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Calf Cramp - Help!

Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help / offer some advice.

I have a recurring problem in T2, after jumping off the bike & running to my station no problem I almost always get cramp in my calves when bending my my legs to grab the tounge & heel of my show to slip my runners on.

My calves then twinge horribly painfully for the 1st 1km of a run, but I have managed to run through the cramp although this is obviously causing some muscle damage that I feel in days 2 & 3 after an event & resluting in amuch slower run time than I can achieve.

When brick training I have no problem, although I do take longer to change bike shoes & tie runners properly.

I've just (yesterday) started taking a magnesium suppliment that I hope may help.

Any other advice? - I didn't find the article in this month's 220 especially insightful.




  • fire trifire tri Posts: 173
    I'm no expert at all
    But is it cramp or just that your stretching your leg too far after a hard ride?
    Maybe in the last bit of the bike ease down a bit and stretch out if you can, calves bit of hamstrings and back.
    i was terrible in my first few tri's cos I came into T2 flat out and tried bending etc then running and normal speed without stretching a bit on the bike, third tri was tatton olympic and down the final run in on the bike I was stood up and stretched out a bit, the run went fine for me with no pains when in T2 and the first bit, and my bike time was faster than I'd expected so was like I was going that easy, ( for me)
  • jordyaljordyal Posts: 18
    Not a bad idea - i'll give it a try.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Hvee you had a bike fit down? Perhaps you are using the calves during the bike and not engaging the quads/ hammies enough.

    You could try and push one leg done and with your heel, pull back on the pedal so that the heel is at 7/8 oclock and toes pointing upwards.

    I would also suggest a sports massage to help stretch out your calves and other muscles.

    Taking magnesium is good but you'll enough zinc/ magnesium from eating banana's which are rich with these. I think your problem lies with your position on the bike and also a lack of stretching
  • I once heard some great advice taht I have used ever since .. as I come into the last 500m of the cycle I go into a light gear and spin up the legs to a very high cadence ... you lose a little speed at the end up toward the dismount line but it's always done wonders for the start of my run. I am quite heavy runner and so I always start quite caustiously anyway and just allow myself to ease into my pace.

    Hope it helps.
  • jordyaljordyal Posts: 18
    Thanks for the advice - much appreciated.

    I had a bike fit done a year ago which was worth every penny.

    I'm guilty of not strtching enough so will make more of an effort, & try spinning the legs up for the last 500m.

    I am about to make the jump to a full TT bike - will the geometry of this vs a road frame help?


  • mab_bakermab_baker Posts: 4
    I had exactly the same problems as yourself cramping in T2 and struggling for the first 1km with cramp threatening to grind me to a halt.

    I've tried various things to combat this and touch wood they seem to be working as the last few races T2 and the run off the bike have been the best ever. Here are the things I'm doing to help:

    1) For some of my brick sessions I have changed the bike intensity so I ride the bike at race pace to emulate race conditions and then run off the bike.
    2) Generally stetching more, particularly calves, after training sessions.
    3) I add a bit more salt into my diet
    4) In the day leading up to the event and on the day of the event I make sure I have an electrolyte drink
    5) As part of my pre-race stretch routine I spend 5 mins or so massaging my calves to get the blood pumping round them.
    6) Race more, no matter how much training you do you will only truely work at race intensity in a race and racing more will condition your body more to the extra stresses and strains made at that intensity.

    I suspect 1 and 5 and a bit of 6 are the things that make the main difference for me.

    Hope it helps!
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