usually when I've been sitting down
Last couple of days, three or four times my left calf has started to cramp. Mostly when I've just got up and started walking,once when I'd been standing still then started walking. Each time I've quickly pulled the toes up and it's not gone into full cramp, and it's not (so far) tried to cramp while I've been running, but obviously I'm worried it's going to, and the last time that happened it didn't stop cramping for 2.5 HOURS. It feels like it might cramp at any time.
Any ideas to get it through this and avoid a full cramp? More calf stretches? More massage? (I already self-massage my calves twice a day, but I could ask my husband to have a go as well). I've just eaten a banana for potassium, and made sure I'm well hydrated.
Are you getting enough salt too? Otherwise are you doing anything that might block your circulation, such as sitting with your legs crossed etc?
Paul; yes, I put Elete electrolytes in my water for drinking while running. Don't sit with legs crossed, although I do spend too much time sitting at a computer.
YoungPup: Thanks, and sympathies - a couple of days has been enough for me! I think you're right about the massage - had my husband massage it three times and a bit more relaxed each time, last bit this morning - so then I went on a 16-mile run... Thankfully he was willing to massage it again after the run. I'm also going to try to stretch more - I'm usually quite good but had been slacking on that a bit recently.
Debra sorry to gatecrash your topic.
Interesting Paul J-R, I have had a slightly painful right calf since the end of July. It doesn't effect my running but is always there. When running it doesn't get any worse, but it gets slightly tighter after a run.
I try to stretch more often, before runs, after runs and on rest days. The only time it disappears is when my PT assists in my stretching.
Prior to taking up exercising and gym work in March/April I experienced very tight hamstrings, especially whilst sleeping/resting which I put down to my back injury (slipped disc in 2007 L3/L4). My PT has worked on my flexibility and my hamstrings have improved and rarely cause me any issues.
I have reduced my salt in-take considerably since the beginning of the year. I no longer add salt to meals or use it in cooking. I do not conciously eat low salt meals, so if its present in food then its my only salt in-take.
I only started running during July, prior to that it was a mixture of walk/run sessions on the treadmill. The calf problem started prior to my starting to run outdoors and has not got any worse with outdoor running.
The only way I can describe the feeling is that it feels like the calf is just about to cramp up. It doesn't but it feels like is about to?
I drink plenty of water/tea/orange and eat plenty of fruit (oranges/apples).
Could this just be down to a deficiency of salt?
MR2 - deficiency of salt can cause cramping if you've done a really great job of cutting it out of your diet.
Maybe try some powerade, or a drink of water with a Nuun hydration tablet - they provide all the key minerals. Otherwise, cramping could be a simple case of working the muscle beyond its fitness capability.
Speak to your PT about it - they should know you really well and be able to advise.
MR2: (you're not gatecrashing!) Re. salt intake, I also have quite a low salt diet - don't use much processed food, don't add to food while cooking and very rarely at the table. But I do put electrolytes in my water for drinking while running.
I also have a bag of pretzels in the house. If I eat a couple of those and they DON'T taste particularly salty, then I know I need to increase my salt intake!
My wonderful husband massaged my calves again last night and they're nearly normal now - and he says he'll have another go at them this evening. I do go for a proper sports massage sometimes and it's very useful.
I think what this episode has taught me is that I need to increase my post-run stretching, and NEVER skimp on the calf stretches. I've also been told to make sure to include some fast running sessions to stretch my calf muscles out while running - I'm doing a lot of LSRs and hill work at the moment, all involving short strides.
Low calcium can also be a cause of cramp - I never add salt to food; don't eat peanut or other snack where salt is added (processed food etc), don't use sports drink/electrolyte drinks but when suffering from cramp my GP took blood and told me my calcium levels were low! Now I make sure I have cereal with milk each day and some yoghurt and never had cramps since!
Forgot to add that I don't have salt because I have never liked it - not for any sports or other reason! In the past when very young if I added salt all I ever tasted was the salt and nothing else!
Slightly different issue but still about salt - watched a cooking programme (youtube) and the American presenter was saying to add salt to everything she made even sweet things (I was finding a recipe for raspberry cupcakes!). Salt on EVERYTHING!! Now surely that's not healthy - high BP, fluid retention etc etc or what!!!
No problems since my wonderful husband managed to massage the palpable knots out of my calves, thankfully. Fairly sure calcium levels etc. are okay.
Re. salt: I think if someone is used to salt in everything, low-salt food probably tastes "flat". I agree, adding salt to everything isn't healthy (unless you're e.g. working down a mine and sweating buckets every day).
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