Tightness in lower legs - anyone else suffer from this?

I completed W6R2 yesterday and I don't have any problems with my thighs or knees, but am finding that I get real tightness in the lower half of my lower legs and I've no idea why. With my left leg it's below the main calf muscle at the back and on my right leg it's all the way round but again, below the big calf muscle. After 6-7 minutes of running both get so tight that it's really painful. Dreading attempting my 25 minute run tomorrow as this pain in both legs is really uncomfortable. Does anyone else suffer from this and is there anything you can do about it?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

13 Replies

oldest โ€ข newest
  • I've had calf pain since increasing the running time from week 7 onwards. I bought some calf compression sleeves which seem to be helping. Calf stretches are also helping and recently i've been using ice after the run and that really helps too. Have you had gait analysis done at a running shop? They will tell you the type of shoes you need. I drink a lot of water, not sure if this makes much difference to the leg pain but helps overall.

    I asked for advice on this earlier in the week and someone suggested a foam roller, haven't tried that one yet. If all else fails then someone suggested a sports massage or physio.

    I went out this morning and my calf muscles feel so much better now, it will improve.


  • All of the above is sound advice. Stretching is important, even if you don't think you need it. Running tightens those muscles which shortens them. You then start to feel problems elsewhere as you compensate.

  • I get tight calf muscles too. Someone on here suggested writing the alphabet in the air with your feet every day to stretch the ankles. Sounds daft but I have found it really helpful. I also stretch at the end of a run and sometimes in the middle if my ankles feel like they're tightening up. Good luck!

  • Love the idea of doing an ankle alphabet, will try that. I did some stretches today before going for my run and it really helped - didn't get the tightness in my legs I usually get. Thanks to everyone for your advice.

  • I'm doing Juneathon this month so far 28 days exercise no days rest in between. Not all running I hasten to add. But my leg muscles were getting very tight with all the running/walking/exercise classes. Today my third class at the gym was a Stretch Workshop, we used a foam roller, I have used this before. Its the best piece of sports equipment for tight aching muscles. It literally irons out the aches, pains, niggles tightness. 20 minutes of roller use has put my achy legs back to tip top condition. I'm off to search the internet to buy one.

  • Ooh, not heard of a foam roller or how it works but if it does the trick it sounds good. After W6R2 my lower legs were aching like crazy - the muscles that run down on the outer side of my shin bones are really tight too. I tried some stretches before W6R3 and had no pain at all, although the muscles still feel tight. I'm going to google foam rollers to see what I can find about them, thank you for the advice :)

  • Loads of video's on internet showing how they can be used. They can be quite sore to start with but I'm told if its painful you are doing it right. Even now 4 hours later my legs feel well toned and rested for the first time in days.

    There was a blog on here a while ago about runners using them and getting good results too.

  • I just had a look online and am not sure I'll be able to support myself easily on my wrists but may give it a go if it helps. Thanks for the tip about the blog on here - I'll go and have a look for that.

  • If you go into Tags, Questions on here, there are about 3 blogs on Foam Rollers with some interesting reading and suggestions which might help you to decide.

  • Thanks - I've just put 'foam' into the search box and it's come up with all sorts to look at!

  • if you stand on the stairs, facing forward, as if you were going up, with tip toes on the step, you are able to stretch out the calf muscle by dipping the heel of your foot down over the step. you shouldnt bounce doing this stretch but it does help. I never thought stretching important with running but I started running longer distances I made stretching part of my cool down after my cool down walk. shelley x

  • That's great Shelley, thank you I just tried it. The pain down the sides of my shins is the one that I'm finding really hard to stretch out. The first few weeks were fine but I think I definitely need something more than the warm up walk so will try stretching too.

  • I'm in that boat currently as I started walking 1 mile round trip to the metro stop and back for work.... I was relatively sedentary until now so the drop in weight and inches is awesome but I have to stop during my walk to try and stretch out my shins. It's bothersome to say the least and makes getting home a bit of a chore.

You may also like...