what is calf cramp?
Muscle fibres contract and relax in turn when you use a muscle. Sometimes a muscle gets stuck in the contracted state and that’s what the pain of cramp is. Pain in the back of the lower leg is calf cramp, and if you find calves cramping when running, you often have to stop as the pain is quite something!
what causes calves cramping when running?
There are lots of causes of calves cramping when running – including dehydration, low mineral levels and poor circulation. Cramp can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition – eg diabetes, thyroid issues and are also common in pregnancy.
Cramp can also occur in fatigued muscles. It is made worse in heat and is much more likely in under-trained runners.
how to treat calf cramps when running?
If you find yourself with a cramp in your calf – stop running and bend down towards your toes and flex your toes towards you.
Take on fluids in case of dehydration, and make sure your body temperature is down to normal.
how to prevent calf cramps long term?
Train sensibly and gradually. Make sure your nutrition is good – to get all of your vitamins and minerals – and keep fuelling with water before and during runs.