W4R2 - sudden sharp calf pain. Gutted. Any tips? - Couch to 5K

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W4R2 - sudden sharp calf pain. Gutted. Any tips?

Hi everyone. I've been lurking for a while and loving all the advice. This morning I was having a great run along the canal (scorcher!) when suddenly the back of my left calf sprang into pain. Within a stride or two I had to stop...properly damaged it somehow. I assume this is a pulled muscle? Or torn? I had to limp home. I'm really gutted and bit worried I've really put myself back. Has anyone else experienced this? Wondering if it because it was so hot or the canal path very uneven. Any advice on best recovery and what to do about re-starting the runs? Worth seeing a physio?

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Ice. And I bought some running compression stockings for the same calf pain which have really helped. And they look dead sexy. Ice again.

Stretch lightly when you feel comfortable.

If it doesn't settle in 48 hours may be worth getting sports massage. If you had torn it you would most likely have gone straight down, not run a few steps. You would really know about it.

Of course, a caveat... I'm not a medic and I haven't seen your injury, just speaking from experience.

#good luck, we got this.

And more ice.

(Be careful not to get ice burn).

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That's really helpful Marvo. Thanks so much. Good to know it's probably not torn.

Practical question...with the ice, is that leg up with some frozen peas for about half an hour? Just once a day or as much possible? At least it's nice to day for sitting about!

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Often. But not for too long.

You may have heard of RICE...

REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION.

Take a look here for some guidance...

webmd.com/first-aid/rice-me...

Good luck

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Hey this is perfect! Didn't know about this...just what I needed. Thanks everso. Has made me realise just how important it is to really rest and heal. Not easy when I have 2 young kids running around but going to do this properly!

Can't help feeling really gutted and wondering if I did something wrong. Already I know I'm going to miss running this week - the mental escape more than anything.

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You may be surprised. This kind of niggle can clear up quite quickly. Give it 48 hours and you could be back out there. Try and run on something flat...a track or football field at the sports centre? Not as scenic as the park etc but keeps you going... Also hard tarmac can be more aggravating.

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Please do first, check out the FAQ post

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

the section on injury... the guidance for different injuries has changed a little :)...

It begins with....

For many years first aid for runners was known under the acronym R.I.C.E. standing for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This has now been superseded by other variations such as M.I.C.E., where the M stands for mobility, because rest was often interpreted as no movement, which can be harmful for some injuries. The NHS version now appears to be P.R.I.C.E., where the P stands for protection. nhs.uk/conditions/sports-in...

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Thanks Oldfloss. I did read this excellent post before I started the programme but of course had forgotten a lot of it! So good to re-read and thanks for the heads-up on the injury info. Husband is instructed to get me some compression bandages tomorrow!

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Oh that is a shame & very disappointing. I did this a while ago - not whilst doing the C25K but over a year ago. I was running too fast uphill (on a treadmill) & I aggravated an old injury. I was told that I had torn a muscle - but all is not lost. Don't despair. I had sports massage & acupuncture & yes I did have to rest it but I did other stuff that was non weight bearing - cycling, swimming & it got better. Oh - I did the hot & cold thing as well. Good luck & I'm sure you will be on the road to recovery very soon.

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I had acupuncture too... made a huge difference :)

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Thanks for sharing. So happy to hear it didn't set you back completely, my big worry is never running again. Luckily I love cycling too so that's my plan for time being... I'm going to call my local physio tomorrow too. Didn't think of acupuncture but that's great to know!

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Oh no i’m sure it won’t stop you running completely. I’m in no way an expert but speak only from my own experience like the others in here. I think short-term rest for long-term gain. Oldfloss is right - prob best not to run on it for the time being. See how u go & see what the physio says. Good luck & keep us posted.

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Stop running....rolling and massage may help initially.. try some very gentle exercises, and I mean gentle...do not run until the pain has abated... take it from me... the IC with even a minor calf tear is horrid.. :)

We are not medically trained, so.. we just advise..it is likely, at this stage, to be a pulled muscle... check this out...

sportsinjuryclinic.net/spor...

As a slow and steady snail, doing everything by the book..... I thought the likelihood of my getting a calf strain was zilch... how wrong I was... but all was well eventually and yes, a Sports Physio was the answer... give it a bit of time first :)

Check this post out if you have time...:)

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Check the section on injury out in this post too...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

It will heal... just try things out and be patient:)

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I've just had a good old read - thank you!! So nice to hear of other people coming back from a calf tear. You summed up exactly how I feel - just a bit deflated thinking I did everything right - always do my warm up, good trainers, slow and steady. I'm a happy and proud slow runner! I could just about feel my endurance getting better then - bam. it's good to know it happens to the best of us. I do wonder if it was the canal path that got me...it's so beautiful by the river but I went a different direction this morning and the path was very sandy and bumpy. I was leaping back and forth quite a bit... Eeek.

Your advice has helped me realise just how important it is to try and rest (so hard as husband works long hours and I have 2 little ones). I'm going to book a physio for this week and I hope to be back on the road soon.

Going to miss my me-time more than anything!

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Oh, I do feel for you, as I am currently suffering the very same thing. And I thought I was doing everything right, too. Feels very unfair! But, I admit, mine came on when I started tackling hills ... maybe too much too soon? I have not run in 7 days, and may give it 7 days more, then try for a gentle, flat 3k to see how it holds up. I have no pain now, but want to give it a good chance to heal. Rolling and stretching gently, now. Sports physio on speed dial if it flares up again after next run!

I do hope that you heal quickly. Heed all the great advice and support here, and don’t despair! Running will always be there for you. x

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Thanks so much Sadie for wise words and to hear about your recovery plan. Sorry to hear you are in the same position but nice to know we're in good company! So reassuring hearing these stories. Best of luck on your big return too x

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That's what got me - running too fast uphill. I was (and still am) on a treadmill though - I always keep it on the flat now. Good luck. I hope it all gets better quickly.

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