Every year when I visit the various Sun Run InTraining Clinics as SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach, there is some kind of concern that comes up: 2012 seems to be the “Year of the Cramped Calf Muscle.”
It’s known that calf muscles shorten with age, especially in men (sorry guys). Every time you push off with the toes, you require your calf to work. The faster you go, the greater the impact and the greater the push with that calf muscle. So usually the calf cramps in response to too much workload. Here are my suggestions for your participants:
- Reduce intensity – consider walking – especially if heavier than they’d like to be. Get used to the impact of walking before doing more running.
- Shorten the stride and land with a soft knee – as gently as possible
- Warm up carefully – this includes a gentle 5-10 min. walk plus stretching
- Cross Train – it will strengthen those calves and support the RunWalk Program. Focus on what they CAN do.
- Consciously hydrate (8 glasses per day)
- Eat bananas every day(potassium)
- Do static stretching post exercise every day (no bouncing)
- On a walk/run, consider stopping and stretching about every 10 min.
- Do consult a doctor to ensure the cramping is not because of an inner issue that requires attention. Sugar imbalances can cause cramping as well – it happens with people pre-disposed to diabetes and women who are pregnant, as examples.
As always, if participants are up over a 4-5 on that Discomfort Scale, then they should be advised to take time off the legs. View our webinar here on “Keeping your aches and pains in check” and View Ideas on Cross Training here.
Keep smiling and let’s hope spring is just around the corner (Book that trip to Mexico!)
Your SportMedBC Olympian and RunWalk Coach