I’m hoping that someone may be able to help me solve a problem. My wife is a talented triathlete, winning her age group (55-59) in several major triathlons over the past two years. She has signed up to do a full ironman distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in Wisconsin but she can't seem to swim past 1200-1400 meters before she gets leg cramps. She has consulted local swim coaches, tried all their suggestions and nothing works. It's a real problem and she is thinking of giving up on the race. Since she is 57 this may be her last shot at doing something she’s wanted to do for years. She has tried hydrating (with water and tonic water), stretching, had her technique evaluated for mechanics, etc. has anyone else had this problem and if so, what the solution? I’m desperate to help her but don’t know where else to turn. If you know of anyone who might be able to help, please let me know. Thank you.
Only my anecdotal experience to back this up, but I see leg cramps for me in swimming correlated with:
alcohol consumption the previous night: I'm not a heavy boozer, but I'm much more likely to get calf cramps the morning after having 1-2 beers or glasses of wine,
excessive sitting the day before or day of: even when I'm training well, if I spend the previous day working behind a desk, sitting on a plane, driving a lot, I'm more likely to get leg cramps
not kicking enough during the swim: generally, when I get leg cramps in an OW swim, it's because I've forgotten (especially when wearing a floaty wetsuit) to concentrate on keeping up a steady kick (even just a two beat)
i'm prone to leg cramps..my solution i found works..i drink 2cans(big ones) of v-8 low sodium(major potassium)..and nitely i take a magnesium/calcium/zinc supplement. I notice my foot cramps before my leg and i stop swimming when my calf starts twitching...good luck to her!
I've never tried this myself, but a seasoned swimmer told me that mustard, (the packets you get at a hot dog stand) works instantly to alleviate cramps. I've just never had it when I needed it, but it is indeed an interesting concept!
Solution to leg cramps...
We're not really supposed to endorse products here..but dill pickle juice can be a possible solution.
I've heard the same thing. Not that I have a problem myself with cramps (knock on wood)...bananas seem to do the trick for me, but I have heard people who do have this problem say pickle juice helps. Sorry I don't have a better-tasting suggestion! Pickle juice is pretty gross. :bolt:
I've never gotten leg cramps while swimming open water, but I used to get them during long pool swims at the end of the day after working all day. I found that eating a banana before the swim and drinking Heed during the workout helped to prevent cramps.
I have found potassium to be extremely beneficial for me. I used to get leg cramps all the time. Started eating a banana before every practice and the problem went away.
You can also go to your local pharmacy or health food store and buy a Potassium supplement which I have found to work just as well.