Post-race Analysis of my bad leg cramps problem - after getting tips from Dr Pui San who was running in the same TMBT event, I finally figure out the reasons that hindered me in completing the TMBT race. I encountered terrible cramps in both my legs – the inner thigh, quadriceps, calf muscle and even my toes – all happened at the same time!
On race day, it was very hot and humid initially causing us to sweat profusely; then it became wet and cold when crossing river and streams, tricking our thirst centres that we do not need to drink that much.
I realized on that day, I drank much less water compare to my normal training. I am using hydration bladder type and drinking from this method has one disadvantage as one could not assess or see how much has been finished (as compared to those two plastic bottles hanging in front of the chest type). I was not able to assess the remaining amount of water in the backpack by feeling the weight as it was packed to the brim with other mandatory survival items and food.
Yours truly (kC, left) at the starting line ... photo courtesy of Vivien Tay
When the sign of cramps surfaced at about 12:30 p.m., I went to pee (since 7:00 a.m.); with much less output, that reaffirmed the reasoning.
What was obvious is the crossing of river and streams with the hot-cold, expand-contract of veins conditions which was not tested during training time. The actual reason that triggered the complete shutdown of body system in provoking muscle cramp of two legs was the DEHYDRATION problem.
I do not think the leg muscles cramp was due to my fitness level as I have trained enough in the local hills and Gunung Nuang, Kuala Lumpur, in preparing for this event.
If I were to take the challenge again next year – I think I will – for the unfinished mission, one of the things I need to do is to change the hydration backpack system. I begin to appreciate the two-bottle system where each bottle can store different type of energy drinks appropriate for each unique mission.
Do click here for my first TMBT DNF story.
Posted by KC Leong