Calf Cramp Coming Off Bike
Geoff1968 Posts: 3
Hi all, can anyone help? I'm getting cramp (usually in my right calf) when I do the cycling leg of a triathlon. It REALLY hurts for the first 1/2 mile or so of the run but usually settles and I can then run at full speed. I am an experienced triathlete and pretty fit (I did the Nottingham Sprint in 1hr 4mins this weekend) so it's not a case of being unused to it. My bike was professionally set up for me by an experienced ex-racer so it shouldn't be that. I don't get it when I cycle train, only when I go flat out on my tri bike. It's really annoying me and the seconds I'm losing while it settles in the run are really valuable. Welcome your comments...Geoff
Sounds like your right calf isn't switching from bike to run mode very quickly - the muscle activations are quite different and so it is unlikely to be a strength issue.
Most of us teach our muscles to switch by doing brick sessions. I assume you are doing them already but if not, why not? Are you doing them hard bike (race pace for say 6 to 8mins) into a run that builds pace (3 to 4 mins usually enough)?
If you are already doing brick sessions that mimic race intensity there is a running drill that may help activate your calves. Double leg vertical jumps. Jump up vertically pushing through your calves only. First few times your toes may stay on the ground. Build sets of 6 to 15 reps. As you leave the ground pull your toes up so that your feet assume a neutral position (this helps pre-activate your calves). Land on the balls of your feet and immediately spring back up again - use the bounce to give height - with practice can get quite high. This mimics how your calf muscles work when running
Hope this helps
Thanks HarryD, I am doing brick sessions although they don't always mimic race pace so I'll certainly try that. The problem is it's not just the transition that causes the cramp - I did a duathlon recently and I had to slow down on the bike because of the cramp (right leg again). That said, strengthening my calf muscles can only be a good thing so I will give the exercises a go also.