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Thread: Foot/toe cramps - open water

  1. #1
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Question Foot/toe cramps - open water

    I've been swimming 6k-8k per week for two years primarily pool but some open water. Recently completed a 5k open water race in 1:43 in choppy conditions. I feel like I could have pushed harder but was constrained by toe/foot/calf cramps which I coninuosly had to manage/forestall by slowing down my stroke/effort generally and my kicking in particular. The three times I actually began to cramp (2nd half of the race) I was able to relieve the cramp by a few breast strokes with toes pulled up followed by a reduced effort. Any thoughts on training, nutrion, mindset that eliminate or greatly reduce cramping as the limiting factor.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Foot/toe cramps - open water

    I think swimming further in your practices would help a lot since that 5km race is almost as far as all your weekly training swims combined. Your cramps could also be caused by dehydration or low levels of minerals. Eating bananas, almonds, whole grains, etc. could help.

  3. #3
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Fayetteville, GA

    Re: Foot/toe cramps - open water

    Did you get in a good warm-up and stretch before the swim?

    Did you adjust your stroke of sighting to account for the chop? Some people will swim with their head higher in chop, which will drop the hips and change the kick. I train people to keep their head lower and breathe down and back more in chop. Also shorten their stroke and fight the chop, instead of finding a rhythm to keep the stroke long.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    schaumburg, il - U S A

    Re: Foot/toe cramps - open water

    Was the water cold?? Longer swims & maybe add fins to over work the muscles.

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