Aloha all. During my tri training of long runs before a long swim I would get really bad cramps in my foot and calf. I starting taking a pill before getting into the water. I can't remember what it is called, but I think you can get it at a running store. Go in and ask them for a supplement that helps with cramping. I also started to drink propel during my swims. I can't handle gatorade. I will try and find out the name of the pills. I almost forgot I had to take two, one didn't work for me. I stopped cramping after taking the pills.
Today I had the worst foot cramps of my life. Although I have had them briefly, before when/after swimming, today was by far the worst. So I analyzed what was different.
1. I had sweat alot.
2. I had just finished drinking a coffee.
This leads me to believe that I may have been slightly dehydrated.
3. I had worn a pair of boots that I do not usually wear, anymore. I had noticed they were tighter than they been been previously.
This leads me to believe that the change in the support in the arch may have exacerbated the situation. I usually wear well made, expensive Nature Balance walking shoes.
4. I drank a coke, regular coke, and in about 3 minutes the pain was abated.
This leads me to believe that I may have also had a small problem with low blood sugar. I am not diabetic but do, at times, have a small problem with hypoglycemia.
I take vitamins which should keep me more than supplied with magnesium and calcium. I drink about 10 oz. of Schweppes tonic water on a daily basis, simply because I believe it is good for me.
I suggest that for those who have this problem, if it does not occur each time, start taking notes about what you ate, drank, and wore on your feet when it did occur. If it always occurs, I would drink a lot of gatorade, filled with electrolytes.
Me too. I love to swim in our pool for enjoyment and exercise but the cramping has, shall we say, dampened my enthusiasm. I've tried bananas, potassium supplements, gatorade, et al. Nothing worked UNTIL! Until I found how to resolve the cramping issue. I have discovered that if I wear snugly tied sneakers (with a good arch support) in the pool, I do not get the horrible foot cramps while swimming. Who cares about how it looks?!? It works. I hope it works for you. Jim in Florida
I have found a couple of foot and calf strengthening exercises: first, stand at the end of a moderately thick towel and gather the material toward you with your toes. Secondly, one leg calf raises are good: stand on one foot with something to help you balance and rise up on your toes. Then ease back down. Ten of these X 3 is enough. Finally, the double calf raise: stand on both feet with something to help you balance. Rise up on the toes of both feet, ease back down and then go back on your heels, pulling your toes toward your calves. Repeat. Hope these help. When I don't do them, I get foot cramps when I bike!
Hi guys! I get foot cramps too. I notice that if I swim later in the day, I get them. Morning swims, not so much. Feet less tired. Also, if I push off the wall on my laps I can get them. So I dont push off too hard. When they happen, I can keep swimming, I just dont kick until they go away. Then I dont kick so hard for a while.
Make sure you are well hydrated, not too tired, not overtraining, breathing right (no oxygen debt), getting enough potassium (easier said than done!) and iron.
Reading through all the previous posts reminds me that each individual triathlete will have individual reactions to different training stresses. I had similar foot cramps while training for the last 12 years, and, like several others here, no amount of potassium, calcium, gatorade, etc helped. However, I have now concluded that for me, it was (and still is) excessive toe-pointing that causes it. If your cramp is like mine, a light pull back (stretch) on the toes seems to instantly relieve it. I can usually resume swimming immediately, and then I point my toes just a little less. Hope this helps.
One way to deal with foot cramps is to stop your workout and massage your feet. Also change your stroke and start doing the breaststroke.
Treating foot cramps
No matter what the cause of a foot cramp, there's ways to relieve the pain. Here are some tips for treating foot cramps:
Slowly pull the foot away from the cramping position and hold it there until the foot cramp disappears.Try massaging the foot for five to 10 minutes until the foot cramp feels better.
Take a dose of aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve a foot cramp
Elevate your foot to the level of your waist.
If the foot cramp comes from an athletic injury, apply an ice pack around the foot cramp, no directly on it.
Use moist heat on the foot cramp three times a day if cramping is chronic
Try a warm foot soak
Wrap the foot in an elastic bandage, if necessary
Stay off your foot and give the foot cramp a chance to heal.
See a doctor about chronic and persistent foot cramps.