I’m 61 yrs old a took up sprint triathlons just before I turned 59. Did sports before but never any endurance sports. It was a real struggle at first but this year I have reached the ‘decent’ level for all 3 disciplines. Having struggled through hamstring strains, plantar fasciitis, hip pains, then hamstring strain again, I learned to do flexibility and strength exercises almost daily.
These exercises do not seem to address my newest difficulty - moderate to extreme soreness in both lower calf muscles. I trace it back to Feb 24 when I ran a 10k race at close to 50 minutes flat. Not a super time but a fast pace for me since I had only run 5k’s previously and only a handful of them - my best 5k pace has been 7:30/mile.
I was ok after the 10k race but it was 2 weeks before a sprint triathlon for which I had been training for almost 2 years! There was some soreness in workouts but I brushed it aside and was very happy to meet my goal on triathlon day (March 10) - ie 5 minutes better than last year. I over did the bike so my 5k time was very slow (my calves were on the verge of spasm the whole 5k run) but the bike time was good enough to compensate.
Then I had a track and swim competition the following week in which I ran the 400 and 1500 meter races. Good times and felt fine. At the end of the track meet I ran a leg in a 4 x 100 relay and slightly pulled my right hamstring - big mistake to sprint when tired.
So I rested 4 days and tried to jog 5 miles last Friday (9:00’/mile pace). At 4 miles both of my lower calves were so sore I had to walk back to my car.
Sure sounds like over-training - no? It hurts to run and cycle and even swim if I do much over 1000 yards. So should I just swim 1000 yards 2 or 3 times per week until the soreness is gone?
Can I do any strength training to help - it sure helped my hip soreness and even my hamstrings but this seems to be aggravated directly by my legs impacting the hard asphalt. Today I thought I could run through the pain but after a quarter mile that seemed stupid.
Naps on the weekend? Advil? Is there a name for this condition?
My next Tri is 2nd week of May. I hate losing training time to an injury!!