Ran a marathon last weekend and was surprised by quad muscle depletion.  I was feeling very good and keeping my heart rate down the first part of the race.  Started to pick up the pace around 10 miles because it felt good.  I tried to slow down a couple of time but my pace kept creeping so I went with it.  My max HR is about 175  and I was running at about 155 to 160 when my quads started to cramp.  I was using GU  15 before  45 into the race and 30 minutes after. Drank at all aid stations alternating Gatorade and water.  I did not feel thirsty until after the race.  At 18 miles I started to feel the cramps and tried to relax, but could not get them to recover.  I tapered for three weeks, and ran very little the week prior.  Is this a fueling issue or is this a hydration issue or a downhill muscle strength issue??  My feet felt great, my hammies and my glutes all good.  IT band started hurting the last mile because I was determined to finish.  Is there any damage that can be done by running with cramped muscles.  Quads cramped in unison,,,middle then...outside....then inside and finnally all.  Any suggestions would be great.



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Congrats on finishing at least. I ran a half marathon Sunday (4/11) and my quads didn't cramp, but they were sore. Not sure what advice to offer you, just congrats!!!

To you as well Rich!!
i was just checking out my copy of 'brain training for runners' Matt Fitzgerald. i've got lists of 'causes' of catastrophic cramping/fatigue from ATP depletion, muscle fiber micro-tearing, lactic acidosis (kind of a myth according to him),muscle pH balance, glycogen levels, etc,etc...

the gist of what Fitzgerald says: cramping/fatiguing is normal with that much activity and only training can push the threshold of when this occurs back.
Ran two miles yesterday without pain. Now I have just soreness. Going from not running to a marathon in six months is an acomplishment. I will hang my hat on that for now and use the treadmill as a very last resort. Thanks to Erics' strenght training circuit and running stride videos, my core remained strong and my back was not even thought about until today!

Hear, hear on Eric's training programs. I ran an easy hour yesterday in Zone 2 with cadence (after taking Monday off to recover a bit) and have very little soreness from Sunday. I don't even remember if my back hurt during the race. Probably because the blister on my right arch hurt so bad. Ouch!!!


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