When you run regularly, having a recovery or cool down plan at the end is just as important as your overall training plan, stretches, and warm-ups.
If you have been suffering from calf cramps after running, you probably do not have a robust enough cool down process or even the right running shoes for calf pain. You might also need to improve your body’s support nutritionally.
If you are ready to learn more about how you can get rid of calf cramps after running, read on!
How Do I Get Rid of Calf Cramps After Running?
This is a critical part of your recovery and your support of your body during your run. Make sure that you do not head out for a run without water. This is particularly true if it is hot out when you are training.
You can also add electrolytes to your routine if you are finding that you feel gassed and that you are getting cramps as soon as you stop running. Electrolytes or pickle juice are standard solutions for cramping related to a lack of hydration. You might think that you are hydrating enough during and after your running session. Still, most people see a significant improvement in cramping if they take the time to hydrate more effectively during and after training sessions.
Massage can significantly benefit those who suffer from calf cramping issues. Muscles that are challenged regularly to perform intensely can form adhesions or build up scar tissue that can be painful and lead to cramping. If you take the time to get a massage at least once a week, you can help support your calf muscle health and prevent cramping.
Sports massage is not available at every massage location, so you will probably want to make sure that you can work with a skilled sports therapist experienced in this kind of bodywork. Providing supportive care like massage can make your calves much more comfortable during and after your run in the recovery phase of your training efforts.
3. Foam Rolling
Foam rollers are a fantastic treatment option for calf health, and you can easily invest in various levels of a foam roller to help break up adhesions and alleviate soreness and cramps after your run. After each training session, many runners will foam roll to help release tight muscles and improve myofascial health post-run.
Make sure that you watch a few videos about how to use these devices properly to ensure that you know the correct techniques to provide supportive care for your calves after each running session you engage in. This is a powerful tool for preventing muscle cramps that is almost as good as getting a massage.
4. Adjust Your Diet
While it can be tempting to simply supplement with electrolytes during and after each run and call it good, you might be experiencing calf cramps due to your diet. Running is a very fatiguing activity, and our bodies were designed to engage in this activity in short bursts. Running for long periods strains muscles that were not naturally made for this task, and you need to give these muscles the building blocks they need to heal after each run.
If you have been getting calf cramps, you need to add some bananas, potatoes, spinach, and avocado to your diet. An extensive list of alternative foods will also take care of your body’s carbohydrate, fat, and protein needs when you are running regularly. Your body needs the right balance of potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium to prevent cramps and allow for adequate healing after each of your training sessions. For some runners, diet is the sole reason for their calf cramps after a training session, and simply adjusting diet can make a world of difference for their needs.
5. Pain Relief Rub
While this should only be a solution that you use in cases where a cramp will not go away after a run, you can use products like Biofreeze to alleviate the pain of cramping. Usually, your cramps are caused by an issue with diet, training style, or a lack of preparation for your run, so you should not view this product as the solution for daily cramps after you work out. Make sure you check out our list of helpful stretching exercises to help with calf pain as well.
So that’s it, all eight sections covered around calf pain whilst running. If you joined us late, you may find it useful and informative to head back to the first question we covered, which is can I run with calf strain.