How To Get Rid Of Running Cramps

Running cramps can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. As someone who loves to run, I have experienced my fair share of cramps and understand just how frustrating they can be. Whether it’s a side stitch or a leg cramp, these muscle spasms can really put a damper on your running routine. In this article, I will share some strategies that have helped me alleviate running cramps and get back on track.

1. Warm Up Properly

One of the most important steps you can take to prevent running cramps is to warm up properly before your run. This helps prepare your muscles for the intense activity ahead and reduces the likelihood of cramps. I like to start with some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, walking lunges, and high knees. These movements help loosen up the muscles and increase blood flow.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps during exercise, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated before, during, and after your runs. Make sure to drink enough water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration levels. During your run, consider carrying a water bottle or stopping at water fountains along your route.

3. Focus on Breathing

When we run, our breathing tends to become shallow and rapid, which can contribute to cramping. To combat this, focus on taking slow, deep breaths that fully expand your diaphragm. This helps relax your muscles and provide them with the oxygen they need to function properly. Additionally, try to exhale fully, as a buildup of carbon dioxide can also lead to cramps.

4. Adjust Your Pace

Running at an unsustainable pace can put unnecessary strain on your muscles, increasing the likelihood of cramps. If you find yourself frequently experiencing cramps during your runs, try adjusting your pace to a more sustainable level. This might mean slowing down a bit, especially during long runs or intense workouts.

5. Strengthen Your Core

Having a strong core can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing side stitches during your runs. Incorporate exercises that target your abs and obliques, such as planks, Russian twists, and bicycle crunches, into your cross-training routine. A strong core provides better stability and support to your torso, reducing the strain on your diaphragm.

6. Listen to Your Body

Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give is to listen to your body. If you start feeling a cramp coming on, slow down or take a short break. Pushing through the pain might only make it worse. It’s essential to be in tune with your body and recognize when you need to ease off or stop altogether.


Running cramps can be a real nuisance, but with the right strategies, you can effectively prevent and alleviate them. Remember to warm up properly, stay hydrated, focus on breathing, adjust your pace, strengthen your core, and, most importantly, listen to your body. By incorporating these practices into your running routine, you’ll be able to minimize the occurrence of cramps and enjoy your runs to the fullest. Happy running!