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Calf Cramps

Hi all,

I was wondering whether anyone could help me with something. I'm new to triathlon and did my first sprint today in Marlow - really enjoyed it.

One thing however, once I got off the bike and started running I got pretty intense cramping in my calves. I'm new to tri, but new to running and cycling, and this is something I've never experienced before.

I span a fairly easy gear for the last 1km or so of the bike leg to try and get my legs ready for the run, but obviously this didn't help.

Is anyone able to point out where I'm going wrong, or suggest something which could prevent this from happening again?



  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Two things could be causing the cramps:

    Firstly; incorrect muscle action. Cycling uses muscles differently to running and if they are still in bike mode when you run cramping is one possible consequence. The solution is to try some bike/run bricks during training. This will train your legs muscles to switch from one way of working to another. Start gently and build in terms of intensity. It doesn't take long for your legs to learn this new skill. Also good for learning quick mounts and dismounts. Changing cadence towards the end of the bike leg helps during competition.

    Secondly; Weak calf muscles. Cramps are usually caused by muscle fatigue unless you have underlying medical problems. As you say you are new to bike and run and the bike leg could have exhausted your calf muscles before the run started. Think of all the force required to move your bike forward being transferred through your calves over a limited range of movement while the foot is slightly dorsiflexed. Try some heel raises, they have proved very successful with a number of athletes I've worked with who have had the same problem as you. Saved them spending a fortune on idiot socks and made them better runners. Do the heel raises with a straight knee then with a bent knee, do them using both legs then one at a time. Do them until your calves burn and you have to stop. Use weights if you have access to them.

    Hope this helps

  • timothyjptimothyjp Posts: 5
    That's great, will try both of those suggestions out.

    Thank you for your help.

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