Stiff calf muscle - I should have stuck to nor... - Couch to 5K

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Stiff calf muscle - I should have stuck to normal routine.


After reading on some of the posts the debate about whether you should do some stretches before running - consensus seems to be it is OK to stretch after a run, I changed my normal routine where I have always done some stretches before my warm up walk. On Monday's run I did not stretch before the run just the warm up walk. As I neared the end of my 6 Km run I felt my right calf muscle beginning to tighten up. Later that evening I could hardly walk it was so tight, tried some massaging which helped a bit but the next day I was still hobbling around. The tightness was still there on Wednesday and had eased enough by Thursday when I was determined to run again, I did do stretches this time before my warm up walk then another 6 Km, of which the first 5 - 10 minutes were a bit painful but the pain eased off the further I ran. Later that day after the run there is still some tightness there but nowhere near as bad as on Monday. So I will stick to stretching both before and after my runs.

Not sure if that proves anything or adds to the debate but for me it looks like not stretching before a run is not good.

9 Replies

I suppose what works for you may not work for others. We all have out own way of doing things but the important thing is we warm up and warm down.

I tend to do a warm up walk, then do some light stretches. After the run its the warm down walk and some more intense stretching. Luckily (finds some wood to touch) it seems to work for me.

Try some ice and rest on the calf and hopefully you should be beck running in no time.

exwightmanGraduate in reply to runner56

Runner56 Thanks for the update I agree we all different nice to see you also stretch before and after.


I'd say your post proves that, where are bodies are concerned, we are all different. Horses for courses, as they say :)


The only 2 aches I have had have both been on my calf muscles but since stretching before and after I have been ok, touch wood! It seems to work for me as well.

exwightmanGraduate in reply to paul727

Thanks Paul727 glad to see it works for you as well


I think that the problem with "Cold" static stretches comes from the temptation to do them too deeply. For me they way to go is some walking followed by repititions of light dynamic (not static) stretches. Leave the static stretching until after your muscles are warm. As for achy Calf muscles post-run -I think this is more a matter of the muscles having been asked to do something that they previously havent done :)


Doing stretches after a warm up walk is probably the best way to do pre run stretches, if you feel they are necessary. That way the leg muscles are warmed up, and not liable to damage. I only do a gentle stretch of my niggling right achilles before a run, if it is feeling tight, but swear by my post run stretches , after I cleared most of my post run aches in the early weeks of C25k. A physio friend of mine recommends stretching pre run to ease up any asymmetries (the right achilles, in my case).

If it works for you stick with it.


I always do foam rollering, then a full 5 minute fast warm up walk, run, then stretching and more foam rollering...but thats because I have had an injury and I will always have that weakness....yu need to do what works 4 u :)

I do my stretches before my warmup walk. Few squats lunges, high knees etc. I do the same when I come back

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