|Rio Ferdinand overreacting!|
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
"A cramp is an involuntary temporary strong muscle contraction or overshortening, which may cause a severe pain. Usually the onset is sudden while the cramp resolves spontaneously in a few seconds to minutes."
& although there are several different explanations available, there is no definitive answer to the question: why do I get cramp?
For some reason I seem to be particularly susceptible to getting cramp while I swim. I don't know why - even when I am using the kick buoy I tend to get cramp in my foot - I think it might have something to do with drinking too much water?
Anyway, here is a lighthearted look at the three types of - lower body - cramp I tend to suffer from while swimming.
In the following scenarios the idiot will be played by yours truly :)
Cramp in your foot is a little painful but no big deal.
The normal person gets out and gives a bit of a stretch and a rub. After a couple of minutes it should be fine for you to continue as normal.
The idiot swims through it. It's no big deal and shouldn't affect your swim too much. It will probably only continue for a length or too before it gives up and you can continue as normal. In the event that it continues for any longer, you can always give it a stretch when - and only when - you have finished your current set!
Cramp in your calf is slightly more painful than in your foot but still not too bad.
The normal person will treat cramp of the calf the same way they do with cramp of the foot. Give it a bit of a stretch, a rub, take a few deep breaths - maybe oxygen isn't reaching your muscles correctly - take a few sips of water and after a few minutes you should be ready to continue. Hopefully it doesn't come back but in the - likely - event that it does, simply stop swimming - at the end of the lane! - and repeat the process.
The idiot swims through it. It's just a little bit of cramp. Still no big deal. Stop being a wimp and just keep swimming. You'll be fine. Unfortunately with cramp in the calf the muscle might feel a bit tight and a little sore when you finish your swim. It might even feel like you've pulled your calf muscle for a day or too... but you'll live! And importantly you got your swim done without letting a little thing like cramp get in the way.
Cramp in your thigh is excruciatingly painful!
Everybody is going to be in the same boat here. Normal person or idiot: you either stop and get out of the pool asap or drown haha. There is no way that even this idiot is going to be able to swim with this amount of pain.
So please keep everything crossed for me that I don't get cramp in my thigh 10 miles out to sea because in that case my attempt to Swim the Channel might just come to an end there and then.