Question about stomach cramps post race

Lorna Asks
I ran my first half marathon at Cadbury . Happy with actual race (time 2h5m) and felt comfortable throughout (relatively speaking). Consumed one GU at about 12km and ate supplied BBQ and drank water after the event. From about 2pm onwards for 12ish hours suffered from stomach cramps. Don't think it was a reaction to GU as I had tried it once before. I hadn't done a full physical preparation due to ITB problem so I think this gut reaction was basically due to the stress I had put my body through (I am a bit flabby after birth of twins 6 years ago and consequent weight gain and subsequent loss - total 23kilos). I only started running 18 months ago (with the aim of losing weight). Have I tried to do too much too soon?
Apart from improving my physical preparation, is there anything else I can try next time to avoid the gut issues? I have run a number of 10km races without any issues
Troopy's response
Hi Lorna,
Your stomach complaint is quite common for runners of all abilities after racing.
You are right in stating that it can be from the stress that you placed your body through. To go through the birth of twins, gain weight, lose weight and then undertake an activity that is quite physically demanding can place your body under an enormous amount of stress.
Remember, this is your first half marathon so your body has experienced something that it has never done before. Sometimes even though you may have felt comfortable throughout the race, there actually may have been periods during it that may have dug a little deeper than the body was really prepared to do.
The other thing is that you should have consumed fluids before, during and after the race. I know you had a GU at 12km but you need to make sure you don't become dehydrated and during the race and definitely after the race, you should consume some drinks with electrolytes to help replenish the body. Failure to drink enough before, during and after a run causes an electrolyte imbalance in a runner. This imbalance leads to cramping because the muscles are not functioning properly. Fatigue and extreme conditions are other causes of stomach pains.
I hope this helps and congratulations on your result.
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