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686 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 20, 2014 3:34 PM by vena_cava RSS
vena_cava Rookie 5 posts since
Jul 15, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 18, 2014 3:59 PM

Calf pain?

I'm a sort-of new runner; I've been doing it off and on for a couple of years...most recently I stopped because of a bout with sciatica, and I just started up again about a month ago. I run very short distances (never more than 2 miles) and very slowly.

 

I have tremendous calf pain when I start running again after not having done so for a while, even though I do a stretching regimen before and after each run, plus single-calf raises on days when I don't run. If I'm not careful, my calves will be so stiff the day after a run that I'll have difficulty walking. I'd like to hear from others who may have had similar issues. Does the pain go away when you run more and develop more calf strength? 

 

Thanks.

  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 18, 2014 6:36 PM (in response to vena_cava)
    Calf pain?

    I cannot stress this next comment stongly enough; stop stretching before you run, at best it does no good, at worst it damages the muscle and connective tissues.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,390 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 18, 2014 8:44 PM (in response to vena_cava)
    Re: Calf pain?

    You don't say anything about your running style, or about yourself physically, or what you consider "very slowly".  The amount of calf pain you talk about would suggest that you run on your toes/ball-of-the-foot.  If so, this would contribute to stress on the calf muscles.

     

    I agree, stretching before isn't helping, at best. It tends to leave your muscles unready to exercise, and may be contributing to the problem.

     

    http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/should-you-stretch-before-running





    Len

  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 20, 2014 4:58 PM (in response to vena_cava)
    Re: Calf pain?

    A few comments:

    • Stretching before running used to be a given, however, decades ago I found pre-run stretching negatively impacted my workouts and races and I quit doing it.  Because it was so engrained into my head that I was being bad, I kept my deep dark secret to myself and always felt guilty about not stretching before runs.  Then numerous studies were published in the last few years which suported what I was experiencing.
    • Among those I coach, it is the ones in the best condition when they start running which seem to suffer the most pain, and calf pain is one of the more common areas.  The fact is, nothing can prepare an individual's body to endure the rigors of running like running, running, and more running.  Due to the impact and the dynamic movements involved in running, it is imperative a new runner starts slow and allows his or her body to gradually adapt the bones, joints and connective tissues to the point where they're ready for more/faster running.  That you're in good shape means you already have good strength and endurance from your cycling, and that makes you a big time candidate to become injured from running.
    • Were it I was coaching you, I would recommend you slow way-way down, and by that I mean, run a mile in say 12 minutes and see how you feel.  If no calf pain is experienced, speed up to say 11 minutes for the next day and mile (I don't recommend speeding up beyond a 10 miinute pre mile pace; more on that in a moment), however, if the pain shows back up, slow down again.  Once you find a pace which doesn't cause calf pain, then start running further, not faster, until you're running say, six miles at a crack, then your body will be ready to start speeding things up.
  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,390 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 19, 2014 6:40 AM (in response to vena_cava)
    Calf pain?

    Sorry, should have mentioned that it won't disappear overnight.  Like any muscle soreness, it will takes days at least to feel better.  But no calf soreness when cycling?  Cycling tends to use calf and quad muscles more than running.  It's also possible that you are just doing too much, with cycling and running and calf raises.





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,390 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 20, 2014 10:42 AM (in response to vena_cava)
    Calf pain?

    Yes, post run stretching is OK.  If you read the article I cited above, I believe it discusses that.  From your last post it sounds like you are not running every day and that's the only other thing I can think of that might cause problems.  Hmm...well, possibly old shoes.  Maybe even just running faster than your body is up to - which is why I asked about your pace.  Being in generally excellent condition doesn't necessarily mean ready to run at the same level.  But you're the 2nd "new runner" lately posting about calf pain.  It's puzzling.





    Len

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