Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Leg Cramps

  1. #1
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Charlotte,NC
    Posts
    15

    Leg Cramps

    So, I bit the bullet and did my first OWS race this past weekend in Wilmington, NC (Swim the Loop- 3.5 mile option). The biggest problem that I had during the race was leg (specifically calf) and foot cramping. I was able to work it out and finish the race, but I have never had cramps that bad either in the pool (1650,1000, 500) or in my OW lake swims (3 miles). Was it the salt water? I had plenty of fluids prior to the swim (water and gatorade & a small cup of coffee) and in the days prior to it. I also had some water and gatorade at the 1 mile and 2 mile aid stations to try and help out. Any suggestions? I am looking at possibly doing the Low Country Splash in Charleston, SC (2.4 or 5 mile) next spring/summer (2018) and would rather not have a repeat performance. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Latham, NY
    Posts
    249

    Re: Leg Cramps

    I am plagued by leg cramps from time to time, maybe every couple weeks. They jolt me out of bed at 3 AM. They strike after about an hour in the pool at masters team practice. They hit the calf, the shin, the arch of the foot, even on top of the foot. I got them just once in open water at about 1.2 miles. I cannot figure out how to avoid them. People will tell you it's due to dehydration, but like you, I am careful to be well hydrated before a workout. They may say it's an electrolyte imbalance, but I highly doubt that too and have never found a drink formula that will cure it. I can't explain them, only sympathize with your plight.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    309
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Leg Cramps

    I just had the same in a 5.5k race last weekend. But not till the end and when I stopped at the finish. I think it had to do with me sprinting the last couple hundred meters when I saw another swimmer and tried to beat her. I usually barely kick (2-beat, I guess) during my open water races, but for those last couple hundred, I was doing a 6-beat kick. Upon stopping, my right calf cramped up something fierce; I'd never seen it so huge. I had to physically grab my foot with both hands and forcibly bend it through its range of motion till my calf was loose enough to climb the ladder out of the water.

    Rarely if ever happens to me. Sadly, I can't help you with figuring out what it was.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    http://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/IronMike/

  4. #4
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Charlotte,NC
    Posts
    15

    Re: Leg Cramps

    Quote Originally Posted by Sumorunner View Post
    I am plagued by leg cramps from time to time, maybe every couple weeks. They jolt me out of bed at 3 AM. They strike after about an hour in the pool at masters team practice. They hit the calf, the shin, the arch of the foot, even on top of the foot. I got them just once in open water at about 1.2 miles. I cannot figure out how to avoid them. People will tell you it's due to dehydration, but like you, I am careful to be well hydrated before a workout. They may say it's an electrolyte imbalance, but I highly doubt that too and have never found a drink formula that will cure it. I can't explain them, only sympathize with your plight.
    Thanks for the input.. I do get them from time to time in practice and usually it is a hydration issue (5:30AM practice). I will have to tinker with my race prep next time and see if that is the issue.

  5. #5
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Dover, DE
    Posts
    79

    Re: Leg Cramps

    Personally I am also very susceptible to similar cramps although they have only happened to me in the pool. I do know that electrolytes and hydration are important to reduce the cramps, but I will still get them if we do hard kick sets or lots of sprinting (I am not a natural sprinter). I also find that breast stroke kick when I am tired sets them off. Keeping these factors in mind, I am extremely careful to avoid hard kicking during OW swims and to be well hydrated. I always drink a bottle of gatorade immediately before the OW race. Sounds like you did the hydration and electrolyte part correctly. Perhaps it was the sprint at the end? Realistically it is hard to be fully hydrated after swimming in seawater for a long time. Can't help but accidentally ingest at least a little...

Similar Threads

  1. Leg Cramps
    By fhkennedy1 in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: December 21st, 2016, 12:49 PM
  2. Solution to leg cramps
    By bruce13 in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: August 26th, 2011, 12:12 PM
  3. Leg Cramps or Something Else?
    By moodyrichardson in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: October 5th, 2010, 10:02 PM
  4. toe cramps
    By jim thornton in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: February 4th, 2009, 10:20 AM
  5. Leg Cramps
    By wdudley in forum Workouts
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 31st, 2004, 04:44 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •