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I seem to need some help. How can I prevent hamstring cramps in marathons? My left hamstring does not cramp in training runs ( I did 3 runs of 22 miles in preparation for yesterdays run). My hamstring has cramped in marathons where the temperature was 40 F and 70F, so tempearature does not seem to be the cause. I was well hydrated for both and drank during both. Yesterday my hamstring started feeling tight at mile 8, but it loosened up and did not cramp to mile 21.

OK. Hit me with your wise suggestions and thoughts.

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Shoes.. new/old?
Pace.. faster/even with training?
Surface.. same/diff from training?
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I've always heard that you should increase your potassium level. So eat more foods with potassium in it like bananas.
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Shoes.. new/old? Pace.. faster/even with training? Surface.. same/diff from training?
Shoes - Same as used in traning. The current pair have about 100 miles on them, but they are the same brand and model as my previous pair. Pace: My last long run was at 8:20 pace and my pace for the first 21 miles yesterday was at 8:40. I felt great after my last long run. Surface. The first 9 miles of my long runs are on concrete sidewalks or ashalt streest. The last 13 miles are mostly ashphalt greenways. Thoughts?
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I would have to agree with Nolefan: potassium.

One other thought would be your sodium intake. During the IM I was cramping unbelievably withing the first 4 miles of the run. I had chicken broth at every waterstation and the cramping went away. Do you drink gatorade during your training runs? Did you drink enough Ultima during the marathon?
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I already eat a bunch of bananas (sorry). I usually eat 2 or 3 a day, just because I like them.

I did use gatorade or powerade during my long runs along with carboboom mixed with water. I wore my fuelbelt yesterday (but I dropped one of my gatorade bottles). So, I had 3 7 oz bottles of carboboom mixed with water and 2 7 oz bottles of powerade. That is usually enough to be me through 20 miles during training and I knew that I could be water along the course.

Do they make potassium supplments or something?

I also noticed that my hamstring was tight by mile 8, but I shortened my strides and the tightness went away. This has never happened in training, so I was wondering if I was lengthening my stride too much? (Of course, with the inability to run much faster than 9:00 pace until mile 8 or so, I am not sure how this could be a problem by mile 8.)
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potassium has very little to do with cramping. Sodium is much more important. Try taking a Succeed sodium tab 30 minutes before race or long run, and one at 1hr, and 2hr. It helped me a ton.

Cramping however, is usually due to not enough long runs in training. What is your longest run and what is your max weekly mileage?
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