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running newb getting cramp

Hi there,

I have my first tri in a few weeks - the sprint at Nantwich.

I am reasonably fit doing plenty of cycling and am getting back into the swimming with no problems.

I have always hated running and do no running sports at all.

I attempted to do my 3rd run last night. the last was a week ago.

After 1km I got what seems like bad cramp in the muscle just below/behind my right calf.

It is still painfull to walk on now.

Any idea what I can do to alleviate this.

My thoughts are to avoid any more running training until after the triathlon

and just do the best I can on the day probably with plenty of walking.

Then try gradually and gently get back into running after I have recoverred.


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    LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Hello and welcome

    Have you got decent newish running shoes?

    I had an old pair of decent running shoes (5 years old) and when I upped my running to 10km I had major pain in the lower calfs/achilles, which Mrs L (a physio) diagnosed as a probable shoe/gait problem.

    So off to the running shop for a new pair and oh my god the difference is amazing - it felt as if I had been running in concrete shoes with no spring/bounce at all.

    So check your running shoes and make sure that they are suitable for your gait.

    Apart from that I can't offer much help I am afraid, but there are plenty of threads on here about cramp, so I'm sure someone will be able to offer some pearls of wisdom.
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    I have a pair of you might describe as budget running shoes from Decathlon bought with no consultancy.

    They seem comfortable enough but perhaps a trip to a running shop might be a good idea.


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    I would get your gait looked at if you can,

    As a thought - do you run on your toes?

    There's lots of advice on running technique - it always used to be the case that a positive heelstrike was considered best whereas now the trend seems to be for more of a mid foot strike as that lessens stress on the knees, however the further forward you land, the more stress it puts on the calf and achilles - I'm no expert on this, it's just the advice I was given on a coaching course a while ago.

    Anyway, back to your cramp - have a think about your running gait and also consider your flexibility - do you ever stop and stretch your calf muscles after warming up? This might help. Also, try and relax when you're running.

    Like you I am not a runner - I only do it because I want to do Triathlon and it comes as part of the package. I get cramp off the bike, in both calf muscles usually for the first 10 -15 mins and it's pretty grim. Despite being a girlie I have what my hubby calls "rugby players calves" - I think he means big & chunky - so when they cramp up I really know it! Stretching helps loads.

    Sorry I can't offer any more useful advice - the only other thing I would say is shoes are really important - but don't get talked into spending a fortune! I bought my first few pairs from a good shop and now I know what ones I want, I buy them online from a site that sells off last years colours - so they are cheaper. (I'm so not into the "I have to have the latest stuff" brigade (sorry....)

    hope you find some answers

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    triadtriad Posts: 62
    If after getting your gait checked out and purchasing some new running shoes, the problem still persists, then you might want to try salt tablets? Now I'm going to get the wrath of the Forum on me declaring that salt will dehydrate but I've heard that salt pills work for cramp.
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