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1304 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Aug 13, 2013 4:36 PM by GeoWolf
RunMomTeachSleep Rookie 1 posts since
Jun 18, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 19, 2013 8:39 AM

Calf crisis....

Someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong? I have been experiencing severe calve pain when I walk (imagine the feeling of your calf being ripped from the bone), but I'm fine when I run. Has anyone gone through this before and, if so, what can I do to fix it so that I can enjoy my run?


Previous to this, I had really thought calves and after doing some research learned that I needed to stretch after (not before) my warm up. I did this today and immediately felt the calf pain. It was so severe that I had to stop after just a mile. (I do the run for 5 minutes/ walk for 2 minutes thing.) I also work out every morning with static &weight liftinh exercises.

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 30, 2013 11:40 AM (in response to RunMomTeachSleep)
    Calf crisis....

    I'm not sure you are doing anything wrong, except that you may be mistaking pain during movement for something causative. While you feel the pain during your walks, it could well be the accumulated damage caused by your runs. Walking simply sustains the contractions longer, hence the pain.


    Not always, but often, muscles stiffen up to protect themselves from further damage due to overuse. They sometimes lose this stiffness, after exercise has warmed them up and increased circulation. This is one reason why a stretch before exercise is less safe, since the muscle may pull back against the stretch, compounding the stress and injury. The potential for harm decreases as the muscle warms and relaxes.


    What I often encourage among athletes, is to develop some skill for massaging stiff muscles when they are not cooperating during exercise. Just mobilizing the tissue without placing it under direct stress, can encourage peripheral circulation and lymphatic flow in a way that nourishes without jeopardizing recovery. I think this was the original idea behind stretching, which affects muscle problems somewhat, but indirectly.


    Often times, there are only a few problem fibers causing the entire muscle to lock up. It can take some practice, but these small areas of spasm can be located with the fingers and deactivated with direct pressure. In other words, the elasticity of your muscle is not something you get by assuming it is relaxed, so much as by directly relaxing it.


    I'm willing to bet there is something more to be known about your body mechanics, that tends to induce the tight and painful condition you experience. Sometimes, hip and foot structure play a role in how leg muscles are used during movement, leading to what we call overuse injuries. An example can be what happens to those who overpronate the foot during ambulation. It may not be that you are doing anything "wrong," but simply responding biomechanically to your unique anatomy. That response may require a lot more work from your muscles than it might on another person's frame. In such a case, modifications to footwear can help, along with some therapy to strengthen those areas that are being asked to work harder than usual.


    Consider modifying your daily routine to give the painful calf muscles some rest, followed by some activity that focuses on strengthening your calves. Before this will work effectively, you must examine those muscles for tight bands of tissue that prevent the muscle from acting normally, and work out the kinks that are standing between you and success. Various techniques shown below.

  • GeoWolf Pro 100 posts since
    Jul 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 13, 2013 4:36 PM (in response to RunMomTeachSleep)
    Calf crisis....

    I knowthis is an older post but I thought I wouldanswer since I had horrible leg cramps whenwalking the 1st 2 times I did C25K.   Jogging was fineit was only when I walked that they seized up. The  things I did that helped were I switched tobarefoot running shoes since I go barefoot most of the timeand I never felt like my shoes were right.  (to spite havinggotten them from a running store.)  Iadded a move that several people suggested tomy routine before jogging where you sit in a chair anddraw the alphabet with your toes.  Those2 seemed to help but they did not end the cramps.  They only ended as my jogs lengthened and mywalks shortened.  The last thing Istarted doing is if I felt my muscle getting tight I would do a funny walkwhere I stepped to the side every step to 3rd step or so (like adance move) trying to use the muscledifferently to release the cramp.  Howevermy cramps were more to the side of my calf not the back.  I still get the cramps when I walk very farafter a jog, but not while jogging.  (Sofar.)  I am up to 24 minutes jogging andI’m pretty slow nowhere near where the program has people for mileage.  Well I was before I broke my toe which is whyI am in the med tent.   


    I hope this helps and you haven't given up on jogging because it does get better.  I'm checking out the video you got to see if it might help me if I start cramping again as I increase my distances. 

    Get up and try again! I think I must be setting a record for how many times I've been sidelined in my quest to actually run an entire 5K. Back injury, bronchitis, knee injury, bad cold, broken toe, biopsy. I am determined to make it.

    2013 - Gritty Goddess Mud Run (Run/Walk)

    2013 - Firefly Run (Run/Walk)

    2014 - ??

    My 6 year old ran in the Gritty Kids Mud Run and I couldn't keep up. LOL

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