Charley Horse

Christ on a bike.

After a swim and a cycle on Monday, and then a rest day on Tuesday, I took the legs for a spin on Wednesday (they are attached to my body…). This was after my fire service medical, which involves a step test. Not a challenge when you’re in training.

It’s been a hot week. I decided to push the speed a wee bit, as lately I seem to have been toddling along doing lots of nice runs with no specific focus.

So I did a nippy 11k in the park. It took 59.15 mins at an average pace of 5.23 min/km. It’s not particularly fast. There are a few climbs in there so there were quite a few dips in the pace in the middle. But what did the overall damage was, I suspect, dehydration.

I woke in the early hours with an awful cramp in the left calf. Okay, so if it’s the worse ‘injury’ I pick up in the whole year’s training for Hardman, I’ll be delighted. But it fair took my breath away when it kicked in. And boy did it kick in.

There are other factors for the notorious ‘charley horse’. Vitamin B and D deficiency is mentioned, as is a lack of essential minerals* such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. But the big one is dehydration, following a more intense than normal workout. Which is why we all get bottles of water and bananas after a race.

Anyway, lesson learned. Swim in the morning might help, but otherwise a little rest. And then back to the grindstone. With bananas…


Pic shamelessly robbed from

In general, 26 percent of people are better at remembering movie quotes than movie plots. But among those who use the term “charley horse” to refer to a muscle spasm in their leg, 42 percent are better at remembering movie quotes than movie plots.

Based on a survey of 115 people who use the term “charley horse” to refer to a muscle spasm in their leg and 302 people total.


* P.S. In Ireland, up until a few years ago when we finally discovered fitness, all we had to go on was some bizarre TV show with Eamon Dunphy dribbling a ball around a few flags. I can’t recall the name of the programme but it was decidedly ropey. I have a vision of Pat Spillane with the worst farmer’s tan as well, though I admit that could just be my mind playing tricks; there’s been a lot of therapy since then. And of course minerals came in bottles at Christmas…

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