Dave, had this before and it ended up as a really nasty achilles tendinitis problem. I've heard others at my club that have also been through this. You need to find a remedy...
You might want to search 'eccentric calf stretches' on this forum or over the internet.
Also, learn a basic calf stretch and do it religiously after every run. If you are doing fast runs or speed work, it is worth doing a proper dynamic stretch routine.
This isn't something you can sort by over-enthusiastically giving it attention for a week or so, it's something that needs appropriate attention at the right level of intensity whenever you run. Let us know how you get on...
Dave, as questforspeed says...eccentric calf stretches. Do them with a bent knee and it will hit the soleus muscle.
You can also stand on one leg, keeping foot flat on the floor and bend your knee as far as you can....obviously holding on to something to balance.
I did those for exactly the same issue and it worked.
Getcha yersen a foam roller.
Warning: it bluddi hurts!
Echoing the above, foam roller on the soleus (do all round it, back and both sides) and as Paul says, plant your foot on the floor and bend the knee - do this as many times a day as you can to keep things flexed up. And eccentric calf stretches, but go easy on them when you start - I did 3 sets of 15 with bent leg and 3 sets of 15 straight leg when doing my achilles rehab, and my soleus locked up in my right leg straight away, so start gradually.
Also, shoes may have something to do with it - I have some Asics GT-2170 shoes where my heel feels like it sits slightly below my midfoot, when I run in those (if I run without a heel insert) my soleus stiffens after about 3 or 4 runs (but the first couple of runs are very comfortable due to the overall good cushioning). When I run in my other Brooks shoes, my heel sits further up and there is less midfoot cushioning/thickness leading to a bigger 'heel to toe drop', and after a few runs in those my soleus stiffness goes away again. But all that maybe specific to me.
I can echo what Ian says too. Go easy on the eccentric calf stretches!!! Just last week I think I have managed to tear the calf on my left leg, towards the top. I have a line I can see and feel that goes from the centre of the gastrocnemious muscles up about 45 degrees to the right, it's about 3cm long.
I did the exercises on a leg extention machine and probably used too much weight. Also, my upper calfs were very stiff from swimming front crawl - despite having a good warm up.
Yup, a foam roller. And yup, it's bloody murder at first!
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2014 |