OK, I've been running for 2+ years now and have signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I'm not formally training for that yet, but have been getting ready for a 10-mile run in early May. Only problem is that my left calf has been tightening up on me lately and preventing me from getting my miles in. Not a full blown strain or tear, but more like a muscle cramp. I'm a big guy and my calves are large, so they get a workout. Even with extra stretching, I'm still having issues.
A buddy of mine has suggested that I get 'the stick' and use it on my calves. Does anyone have any personal experience with calf tightness? Anyone else used this device?
I have used it from time to time and it is one way to do a good self-massage. One suggestion (from JamesJohnsonLMT) is always to roll toward your heart (up in other words) because of the valves in the veins of your legs. Here is an article that specifically talks about use on the calf.
A foam roller or self-massage can also be effective. Here is another thread that discusses some treatments.
Great info, Len. This fits what I'm experiencing to a T. I bought the Stick over the weekend and am starting to use it. Going to give my calves a week's rest and then do a walk/run to see how they respond.
I have definitely been remiss in getting a good long warmup before starting off on my runs, so that probably plays a big part. I am coming to the realization that I need to build in about 30 minutes at the start to walk and stretch before I actually start my training runs.
Foam rolls, The Stick, and the Tiger Tail all work on tight calves. A foam roll is usually a good place to start. It will give your calves a more gentle, overall massage. If that doesn't do it, I prefer the Tiger Tail over the The Stick. Here are a couple of posts that I wrote that might help you:
Boston Marathon Finisher