I've been suffering with a calf strain recently and was advised to do daily calf strengthening excercises. This is quite simple and involves standing on my toes on one leg and slowly raising myself up and down on my toes.
It can be done anywhere or anytime (I've just been doing it whilst stood watching footy on tv). I don;t really count the reps, just carry on until it starts to acha bit, but probably 2 set of 20-30 on each leg.
I also use a foam roller for extra stretching.
Are you going too fast and overloading yourself? Its too easy to do too much too fast too soon when starting up again (however much you did before, your muscles wont like having the stuffing taken out now) and the extra weight will only add to that.
Try slowing right down, take it easy, and build up distance gradually, stay on each week until it feels easy, not add more cos the plan says so. The weight will move once you settle down again, so thats not a worry. Find out whats comfortable, and dont exceed that. Oh, and ignore people who tell you to push through pain! if it hurts, stop, it may well be hurt more than you think and you dont want to make it any worse.
+1 for the roller
If none of the above work look at different shoes. I was same until got support shoes
Are you using your calves to push off or just to land? If you're pushing off then it's quite likely that you're overusing your calf muscles. Shorter strides might help a little along with a focus on lifting your other leg and leaning forwards rather than pushing from behind.
Of course, it could be something else entirely but if it's come back after a long time off it's quite possible that there's a problem with the way you run.
Just one other thought - how are you warming up? For years I used to stretch before exercise (which was the way I was taught when young). I then went on a running course, where they said this is absolutely wrong... and stretching is only to be done at the end of exercise, when the muscles are warm and receptive to stretching.
I'd had a persistent minor groin strain for years... and a change from 'static' stretch warm-ups to
dynamic warm ups coincided with that problem virtually disappearing.
Good point RW, I had to do the same, as the oldschool way was stretch before you run, which actually caused me some problems last year before I learnt the right way.
Only stretch warm muscles (and then only lightly, your only taking tension out, not trying to make them 50% longer!), dynamicly warm cold ones
I've just been reading through all the above messages with interest. I'm afraid I have no additional help to offer, just sympathy - because I am also suffering in much the same way.
Having been out of running for only 8 or 9 months, I started again and pulled a calf muscle. Having rested and treated, I tried again after 2 weeks and only lasted 2 miles before the other calf went. This has been repeated several times during the last 3 months. I have been to physiotherapist, I have tried warming up, I wear the right shoes, I walk/run very carefully, I stretch and roller afterwards. I still have the problem.
I would climb the walls if my calves would stand the strain! The only cause that I can think of is that I have recently started a new job which involves me standing for all my working day. Any further ideas?
Hi Im on a 3 month loading program for my achilles/calves as it caused me all sorts of issues. This is the advice I recieved.
Im 3 weeks into this program and my calfs and achilles are feeling better. the loading program is morning noon and night for 3 months with increased intensity as my calfs get stronger. Im told this will be the end of my calf problems I HOPE SO!!!
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