Calf Strain on run 2 : I'm 55 and a regular... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Calf Strain on run 2


I'm 55 and a regular swimmer so think I have reasonable aerobic fitness but do no other exercise. I hate running and haven't done it since I was at school. I decided to try couch to 5k as all the pools are closed due to lockdown and coronavirus.

The very first run week one went really well and I was surprised how easy I found it. But halfway through the second run what I thought was cramp turns out to be a calf strain.

A week later and it's still too tender to try running again. Advice Please?

10 Replies

Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

and includes advice on dealing with injury and minimising impact, amongst many other things.

Follow the PRICE principles and rest. If it persists, try to consult a physio. Some are doing online consultations.

Enjoy your journey.

Birdlady64Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks a bunch - there's some good advice in there for sure.

Not a medic so don't know about calf strain beyond the usual. Which is, bath with Epsom salts. Rest until it feels better. When it's better and you're ready to try again, maybe go slower this time. You're probably pretty fit from the swimming and were able to go at a fair speed, but your muscles aren't used to the different stresses of running. So try and slow down, and use a shorter stride to lessen the impact. And look into warmup dynamic and cool down held stretches to ease out those muscles on each run. Hope it feels better soon.

Birdlady64Graduate in reply to grumpyoldgirl

Thanks. Will definitely try slowing down a bit and stretching more when I'm ready to start again.

Hi Birdlady64, no advice just sharing a similar tale. I started last week, I think I must have been a little too enthusiastic. I reached run three and was really enjoying myself, but began to experience pain around my knee after Run 3. This site suggested it maybe Runners Knee. I'm also having to rest up to allow it to fix (although delighted to hear some physio's might be doing online consultations). But am very determined to resume when the pain has subsided, doing a lot of pilates exercises to try to strengthen surround muscles and release the crampy feeling.

Birdlady64Graduate in reply to Stationary

Thanks. Yes maybe enthusiasm got the better of me too. Good luck and hope the knee improves soon.


Hiya. That was me about this time last year. After I'd been through a couple of calf strains I realised I was trying to run too quickly. That link in the first reply is gold; follow the advice there and things should go OK. In the meantime, don't be tempted to go back too soon; again, that was me last year! Good luck.

Birdlady64Graduate in reply to Jplanetj

Thanks so much for the advice.

Yes when you have pain your body is telling you to address this. It could be that your using muscles that were never utilised during your swimming.

Try gentle exercise and massage this muscle until you feel better to run again.

Best advice is don't beat yourself up and you'll be back running soon. 😊

Stay safe xx


Sound advice. Thanks!

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