Home Chat General Chat

More Calf cramps!

I am planning to take up the Tri challenge again next season after 20 years of inactivity! (anyone remember the Le Coq Sportif series in 1988) Back then I came from a very strong running background but now have been experiencing serious problems of calf cramps after about 3 miles of a run session.

Have been doing plenty of stretching but problem keeps re occuring. Is it possible that calves/tendons have simply shortened due to long period of non use and can anyone suggest possible solutions/tips to help solve this?

(I've had no problems when swimming or cycling)


  • Options
    chischis Posts: 94
    Hi Forestrich

    Mmm - calf problems - how long have you got? I have a long background of running and added Duathlon and Triathlon to my activity about 3 years ago. Like you I have started with calf problems - 1st onset was in the age group world duathlon championships in July 2006. I had worked really hard to get into the GB age group team, travelled all the way to Newfoundland for the race and broke down with a calf strain after 6K of the first run! Really frustrating!

    The pattern was then one of rest until the muscle felt ok again, then restart training but each time as started, at 3 miles it would go again. I thought about de-hydration, lack of magnesium, lack of potassium and lack of proper stretching as possible causes but being careful about all of these made no difference. I even got the problem in both calf muscles in the end.

    Eventually I sought help from my physio who treated me for normal deep calf strain to get rid of as much scar tissue as possible. Once recovered she advised me to build up from 1 mile to 3 miles over a period of 3 weeks with only 3 runs per week until I was confident to go on past the 3 mile "barrier". I regularly self massage my calf muscles and do lots of swimming and calf strengthening exercises as well as my cycling.

    High running mileage is now a thing of the past and I tend to stick to runs of 8 miles or less (with a lot on soft ground) which is fine for my Duathlon and Sprint Triathlon needs. I have always been a runner who has had few injury problems and I think I have reached an age where I have to be far more aware of the fact that my muscles are not as elastic as they used to be and will not allow me to go hell for leather into my training like I used to when I was younger.

    The secret for me is to follow my physios advice to "get fit to train" before I "train to race hard". This is done by being sensible and building slowly and for a longer period. I tended to train at an intensity that was becoming too high too early - a longer lead in is now required ESPECIALLY after a layoff after injury or inactivity.

    I hope this helps or gives you something to try. It has worked for me and I managed to get to the World Age Group Sprint Triathlon championships in Hamburg this year. Best of luck.

  • Options
    Cheers Chris

    Some sound advice. Like you, most of my early athletics career was injury free and now as I'm trying to get back into shape, this problem is sooo frustrating!

    I have gone down the same apttern of rest 'till it feels OK then on the next run, as you say it goes again.

    I too will have to accept that I'm not going to be able to bound about as I did 20 years ago, and a trip to the physio is next on the agenda.

    Hope you had a good one in Hamburg

    Thanks for the reply
Sign In or Register to comment.