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Sore Calves

Been a runner for a few years and took the leap into tri last year. I did a couple of sprint Tri's and have immersed myself in a good regime of winter training under through the club. a typical week has been

Monday - swim

Tuesday - Speed

Wednesday - Turbo

Thursday - club run

Friday - Swim

Sat - Tempo Run

Sunday - Long run

I did a Half Marathon last week with a cold (big mistake) The race was flat and my calves and hamstrings were a little sore - nothing too bad the head cold was worse.

Yesterday I got back into the groove with a hilly 10K race and my Calves are very "heavy" I had a slight cramp today at work with my feet under the desk!!

I have been stretching like mad and wondered if anyone had any other suggestions. I've given swim training a miss tonight (2nd week running) and feel soooo guilty, but the thought of 50 lengths and kicking off the wall makes me shudder.

Any suggestions much appreciated



  • Hi APK

    Did you hammer the half marathon?

    Just sounds like over exertion, even if your training prior was solid (and it looks a fairly nice consistent week with some variation) you are more likely to have exerted yourself beyond your training long run in terms of effort hence the muscle soreness.

    Eat well, keep stretching, massage them, do some recovery runs in place of the tempo or speed sessions, or replace with some easy swim sessions.

    They will be as good as new in a week or so.

    I am sitting here feeling like i have just been run over after a ten mile in Canterbury yesterday - hammered it! and now paying the price! PB though.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Hi 'APK' like the last post sounds like you over exerted whllst you were already run down with a lurgy. Assuming the lurgy has gone then actually a gentle swim will be good to free up some of that lactic acid in your legs. Also an easy turbo session will do the same. Personally I wouldn't be wanting to beat myself up with any running (even easy) until the cramping has eased up.

    For future reference after any long effort, particular bike or run i find cold/hot shower followed by wearing some skins (like a compression tight) really help out with recovery.

    Good luck!

  • AlgarniAlgarni Posts: 46
    As well as wearing the Skins ( compression tights) I also massage my calves after every run.

    A good massage also helps to disperse some of the lactic acid that causes the tightness.

    I would definately go for a light spin and a swim. NO running as you may cause yourself an injury. Once the tightness has gone go for a light warm up run then stretch off followed by a easy run. Do the proper stretching and massage and you should be right the next day. Definately invest on some compression clothing, they help no end.

    Good luck and I hope you can get back to it soon.
  • apkapk Posts: 21
    Thanks for the replies.

    I had a gentle swim at lunchtime - plenty of technique work with the pull buoy - quite impressed myself at resisting the temptation to blast my way through a 500m time trial.

    Decided that the calves were a bit easier and completed a 5k recovery run on a regular route. Nice and easy - felt some tenderness but nothing too much and the stretches afterwards were totally comfortable.

    Will spin tomorrow on the turbo but will keep it easy as I have another 10K race this Sunday - the last for a month.

    The half was some 2 minutes outside of a PB - all my Half M are within 1.35, all I think is that I am used to undulations and this one was flat.

    I forgot to say that the last mile on Sunday was downhill and I did this in 5.20mins - This and not fully recovering from the Half does seem to suggest a little bit of overused muscles asking for a rest?

    I have thought about the compression tights before - The cost of c£50 has put me off - Do they really work?

    Thanks again for the replies

  • AlgarniAlgarni Posts: 46
    The Compression tights are worth every penny.

    After excercise leave them on for an hour or two and you will definately notice the difference the next day.

    I went for a 10k run yesterday in 45 minutes (really good for me). As soon as i had warmed down done my stretching and had a shower I put the tights on for a couple of hours and feel really fresh this morning.

    I must point out this was my second 10 km run in a week after not having done a 10 km run in 2 years.

    I am a huge believer in the tights
  • My first post, but I'm a IM veteran of the early '90s, just coming back to be fit at 50!

    I'd go with hydration, if you're not drinking 2litres plus a day it isn't enough. I suffered from sore calves throughout my previous training regimes, and eventually packed up due to persistent calf injuries. I worked with a guy who did acu-pressure a couple of years ago and he diagnosed my problem, just by squeezing my calves, how much do you drink he asked ? Not enough

    Get disciplined with a big 2 Ltr bottle, carry it with you all the time, finish it and add some more, sore calves are a thing of the past.

    It works for me, now I'm focussing on getting back to Kona in 2008
  • apkapk Posts: 21
    I know I should take on board more water.

    My biggest vice is tea, I have approx 6-7 cups a day.

    I've read that tea can hinder the elease of iron into the system and thereby affect the hydration of muscles?

    I don't know how much tea you have to drink to act as an inhibitor.

    Any one any ideas?
  • the onset of cramp is usually brought on by dehydration and the loss of vital minerals which regulate muscle function (usually through sweat). You should drink 2 litres of water a day if your not exercising, so you need to be drinking 4 litres when training regularly. I personally take additional magnesium supplements to help prevent cramp as i can suffer quite bad otherwise. Both caffeine and alcohol are big diuretics and will dehydrate you further. Therefore you either need to drink less tea or make up for it by drinking even more water
  • More water has helped me hugely.

    I am terrible for not drinking but have forced myself for the last couple of days and it has worked well in conjuction with all my other techniques.

    Thank you all for making life on my legs that little easier.

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