View Full Version : Cramping in Open Water

Distance Hog
July 27th, 2009, 12:27 PM
I was looking for suggestions to a problem that has now occured to me twice now in the same race. It is a 2.5mile open water race where the water temp is around 60 degrees. I wear a full westuit for the race. About 2/3 of the way through I get a massive calf cramp that causes me to have to stop. I don't kick much in my wetsuit since my legs float, so I'm not sure what is causing it.

I am a very experienced open water racer and I have been doing this particular race for 9 years. This has only happened to me once in any other race (pool or open water) that I can remember. The last two years I have cramped up in this race and it is really discouraging.

The problem never occurs in my training swims in cold water with my wetsuit. I took extra precautions this year, lots of stretching, hydration, eating a ton of bananas. Is there something I am missing?

July 28th, 2009, 09:53 AM
I have faced with this problem for many years. What I do:

1) About every 10 minutes throughout the swim, flex your feet - pull your toes up and stretch your calves just a bit. You don't have to stop to do this. Just a quick pulling up of the toes every now and then.

2) When you are doing your dryland stretching, don't just stretch your calves. Stretch your hamstrings too. Tightness in the hammies can cause tightness in your calves.

Hope this helps. Nothing is worse than calf cramps during an openwater swim.