View Full Version : foot and leg cramps

December 3rd, 2004, 11:26 AM
This is weird. If I swim at noon, I'm fine. About half the time I swim from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. with a masters coach. When I swim in the evening, I always get foot cramps and/or leg cramps. I've asked the coach about this and she doesn't know why. I've tried eating a banana shortly before swimming, taking potassium supplements, drinking gatorade. Nothing seems to work. I drink about a gallon of water a day so by the time I swim at noon I've had about a half gallon - no cramps. By the time I swim at 5:30 I've had about a gallon - cramps. Anybody have any ideas as to 1. why I'm getting these cramps or 2. what can I do, eat, drink, whatever to avoid getting them. I prefer swimming in the evening because of the scheduled and varying workouts and the length of time I can swim. Thanks.

December 3rd, 2004, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by farnsworth
...eating a banana shortly before swimming...

This is kind of a dumb question just to warn you. Are you waiting a half hour before you swim after you eat? I have to wait at least a half hour (usually more) or I get really bad cramps.


December 3rd, 2004, 01:41 PM
Thanks, Kyra. Something I've learned, no dumb questions. Yeah, I don't eat too close to swimming so I don't think it's that but thanks. Have you ever heard of Elete? Info on cramping came to my e-mail after I posted. This site was one of them: http://www.eletewater.com/ Seems like it would be better than Gatorade which I personally don't like.

December 3rd, 2004, 10:51 PM
This may sound silly but I got cramps alot from kicking too hard. When I first started swimming I didn't have good form and used my legs too much. I used to get cramps in my calves that would make them sore for days. I also lift weights before I swim now so maybe I'm also getting warmed up quite a bit before I swim. I'm not really sure if any of this made sense but I thought I would throw it out there.

December 4th, 2004, 04:11 PM
You might be on to something, Blair. I get the worst cramps when I do (attempt) fly. I'm still trying to learn it so my rhythms off and I kick hard - harder than I probably should. I also get them when I swim fast, hence fast kicking. I'll have to start paying attention to when I get them - strokes, speed - and see if there's a pattern. That would be a drag though because it's a kick to swim fast.

December 7th, 2004, 12:32 AM
I have found that the longer I warm-up the better I swim and feel during the actual workout. I try to get to the pool before anyone else on my team and pull a good 400 - 600 yards before I start the "official" warm-up.

I use to get sporatic cramps (mostly on fly) and I haven't had one since I've started extending my warm-up. No amount of food or beverage seemed to help (bananas and gatorade included).

I also find that I get more cramps when I have a long time in between sets and have cooled down then go into high gear and do a lot of hard kicking or sprinting ... do you find a correlation there?

Hope that helped!

Swim on!

December 7th, 2004, 09:22 AM
Thanks, that does help. I'll try a longer warm up. I'll try anything to keep from cramping up.

December 7th, 2004, 11:07 AM
Also,sometimes I can feel tightness beginning in my legs and I just stretch real quick. I just plant my feet on the wall and grab the side of the pool. Kind of like when you are trying to touch your toes on land. Don't know if this is even a good stretch but it's an easy one to do in the pool without getting out.