Marty Munson, a Deputy Editor for a women’s magazine, describes herself as an adult-onset athlete. Twelve years ago, she discovered triathlons and was hooked instantly. She loved the sport—70.3 Ironman races in particular. While she’s not an athlete with stories of high school or college success to banter about after the finish line, she has seen plenty of finish lines in these last twelve years. Also during that time, she’s endured something many athletes dread but have firsthand experience with—a sports related injury. Here Marty shares how she refused to succumb to injury, and rather, find a way to maintain the active lifestyle she craves.
It was a hamstring injury that took her out of the triathlon game. She found, however, that swimming was still not only possible, but a wonderful way to compete. And Marty’s idea of swimming is not a few laps around the pools. She loves 10k races and is no stranger to five or six hour stints in the water.
Marty is also no stranger to muscle cramps. They aren’t always predictable, but they generally strike after about two and a half hours of swimming. And like Marty’s swims are not for the faint of heart, neither are her cramps. Her calves cramp so badly that she feels the lingering soreness for three or four days afterwards. She describes being an athlete who cramps as “knowing there’s a monster in the water that can bite at any time.” In the twelve years she’s been competing, she tried pickle juice, extra hydrating, salt tablets, slow-release potassium—you name it. The results? Pickle-tainted breath and muscle cramps after two and a half hours of swimming.
A few months ago, Marty was at swim camp telling the host instructor about her cramps. One of the swim camp’s organizers, Cat Mardis, told Marty about a new product she’d been testing—HOTSHOT's code-named product, #ITSTHENERVE. That night, Cat knocked on Marty’s hotel room door and handed off a sample bottle. Marty gulped down a bottle the next day a few minutes before swimming. Marty couldn’t wait to get out of the water—to find out how to get more product! Cramp-free swimming was a new and wonderful experience for Marty, and one that she wanted to get used to.
Marty became a beta tester for #ITSTHENERVE and couldn’t be happier with her results. She says not cramping has freed her to really give her all in the water. It’s also helped her regain her form now that she can use her legs more and rely on her shoulder a bit less. She says, “I don’t spend my time protecting and avoiding and wondering. I spend my time training and pushing and tackling challenges.” That sounds like a good trade.
Have you dealt with cramps for so long that they’re just a part of the course for you now? Marty had to alter her stroke to accommodate her cramps. Is your swim or run almost permanently altered to help adjust for cramping?
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
Some Nerve! Dr. Bob Murray talks about the true cause of a muscle cramp.
The Nerve is the Boss of the Muscle: Take control with HOTSHOT. Here’s how.
Warm-Ups for Swimmers: 3 exercises to do before you jump in.