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Cramp and swimming!

Hi Chaps,

I've been doing pretty well at improving my swimming and as a consequence going faster!

However, I just thought I'd share a few worries regarding cramp. Now, I've never had cramp in the past, during any sport, and I've done a fair few and train intensely, yet about two weeks ago, plodding along in the pool towards the end of a session (done just over 1K) and was winding down, had to make a swift maneuver to get out of the way of someone heading right at me and in my "jolt" both hamstrings balled up with cramp, not very nice at all, luckily I was in the middle of the pool and could just manage to stand up and shimmy back to the shallow end whilst trying everything I know to shift the cramp, and thankfully it didn't last long.

well, the week after, worrying that the cramp may return after a hard swim / dehydration etc, I'd taken some re-hydration salts and a banana at least an hour before (and lots of water), yet towards the end of my swim, again, I tried going all out for a fast two lengths but half way up the pool, my left calf went cramp city on me! Never had painful cramp like this before, and again, sheepishly retired to the shallow end and called it a day. The cramp lasted for what felt like about 30-40 seconds. And because of that moment, my calf was killing (DOMS type of dull ache) for nearly three days after until the niggling went completely.

I've had a brief read up on previous posts, and decided that the combination of the tiredness and pushing off the wall hard seemed to provoke this problem, and almost definitely something to do with the way I use my legs for swimming too.

I've had two sessions since and not had it again, but I could feel what could be thought of as pre-cursers to it actually happening and relaxed / slowed myself down a bit, but who want s to go slow?! [:D]

Just thought I'd share this with you guys and I'm glad to say I wasn't in the deep end, but it has got me a little paranoid for future sessions. If anyone has any other preventative methods or solutions, I'm all ears! Not entirely sure about the tonic water, but if it works...

Cheers people!

Have fun in the snow if you have any! It's pretty deep up here in the pennines!


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    BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144

    II read about cramp when swimming awhile ago as I suffered with it in my feet. The cramos are apparently the result of none flexable ankles. Now I would not call myself a swimming more of a runner so it was no surprise to hear that my ankles are strong but not as flexable as a swimming. You need reakky soft ankles to allow the motion to work. If you dont you tend to stiffen other muscle to adapted.

    The answer is ankle exercises, Try writing the alphent with your feet. This will flex the ankle and I am told will help with the cramp.

    I did the same as you to start with re-hydro salts and banana for potasium. This worked a couple of times but the exercise seems to have cracked it.

    This ight not be right for you but might help.

    Maybe you could swim widths in the shallow end till you sort it!!!!!LOL
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    Bananas and electrolytes are good but are not miracle cures, there are no miracle cures unfortunately. Your solution is in your post. When you feel like it might be about to go, get out of the pool. It's nothing to worry about. When I started, I would get cramps after about 400 metres, now I can do 1500 metres without trouble and don't push further because I know I'll start to cramp. You just need to listen to your body and gradually stretch it rather than wrenching it beyond what it's currently capable of.

    Also, try drinking some water (not from the pool though).

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    Swimming is a little different as compared to running, biking etc because there's a lot more friction involved. However, in any sport, if you push yourself to the limit long enough, your muscles will give. Just from my own experience, it requires much more muscle coordination for swimming. Getting a good stretch before swimming helps out a lot. I know it's very basic but people don't give a hoot about stretching before doing sports. Yep, main reason for injuries.
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