Calf problems

Hi all. I seem to suffer terribly with a weak left calf - especially if I've had a bit of time off. I always warm up and cool down thoroughly and I use a foam roller to loosen it up (which takes my breath away it hurts so much). I run in minimal shoes and concentrate on mid foot strike but more often than not the day after a run my left calf is cramping and causing me grief. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  • It's all in the calves, so you have to make them stronger. You have to consistently do the exercises, plus the cross training such as swimming, walking cycling and the core stuff. I find the lower drop shoes have helped. With the foam roller, just roll the bit opposite the inflamed/tender and for no more than a minute

    I do single leg calf lifts for a minute each leg, high as poss then slow lower til I get the stretch. They are really good. Heel drops off the stairs, single leg,30 seconds each leg, 3 sets each leg. Lean back for a better stretch. I do 2 minutes of foot lifts as well

    Squats, lunges, burpees, planks, etc etc all good for strengthening, so make yourself a routine

    You just have to be consistent and diligent with the exercise and hopefully your calves will get stronger. My legs are much more toned since I started doing them

    Good luck

  • Hi

    There may be an underlying issue else where. My physio told me although my calf really plays up it is the muscles around my hips and bum that are weak and this affects my knee and calf. Could it be something else?

  • It probably all boils down to not being strong enough to support your running. It takes time to build up our running bodies. We have to start small and work our way up, incrementally. We can't run before we can walk. All this takes time so no hurry.

    If you are rolling so hard you are causing agony Sequin, then you need to ease off! Don't just roll for the sake of it.

    Make sure your diet is good! Cramp can be a feature of an underlying issue, so if you are doing what you can to eliminate causes then all to the good. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and that you are getting well hydrated. Are you trying to run on empty? Not being critical here but just trying to sort out, by process of elimination, what's happening.

    Cut yourself some slack. Maybe have a rest for a day or two.

  • Wow thanks so much for such a thorough response I really appreciate you taking the time! I think you're probably right about not being strong enough - I used to regularly run 10k and after several months off I think I am probably overestimating what my body is up to. I'll definitely do some strength training and try and go easy on the foam roller (thrilled you said that by the way ๐Ÿ˜‰) and I am very guilty of running on empty. My diet itself is good but I often just throw on my trainers and go before I've had any food. Thanks again for all your advice!

  • This has definitely given me food for thought! In my job I do a lot of long distance travel and this summer has been particularly heavy duty. As a result I've had problems with my left hip and have found the pain goes up my back and down into my gluten as well as all round my groin. This could well be contributing to the calf problem - I hadn't considered it. Thank you!

  • It's all connected, so we need to be strong. When I was unfit and much larger than I am now, I couldn't walk far at all without getting hellish groin pain. You have to just keep working at things, little by little, no need to go mad. Persistence pays off

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