More calf injury woes, when to rest and when to stretch?

Me again, still out of action after graduating 2 Saturdays ago. I went for my first post graduate run last week and my calf started to tighten up after 10 minutes so I stopped jogging immediately as I had been out of action for a month before my graduating run and didn't want a repeat of that. I went to the physio for my back last week and he gave some good advice about how to get the calf working properly. However, the problem I have is knowing how long to rest it for before I start the reparation stretching and jog/walk routines.

We took my husband's son out on Monday to do some retail therapy which involved a lot of walking and jogging up escalators. I felt my calf was well enough to go out Tuesday morning and start the reparation routines, however, Monday night I came out of the loo and stepped up 2 stairs in one gazelle like leap and I felt the calf rip, I've never felt that before, I'm sure I heard something too, but that could just be all in me 'ead.

I can barely stand on it now. I realise I won't be able to jog the R4L mid June so I will have to email all my donators and tell them that I will be walking or limping the 5k. My new job has also enrolled me on the 6k JP Morgan Corporate Chase in July, which I fear will also be walked. I have to accept that I might never get better from this, which is such a shame as I was really enjoying it. It's good for my state of mind and I get depressed when I'm prevented from doing it.

So, if anyone else has conquered a calf injury (I'm 51 so I'm assuming I won't heal as fast as someone with young legs) could anyone tell me how long to rest for and when to start stretching?

Depressed from Tooting

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15 Replies

  • Oh dear. My sympathies. I had to pull out of the BUPA 10k last weekend because of an old calf/ankle injury. I've had a week off running and not done any exercise at all. I've had 2 sports massages since the injury to help with recovery, and been using a foam roller to keep things mobile. I'd suggest taking as much time off as you feel you need. Depending on the severity of the pain, you may be able to do some light exercise like walking or swimming, which will help prevent the muscles from seizing up. I'd also reccomend Pilates classes to help build up the surrounding muscles. When you feel ready, maybe do some short/easy interval runs to help get back gently into exercise?

  • Thanks tanyag. I have a roller too but it's way too painful to use. My husband tentatively started a massage and just touching the area made me yelp with pain. I think I will have to face squeezing into my swimsuit and going swimming, I think that's the only answer, I just hate that walk of shame between the pool and the changing rooms, I'm not looking my best at the moment...

  • Take it easy, and don't push yourself too hard. I think a massage will help with recovery because it will be helping the blood circulation in the area:- probably best to go to a qualified sports therapist who knows what they are doing though. It will hurt, but I think you'll find that the day after, you should be able to move the leg more freely.

  • Thanks again, I've just spoken to a sports therapist and have a session for Friday morning, fingers crossed. I'm off to have some Ibuprofen for breakfast :)

  • Hi Philholly, I've mentioned before that I've suffered with shin splints and apart from two weeks rest, I got the area massaged by my chiropractor and worked on them in Pilates too. I haven't had the problem since, so not sure if it's the same thing with you but the point being that with care and with appropriate therapy things will get better. Also, just had a thought, a number of people here have talked about pool walking, I think I've heard this is particularly beneficial for calf and shin issues. Anyway keep smiling.

  • Thanks Catchmeifyoucan. I will look up Pilates exercises, I thought that was just for core muscles, so I will check it out

  • no, any and all parts of the body. I go to a small class of just four where we do mat and apparatus work (some looking distinctly like instruments of torture) and whilst great for core work we can cover any areas that we want to gain more strength, reach and movement in, etc. I've managed to pretty much resolve the original reasons for going (low back issues) but now find it helps just in keeping in-tune with me!

  • Really sorry to hear this Philholly. Don't have any experience of calf injury so just sending you commiserations and a virtual hug. Take care of yourself.

  • Thanks for the hug :)

  • I did mine last summer (I heard & felt a pop), was on crutches for a week and didn't run for a month (I'm 42, so no spring chicken). Yours may not be as bad as mine was though. I'd say don't stretch until the pain has gone (even then very gently at first) and don't start run/walk until you can walk normally with no discomfort. Hope you feel better soon, lots of ice and keep it elevated when you can, it's really upsetting to miss an event I know - I had to pull out of the GNR because of mine - but there will be other events and you will get better as long as you rest up now.

  • Thanks notbad, I will keep my leg up as much as possible... ;)

  • Dear Depressed From Tooting

    This is jolly grim news indeed. I feel for you. I am exactly the same age as you and had a similar calf pain just two weeks ago. Luckily, it cleared up as I rested (important), iced it, foam rollered it (excellent by the way) and massaged it when I could. I am convinced the foam roller splodged all the fibres back into place and loosened everything up again. It hurt like hell and I screamed like a banshee, but once the initial agony passed, it felt pretty darned good.

    Yours sounds a tad more serious than mine though. Rest is most definitely the main thing you should do and don't worry about the events you've entered (if you can avoid it) - as notbad says, there are others that you'll do soon enough. I am sure by July you'll be tickety boo though.

    Wishing you all the best on a speedy recovery.

  • Thanks Dan. I will persevere with the roller then, I stopped because of the pain (normally in indicator that I'm doing something wrong) or I shall wait until I see the sports therapist on Friday, just in case. Nice to know there are other crinklies still up and running ;)

  • OTHER CRINKLIES?????????? I'll have you know I'm a thrusting, muscular, man of steel!!! Hahahahaha!!!

  • :D

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