Calf Soreness – Getting Back Into Running

Sore calves from running again??

Believe me, I know you’re pain!! So let me help a little….

Firstly, the most common causes of this type of calf pain are:

  • Lack of calf strength or flexibility
  • Overloading- due to poor technique and/or too much training volume or intensity

Lack of calf strength can be down to numerous reasons but it tends to be due to be inactive. You can improve this with some simple exercises (as well as running), but please perform the exercises on days you aren’t running to get the best from the run and the exercises.

Overloading the calfs is very common; we have taken a long break from running and think

“Okay, I used to run 10+miles, lets do 6”

HELLO calfs!!
Instead, try going for a gentle jog or even a brisk walk to break them back in gently. Likewise, don’t go from 0 runs a week to 3 without building up gradually.
Poor technique is something I can’t really advise on via a blog…if you feel this may be the issue then it’s always good to get your technique assessed.

Running Technique

Running technique can play a huge part in susceptibility to calf soreness.
Many runners I see with sore calfs have been trying to change their own running technique.

There can be many reasons why you might change your technique and it is always good to mix it up and see what works best for you.
If you keep getting sore calves it is well worth having your running form assessed.

Personally, when I went from landing heel first to forefoot (front) first my calfs took a hammering over a duration of 6 months…
If you are changing your technique do it gradually.

Getting back into running after a LONG break

You WILL experience calf tightness, that’s just what you get for not running for a long time! In the initial runs keep them light and short. Ease into running gradually to reduce shock factor to the calfs.
Try jogging on the grass barefoot (watch out for dog mess) post run or race to help the calfs.

Post run stretching

100% essential! Ensure you stretch properly post run and also look to include some foam rolling or use a muscle roller stick (I LOVE these)

All you really need for some good calf stretching is a wall or a step, but you can also hit them very vell in the press up position…

 

**Some post-run calf exercises to ease those calfs

[The straight-knee eccentric heel drop video]

[The bent knee eccentric heel drop]

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