water;

3) strength training can help quite a bit; what does your strength program consist of right now?

4) stretching can help immensely as soon as you start to cramp up, but better to deal with the cause than just the symptoms.

 

Hope that helps.

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Aidan,

 

I meant to email you earlier. I spoke with a friend at work who teaches MOFA and he said dehydration was a likely factor and you should drink more water in the days prior to a big climb. That and the almost 6000 feet of elvation gain in 4 hours...

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Courtenay,

 

well we were on the move for 4 hours and in that four hours i drank 2 liters of water, eat two gu packets, and a luna bar.....i lift weights at school sometimes but not on a schedule. hmmm.

 

Dan,

 

ok i am drinkin ALOT of wata before i try again. i dont want to suffer like that again.

 

Aidan

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Try Pedialyte (expensive at $5 bottle) or pickle juice. The later, while sounding silly, has worked miracles for althletes prone to cramping. Both are super loaded with electrolytes, much more than Gatorade. Some endurance athletes also take special salt tablets which help when it is really hot out and you are sweating profusely. I think you can get these at GNC or SpeedyReedy in Freemont.

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Cytomax is another good substitute for water. Dan's right, drink lots in the days before the climb. You should be drinking eight glasses of (uncaffinated) fluid per day anyway, try putting on more the days before a climb and drink lots on the drive to the trailhead (I keep a couple of nalgenes in the cab of my truck for this).

 

Vicious rumour: Adding glycerol to water will help you superhydrate, not tried it yet but watch this space for details.

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quote:

Originally posted by Ade:

Cytomax is another good substitute for water. Dan's right, drink lots in the days before the climb. You should be drinking eight glasses of (uncaffinated) fluid per day anyway, try putting on more the days before a climb and drink lots on the drive to the trailhead (I keep a couple of nalgenes in the cab of my truck for this).

 

Vicious rumour: Adding glycerol to water will help you superhydrate, not tried it yet but watch this space for details.

Recent article in medical journal carried in most major news media over the weekend and/or on Monday, points out that the 8 glasses of water per day theory is so much pop-culture bullshit... average fluid intake FROM ALL SOURCES including water in food (ya know, lettuce is 96% water) and non-water drinks such as juice, coffee, tea, pop, mild alcohol [big Drink] should be about 1.7 liters per day for the average adult.

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Aidan,

 

have you tried hydro-loading and/or carbo-loading? Reinhold Messner, back in the 60's and 70's was an early proponent of these practices. the idea is to restrict your intake of fluids and or carbs for about a week before a big endurance event, then overload during the 48 hours immediately preceding the push. theoretically, your body overcompensates after having been denied, and "superhydrates" and/or "super-carbs". Messner would complete this cycle going into a major alpine endeavor, and then simply not carry food or water (or bivouac gear). He credited climbing without the heavy pack as a major factor in his astonishing speed records.

 

I've had modest results with these practices, and have also noticed some benefit from taking supplementary glutamine: 5-10 mg per day of strenuous exercise.

 

And listen closely to all the water/electrolyte talk. Gaining altitude at a rate of 1k'/hr, most of us will find it nearly impossible to consume enough fluids to maintain optimum hydration for more than a couple of hours. This makes hydro-loading almost imperative if you're attempting an 8k' day (like Paradise-to-summit).

 

For training, you might try "running laps" on a lower hill of say 1k' or 2k' gain. Try making your 8k' day without going to 14k before adding the challenge of the higher altitude. good luck!

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This article?

Dartmouth Professor Finds No Scientific Evidence for '8 x 8'

 

quote:

"Valtin emphasizes that his conclusion is limited to healthy adults in a temperate climate leading a largely sedentary existence"

Think that counts me out. Both Endurance Sports Nutrition , S G Eberle and Nutrition for Serious Athletes, D Benardot seem to go with the drink lots of water theory.

 

I'd be hesitant to jump to any conclusions based on one study, especially one aimed at average adult Americans. Maybe 8x8 is an overestimate for them but there seems to be a huge body of evidence to show that dehydration seriously impacts athletic performance.

 

[ 08-20-2002, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Ade ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Ade:

This article?

 

quote:

"Valtin emphasizes that his conclusion is limited to healthy adults in a temperate climate leading a largely sedentary existence"

Think that counts me out. Both
Endurance Sports Nutrition
, S G Eberle and
Nutrition for Serious Athletes
, D Benardot seem to go with the drink lots of water theory.

 

I'd be hesitant to jump to any conclusions based on one study, especially one aimed at average adult Americans. Maybe 8x8 is an overestimate for them but there seems to be a huge body of evidence to show that dehydration seriously impacts athletic performance.

Drink when you're thirsty, drink more when you are sweating - yes. Hydrate before exercise - yup, and if youre cramping up you need more water and electrolytes. Pretty basic.

 

Drink 8 glasses of water a day - no. It's In Style type pop culture bullshit. on the same order as the incorrect 'fact' that humans only use 10% of their brains.

 

"Almost everyone is dehydrated and doesn't know it" - text of an Evian ad - total BS.

 

Off to have my 3rd coffee of the day now!! [big Drink]

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Thanks everyone this is great stuff! hopefully i wont get spanked as bad next time.

 

keep it coming!

 

Aidan

 

ps this is the coolest Graemlins [MR T]

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quote:

Drink 8 glasses of water a day - no. It's In Style type pop culture bullshit. on the same order as the incorrect 'fact' that humans only use 10% of their brains

That's right - the correct fact is that the average human uses about 2% of their brain. If that.

[Razz]

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