How to Prevent Foot Cramps While Running

How to Prevent Foot Cramps While Running
Foot cramps can disrupt motivation and halt runs prematurely. Painful spasms occur when foot muscles make spontaneous contractions. Because the muscles lack adequate amounts of oxygen, it is difficult for them to loosen and stay relaxed. Preventing foot cramps while running is essential to accomplishing pace and distance milestones.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Ease into running sessions. Prevent your foot muscles from being "shocked" to help prevent cramps. Warm up by jogging in place for three to five minutes before beginning your run at a moderate pace. Increase your pace steadily until reaching your desired rhythm. Cool down by walking for three to five minutes after the run.
Step 2
Assess your running style to ensure you're using proper technique. Running in inappropriate ways can have serious consequences including increasing the likelihood of foot cramps. Bad habits such as running on your tip-toes, or slamming your feet against the ground cause the foot muscles to contract which contributes to cramping. Make sure you're running "heel to toe" which means you're striking the ground with your heel, and gently rolling up to the toe with each step.
Step 3
Wear running shoes that provide adequate foot support. Never stuff your feet into ill-fitting running shoes because this can cause cramping and foot damage. Pick shoes based on your arch height and any underlying foot conditions. Assess your arch to find a shoe that addresses potential problems. For instance, runners with flat arches should wear shoes that provide more motion control.
Step 4
Loosen foot muscles with stretching and targeted exercise. This relaxes the muscles and decreases the likelihood of cramping. Performing strengthening exercises such as picking up pencils with your toes and walking on your heels can elongate foot muscles. Stretch foot muscles regularly and more often after strenuous activity.
Step 5
Maintain proper hydration to prevent foot cramps while running. Understand that athletes need more than the six to eight glasses of water that is usually recommended. Replace water lost through sweating to avoid dehydration and cramping. Carrying a water bottle or wearing a personal hydration system can ensure you have access to water throughout your run. Drinking a sports drink such as Gatorade can restore fluids and electrolytes lost while running.

Tips & Warnings

 
Including more calcium, potassium and magnesium in your diet can help prevent foot cramps. Stop running as soon as you feel a foot cramp to prevent worsening the spasms. Massaging your feet after running can improve circulation and relax sore muscles.
 
Including more calcium, potassium and magnesium in your diet can help prevent foot cramps.
 
Stop running as soon as you feel a foot cramp to prevent worsening the spasms.
 
Massaging your feet after running can improve circulation and relax sore muscles.
 
Avoid running on rugged terrain for extended periods. The jarring movements could cause foot problems including cramping.

Article Written By Mika Lo

Mika Lo has been producing online content since 2005. The majority of her work has been published in areas such as parenting, lifestyle and health. Lo has also assisted with the development of community and hospital-based patient education programs, including creative discharge classes for new mothers and assisting underprivileged patients with medication assistance and information.

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