Recovery Leg injuries

Calves cramping when running? Tips to stop it

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 – you will be wondering how to get rid of calf cramps while running. Well step one is to 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.

My calf cramps at night – why is this?

Calf cramps in the evening or night can be part of restless leg syndrome – which is when you want to move your legs around. Annoyingly the exact cause of this is unclear – although sometimes it can be for a medical reason like an underactive thyroid or diabetes – so if it happens a lot, we recommend you visit your doctor.