“About a quarter-mile from the finish, I started to sprint. I could feel muscle twitches in my quads, and my quads were burning. I had to slow down as I felt the cramp coming on. Then wham! Like a sledgehammer to my leg, the cramp hit and I had to stop and rub it out. What could I have done to prevent that muscle cramp?”
This is a common question among athletes. Muscle cramps are involuntary, intensely painful muscle contractions that nearly every athlete has experienced at some point. Some people experience them often and simply seem to be prone to muscle cramps.
What Can You Do?
Cramps usually hit at the end of intense workouts or during endurance events because fatigued muscles are more likely to cramp. Novice athletes are more likely to have cramps as they fatigue more quickly than seasoned exercisers. If you carefully progress your workouts, you will avoid unnecessary cramps. Heat, and not being used to the heat, also increases the frequency of cramps. When the seasons change and summer arrives, ease into workouts in the heat.