General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimming foot cramp Rss Feed  
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2009-01-26 8:26 AM

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Subject: Swimming foot cramp

I experienced a foot cramp while swimming for the first time today.  I was wondering if this is normal.  If so, do you stop and let it subside or keep swimming?  I keep going and it went away after a lap or so.  Also is this a result of "poor" foot form while swimming?  I just kinda let my feet drag along behind me for the most part.



2009-01-26 9:03 AM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
VVATC - 2009-01-26 7:26 AM

I experienced a foot cramp while swimming for the first time today.  I was wondering if this is normal.  If so, do you stop and let it subside or keep swimming?  I keep going and it went away after a lap or so.  Also is this a result of "poor" foot form while swimming?  I just kinda let my feet drag along behind me for the most part.



I used to get them near the end of every swim workout, now just rarely but they do happen some. It's not due to any form deficiency. Swim through it or stop and work it out. I don't think it matters.
2009-01-26 9:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I used to get them alot also while swimming. I was told it could be due to me pointing my toes while swimming. I since have tried to keep my feet more relaxed while swimming and it seems to help alot.

So I am not sure I agree with it not being a "form problem", but I would suggest trying to relax the feet and not point the toes.

2009-01-26 9:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
This is just about the most common complaint of swimming that I've heard. You expect to have your arms/shoulders/back sore, tired and such but leg and foot cramps? Yes, them too.

It'll get better and you'll learn how to swim through them and/or relax so they don't happen as much or for as long.
2009-01-26 9:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I get it pretty frequently.  Still haven't figured out the trend. 

Things to consider:  are you hydrating enough?  Lots of water surrounding body doesn't mean you ahve enough water IN your body.

Kicking too hard?  Lower limbs too stiffs trying to hold position?  May want to relax a bit, or mix up different strokes/drills within a workout. 

Pushing off the wall too hard? 

2009-01-26 10:04 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
Yep, don't push off the wall very hard, and don't point your toes as you push off the wall.  That should provide a fair deal of relief.


2009-01-26 10:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
I was a swimmer for ten years and never once got a foot cramp. I started doing triathlons (more running,biking) and I get them nearly every time now. I think it has much more to do with the state of your legs BEFORE you get into the pool than anything else. Make sure to stretch them out if you've run/biked recently.

Theyre so uncomfortable too!
2009-01-26 10:37 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I agree. Swam competitively and never really had them. Now they are much more common in the pool. I will even get them sitting on the ground with my legs crossed (Indian style? is that politically incorrect?) . In fact, I was doing some home improvement stuff this weekend in a tight space and I almost had to stop b/c I could find a way to sit without getting a foot cramp.Sometimes I think that I have something that has gotten hung up in my legs from biking and running, but honestly, I have no clue.

If you figure something out please post.

2009-01-26 10:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

SevenZulu - 2009-01-26 11:04 AM Yep, don't push off the wall very hard, and don't point your toes as you push off the wall. That should provide a fair deal of relief.

That's what I do that causes foot cramps.   

2009-01-26 10:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I get cramps in my toes when swimming.

It is my own personal theory that this comes from tight calves.

2009-01-26 12:24 PM
in reply to: #1929098

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Sensei
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I get cramps on the bottom of my feet on occasion.  I always swim through it.

I either keep the toes pointed, HTFU, and let the foot cramp for a minute.  It hurts like hell, but soon the muscles will release...

OR, I choose to loose efficiency for a lap or two and don't point my toes and let my foot hang a bit.



2009-01-26 2:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I get cramps in my toes too, i thought i was the only one, and i have to stop and stretch them somehow because the pain is really bad.

But it's been happening less frequent now and i learned to HTFU and just not move the foot for a lap or 2. Maybe i learned to relax, maybe someone told me i don't have enough salt in me, maybe it's everything together.



Edited by wannakona 2009-01-26 2:59 PM
2009-01-26 3:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
treiks813 - 2009-01-26 11:30 AM

I think it has much more to do with the state of your legs BEFORE you get into the pool than anything else. Make sure to stretch them out if you've run/biked recently.

Theyre so uncomfortable too!


I completely agree. I usually get them if I run at some point in the day before I swim. If the swim is the first exercise of the day, then I'm always fine. However, I always make sure to swim through them. My thinking is that should I get them on race day I don't want a reason to panic.
2009-01-26 3:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I take a water bottle with me.  Hydration helps as someone else mentioned.

I had foot cramps getting out of control, like no longer only occurring in the pool, and now I was getting them at home sitting on the couch...and while i'm not sure, i think it's a deficiency in calcium and a few other electrolytes.   I think exercise induced cramping might be different though.

2009-01-26 4:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
SevenZulu - 2009-01-26 11:04 AM

Yep, don't push off the wall very hard, and don't point your toes as you push off the wall.  That should provide a fair deal of relief.


this is exactly what I have found is the issue for my foot cramps. i noticed i was getting them close to the wall.

pushing through has always worked for me.
2009-01-26 5:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
I got them early on in training, my coach told me it was due to a lack of ankle flexibilty. They did go away as I swam more, thank God because they are PAINFUL!!!!

I guess stretching and increasing flexibility does increase performance, because I'm definitely faster without foot cramps than with them. Shhh, don't tell Jorge because we'll get into that debate again and he'll ask for scientific evidence of my foot cramps .

It could also be hydration or vitamin deficiency, so try to hydrate and eat some bananas.



2009-01-26 5:42 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
Nipper - 2009-01-26 11:54 AM

I get cramps in my toes when swimming.

It is my own personal theory that this comes from tight calves.

X2!!!
2009-01-26 5:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
Good to know I am not the only one....was starting to wonder! I too press through it and stretch it out a little while swimming for a few strokes and it goes away pretty quickly.
2009-01-26 10:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
My swim coach told me to eat Ketchup! Ha... for the potassium. But I get them in my feet and calves. I'm allergic to bananas poor me.
2009-01-27 6:06 AM
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Rota, Spain
Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
It's def not from kicking off the wall.  I am a wall slapper not a wall kicker.  I think it may be the hydration.  Even tho I drink my share of water while swimming... Also, I swim during lunch so it is my first excercise of the day(for now).  I will pay attention to my feet tomorrow during swim training and see if I am actually pointing them.  Thanks for all the tips!
2009-01-27 6:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
Yosel88 - 2009-01-26 6:42 PM
Nipper - 2009-01-26 11:54 AM

I get cramps in my toes when swimming.

It is my own personal theory that this comes from tight calves.

X2!!!

x3

Folks I know that get cramps swimming also tend to get Plantar Fasciitis I've noticed on the many years I've been on BT...I fall into that category...all I think from tight calves.



2009-01-27 9:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp
If it doesn't interrupt your swim or last more than a lap or bother you after... I wouldn't worry about it too much.  I get them myself sometimes.  I have yet to find a way to get rid of them totally.
2009-01-27 11:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming foot cramp

I got them badly last week.  Frustrated that my swim wasn't done, I stretched the calves and feet thoroughly.  Got back in and voila, cramping gone, and finished my workout feeling great.

Jury's still out on cause: hydration vs form vs fitness.  I'm more in the camp of muscle fitness and sport familiarity as I never get cramps biking or running.

 

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