Calf pain


I have been running since January (the first time I have ever stuck to a new year resolution) and now I seem to have my first injury. I'm absolutely gutted.

I'm training for my first half marathon (Eden Project, 11th Oct) and really worried that I don't think I'm going to be able to do it.

3 weeks ago I started getting really bad shooting calf pain down the outside of my right calf, and also an aching pain on the inside of the same calf. Is this shin splints? I've rested it for 2 weeks, then ran 3 miles on Monday, and 3 miles today, both runs have been really painful, and its still hurting even just walking around.

Feeling very tearful at the prospect of not being at the Eden project. I've been doing so well up to now!

Any advice would be appreciated x


  • How old are your running shoes?  Do they offer you the right support?

  • No, I was worried some one might ask me that question! I started running 3/4 times a week in January, and I'm still in an old pair that a friend gave me!

    Been reading a few articles on this sight, and starting to realise that I need something decent on my feet. Oops!

    But now I'm worried that I'm gonna rush out on my day off on Friday, (I'm gonna be brave and go to a local "proper" running shop) and I'm pinning all my hopes on my new trainers making all the pain go away immediately, so I can at least partially recover my 1/2 marathon training!

    Its worth a go!

  •      give it a go i am doing my first 1/2 marathon on oct 4 and had the same problem,about three weeks ago,i bought a stability shoe on some sound advive,and have been able to continue training, make sure u get ur rest days in though.good luck

  • I see this is an old post but I have suffered in the past with calf pain getting a gait analysis was the best thing for me. I have also started using calf compression sleeves which have helped so very much.
  • Been there, had that, had operations but to no avail.......... You will go around in circles with this one.

    IT IS YOUR BACK!! Stretch out your back first before and after running obviously when your recent tear or injury has gone away.

    The majority of what is going on in your calf is governed by your lumbar spine, you must always keep your lower vertebrae supple or you will pay the price.

    Good luck
  • Hey guys, I could use advice too. I've been running for years, but always had a persistent problem with my Right Calf. At one point I became so frustrated with my Calf I took a big year-long break from running. Since this past April I've been really getting back into it. Set myself a realistic goal of sub-35 for a 10k and been following a lot of people's advice with training for it. My training has been going well then BAM there goes my Calf yet again. It's incredibly frustrating. At the moment it's just slight discomfort when walking around but I know it only gets worse from here. What could be causing this persistent pain? Could it be that I simply don't replace my shoes often enough? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks. 

  • Hi Guys Ill try to cut the short but there is potentially a very simple solution here - Knee Length Compression Socks.

    I was a serious runner for about 5 years before my knee blew up but early on after I joined my club I was sidelined for about 6 weeks with persistent calf pain.... Think about it - every time your foot smack against the concrete it causes a trauma which is absorbed, in part by your calf which vibrates upon impact.

    The Compression socks reduce the impact and prevent your calf from vibrating as much..... After switching to the socks I had no more issues for the remainder of my competitive running days.

    For a potentially quick fix of under £10 I would urge everyone to try this with a similar issue - you have very little to lose - let me know how u get on



  • Hi all

    This is an old thread, but one that is likely to always resurface!!!

    I’m a new running, started doing 5km and 10km about two years ago. And I’ve built up to ultras where I have done 5 this year with my most recent being about 4 weeks ago 105km Peak DIstrict (20 hours 50 mins). Earlier this year I decided to try some barefoot shoes after reading about toe striking. On my first run and paid a lot of attention to striking with the ball of my foot. And then at 3km, suddenly, one calf got very painful. I jogged a little further and then bam the other one went. I really thought I had torn something as they continued to be very painful for about a week after. I had a 40m race 4 weeks later so I was very concerned. But gradually the pain eased until it just felt a bit sore, and as I said I’ve done 5 ultras now. BUT, i still cant shake that pain in my calves.
    Although I’m new to running (and I’m 50 now) I’ve been doing sports and training hard all my life, so I know my body pretty well, it feels just like I’ve trained them hard, stretching feels GREAT and really eases the feeling, but I just cant make it go for good.

    I wonder if anyone has any good advice to get some long term relief from this; I would have thought by now that my muscles would have become accustomed to the distances and times I’m doing, but it seems not.

    I’ve been wondering about...
    - icing them
    - heating them
    - sauna
    - stretching
    - massage
    - theragun
    - weight training (calve raises)
    - ...

    Any ideas?

  • Oh also, yes, I’ve been running with knee length compression socks, and whilst I agree with xink1982 that they in theory reduce the abuse that calves can get, this has not solved my problem - although I continue to wear them because I believe they do help as mentioned)
    You don't say if you're still using the zero drop shoes?

    If you decide you want to change your running style , say from heel striker to forefoot striker then it will take you a very long time, months and months and has to be done very gradually, you certainly wouldn't be able to run ultras for a long time with a different style of running.  You also as a forefoot runner can be more likely to get calf and achilles injuries.

    However, if your previous running style was not causing you injuries then why would you want to change it, there's nothing wrong with being a heel striker.   A lot of the bumph comes from those trying to sell you the shoes and if you look now the fashion for low drop/zero drop is fading very fast.   Find a shoe with a drop that suits your running style and is comfortable for you.

    You've obviously injured both calf muscles, you probably need a physio/podiatrist to give you a rehab plan and you'll probably need to stop racing until they heal fully.
  • Similarly, I am a 50-year-old male and I have been running for approx. 7 years. For the past 4 years I have been completing a couple of sprint triathlons a year (400 m swim; 22K bike ride; 5K run). 5K is my normal morning run and I do it in around 30 mins. I don’t normally run any further/longer than this.

    In autumn 2018 I was struggling to run without my Achilles tendon and calves hurting. I ended up having physio and was diagnosed with everything from compartment syndrome to a trapped nerve. After resting it for a few months and various exercises I was ready to start running again. I started couch to 5K with no recurrence of my Achilles problem until week 5 which culminated in a 25 min run.

    I am worried about the long term prospects for my running. 20-25 minutes seems to be the point when it starts hurting. I was wondering if I should go back to running 15 minutes and then start adding a minute each run to build up my time. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you.
    Andrew - I don't know.   You might be one that would benefit from changing your running style and/or shoes as you have recurring achilles issues.    

    Maybe a podiatrist that specialises in running would be a good start  to getting you back running pain free.
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