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I'm preparing for a marathon.

I ran 15km yesterday evening. First 10km were ok but at faster speed (10.76Km) than usual. Than the last 5km were tedious. I experienced cold hands, which I've never experienced so far.

I arrived home and craved for anything with sugar. After 15mn, the cold left.

I experienced some cramps this evening, not massive though.

Question are the following:

  • Should I put a tiny stash of sugar in my pocket to be able to avoid having cold hands?
  • How come I experienced cold hands? This is not the first time but this is the first time, it was so intense I had to stop running
  • Should I drink much more before starting a 15k training in the evening, after a day of work?

Thanks for your input

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  • Have you considered wearing gloves? – John Apr 28 '16 at 9:14
  • @JJosaur yes. I did that before but here in Europe, it is getting warm and normally, I should not need them... – Andy K Apr 28 '16 at 9:16
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I'm not a doctor but I'm theorizing a little here.

Your hands don't need much blood when you're running - thus you're body is taking blood from them and sending them where it's needed (i.e. your breathing muscles and your legs).

That could explain the cold hands. I'd probably just wear some gloves for a while until your body adapts.

The sugar-craving and cramps are probably a separate issue. You are probably under-fueling. You don't say how long it took you but 15km is probably around 90 minutes. I would consider taking at least an electrolyte supplement during your run. That would deal with the cramping.

There are two causes of cramping. One is that your muscles are under-trained for the loading and have run out of the capacity to keep firing. The other is that there's not enough calcium and magnesium (and, to some extent, sodium and potassium) for them to fire.

I'd also re-consider your fuelling strategy. You should practice whatever you're going to drink or eat at the race. You can choose to use some kind of sports drink (e.g. whatever the race provides or something that you do). It's quite possible to train your body to run off your fat metabolism and thus only take water and electrolytes - this is an advanced strategy that I wouldn't try for your first marathon though.

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  • Hi @Sarge many thanks for your answer. I'll try the electrolyte drink. – Andy K May 4 '16 at 8:57
  • Hi @Sarge, just giving you an update : I tried to eat a lot before my training and it did work. No more cold hands :) – Andy K May 18 '16 at 7:45

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