I did a race in Miami yesterday, and on the run I got a charley horse in my right quad. Man, it was painful! I had to stretch and walk for a while before it calmed down enough to run again. I think drinking a sports drink at the rest stop also helped. I think maybe I didn't have enough potassium in my system? Anyone else have a suggestion for how to prevent this type of thing?
I'm also curious what causes these!
I had one in each leg during the swim of Ironman Louisville. One about 30 mins into the swim and the other about an hour later (yes, I'm a slower swimmer - 1:40 ish). The Charley Horses absolutely killed, and it was the first time i've ever experienced them during athletics. Fortunately, most of the pain went away during the first 30 mins of biking and I had a great race!
I followed my pre-race nutrition plan perfectly. I ate bagel w/ peanut butter and had a bottle of Infinit & banana. I definitely was not dehydrated based on the number of times I used the port-o-john at the race start.
Based on what you told me about the race conditions (98 degrees, 98 percent humidity) and the fact that drinking a sports drink helped, I am guessing your pain was caused by a sodium/potassium imbalance. Also, we've had a pretty mild summer here in DC so your body probably wasn't acclimated to such hot amd muggy conditions.
Postie - no speculations for you. I've never gotten a leg cramp while swimming, probably because I don't kick.
if it was hot out and you were sweating alot, don't forget the obvious cause.
dehydration. sometimes you just sweat out more than you put in and there is nothing you can do about it, you can take all the salt pills, and other "guru" stuf but sometimes you just cramp up.
and don't forget the second most obvious cause.
going too hard when your body is not used to it. it happens.
if you think it was due to an electrolyte imbalance then try pottasium or salt tablets or whatever next time and see if that works, it might it might not .
but don't discount the obvious two causes listed above sometimes it is that simple.
Thanks to everyone for the comments....I took in quite a bit of water on the bike, so I think the cause was more lack of potassium/electrolytes than hydration. But it was incredibly hot, so hard to know for sure. Will have some tablets on hand for the next race in case it happens again.
Also, you are right that I may have pushed myself a bit too hard -- I rented a bike in Miami (to avoid the hassle of flying with my bike), and did a ride the day before tthe race to get used to the bike (a tri bike that was a bit too big for me), so my body wasn't completely fresh for the race.