2012 seems to be the Year of the Cramped Calf!

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 if you have a calf that’s giving you trouble:

  • Reduce intensity – consider walking – 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 you CAN do.
  • Consciously hydrate (8 glasses of water 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 you are up over a 4-5 on that 1-10 Discomfort Scale, then my advice is to take time off those calves before they literally cramp so you cannot move.  Call me for ideas on cross training or view that SportMedBC webinar at sportmedbc.com

Keep smiling and let’s hope spring is just around the corner (Book that trip to Mexico) – Warm weather will help those calves! 

Lynn Kanuka

 

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About Lynn Kanuka

Olympian, Coach, StreetStrider, Corporate Challenge Coach, Event Organizer, Deep Water Runner, Motivational Speaker, Nordic Walking Coach.... My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I'll always be a runner. I love its simplicity. I'd love to help you discover how easy running can be: Walk — Jog — Run or Stride. I know you can do it.
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