Burning calves and tingly arches are very common for the beginning skater. Your muscles need time to get used to any new activity.
Your arches may cramp if:
- your feet are tensed up inside the boot,
- the boot is laced or buckled too tight, or
- you haven’t skated for a few months and your skating muscles have gotten out of shape.
A dull pain may also be the result of feeling a little scared. As a beginner, your knees may be too straight (very common) and that causes a tendency to bend forward at the waist, which forces your lower legs to work harder to support that weight.
If this sounds like you, try to get your torso more upright and drop your hips towards your heels to keep your weight lined up over your arches. Crouch by bending your knees, rather than leaning forward. By doing this, you flex at the hips, ankles and knees instead of from your waist.
Another way to feel the proper stance is to try to tuck your tail bone forward (think of rounding your spine) rather than back which results in sticking your rear out.
Leaning too far forward also causes calf pain (not to mention your lower back). The muscles on the fronts of your shins are unaccustomed to skating in the first place. Bending forward at the waist tips a lot of weight over your toes, and the fronts of your shins must work along with them to support that weight as you try to stroke. Other calf muscles may get a bit sore when you’re just learning to skate, too.
My last bit of advice is to take a deep breath in and out and pretend like you’re relaxed. Imagine the good skaters you’ve seen, and be them in your mind as you skate. This does help for brief moments, really! The more time you can skate with a relaxed body, the less your feet and legs will burn so you can build up the muscles and the confidence that will help you maintain the proper ready position shown in the image above.