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Calf Cramps?

I've been getting cramp in my calfs and it always seems to be straight after the swim at olympic distance on the way to T1!......Has anyone else had this problem? if so do you have any advise on how to control it?.........I cramped so bad on my last Tri it ruptured my calf muscle!


  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Do you wear calf guards?

    Try upping your kick rate in the last 100m or so
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    The long term answer is to strengthen your calf muscles. Calves often cramp during or after swimming because you have held your foot in an extended (streamlined/pointed toe) position for an extended period. Muscles are weakest at their extreme range of movement. Have a look on YouTube at:
    'Vibram running eccentric calf raises' and
    'Monday minute: eccentric calf raises'
    Do both straight and bent leg raises to the point where the burn prevents more and remember to go both down and up as far as possible. Your calves will strengthen quite quickly.

    Kicking your legs fast at then end of the swim will get some blood back into your legs but unless you return you foot to its neutral position, which will slow you down, it may be only a small help. Otherwise on the way to T1 its walk then jog then run as your calf muscles sort themselves out.


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Just to add to what harryD has said.

    It might be worth looking at what you are doing with your feet and lower legs when swimming. It you hoilding them tight to keep the most efficient position you maybe causing the cramp yourself.

    You should not need to hold your calfs taught to straight your feet out. Try relaxing them a using your ankles as the bit that holds your feet out and relax a bit.

    That may not be the issue but worth a check.

    Other wise I echo what Harry said.
  • Firstly....Thanks for the replys guys!

    Zac, I have recently started using calf guards in training and in my last two event's, the first event being a sprint where I was able improve my run time by over 3 minutes which ( I think) was down to the extra stability gained from the guards, the following event a fortnight later was an olympic sea swim event this is where I got the cramp and ruptured my calf!....it was as soon as I stood up
    I'll experiment with my kick speed during the end of my training sessions over the winter!

    Cheers Zacini!

    Hi HarryD!...A very informative reply! when the swelling goes down I will give your exercises a go!....and will error on the side of caution on exiting the sea from now on!

    Cheers HarryD!....very greatful!

    Hi Blinkybaz!.....I have never thought about weather I'm tencing my calf to much in the swim......have always focused on my arms lol....catch etc!....some food for thought!

    Again! Cheers Guy's hopeing all your great advice putts me on the right track to a best season ever in 2012 Thank you!
  • Muscles usually cramp because of either fatigue levels or natural salt levels. If this decreases then the muscles cramp. Try having electrolytes before you compete. Also take onboard previous comments. lots of eccentric outer range strength exercises. a normal google search will suffice.
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