Damn Soleus Muscle

I've had an injury to the lower part of the leg for what seems to be an eternity now.

Although i have had periods of no pain it seems that every 3-4 weeks the thing flars up again.

Having had my gait analysed, massages, trips to the physio new shoes - pretty much everything you could suggest or think of I'm now at the point where i'm thinking of packing running in and finding something else to do!!

Im not really content to do anything in a half hearted way or otherwise i could take the view that its nice to just plod around and get out of the house. Nothing wrong with that and i don't want to upset anyone by implying it. What i want is to push myself to try and achieve higher and better things - Im only in my 30's. I'm now just fed up of picking some race to aim for, training hard for a period, feeling like you are making progress and then Whallop. 2 steps forward & 2 steps back.

Physiologically i think ive now lost the drive to come back for another push at it - Anyone been there???


  • Bit of a shot gun approach here, but you sound desperate. Ignore anything that doesn't apply, sounds stupid or you just don't like the look of. I'm assuming this is soleus muscle rather than shin splints, by the way.

    1) You probably overpronate on the relevant leg - check your walking shoes for signs of wear on the front inside edge. If it's there, upgrade to more stable shoes.

    2) If you notice this pain when walking as well as running, make a conscious effort to walk with your feet in a straighter line, especially on the relevant foot. I don't suggest trying to adjust gait while running without professional advice.

    3) You are almost certainly overtraining. Being seriously competitive does not mean being a nutter. You are getting older and that means you have to take regular rest days. Sometimes the drive can be counter productive in reaching your goals.

    This is based on nothing but personal experience. Hope it helps.
  • I was a reasonable runner back at Uni some 14 yrs back ~ 32min for 10km.

    Then three yrs ago I started training properly again. Bloody hell that first run I did of 1 mile nearly killed me. Anyway I started getting problems with my lower calf areas.

    I ended up giving it away and have spent the last 18mths playing badminton which is an excellent way of building up your legs to handle running. Just like Plyometric work.

    I suggest you check out articles about injury prevention on the pponline.co.uk website. It talks about a case study which requires specific exercises to combat the calf injuries we seem to be getting.

    I have just started back running over the last 3 weeks. I had my first sore lower calf muscle which I think was due to some hill work I did. Too eager ! I am going to follow the exercises outlined in the case study and spend time just running on some soft flat ground.

    I suggest you have a program which has 3 running sessions - long run, fartlek session (just on hills) and build up run of 40mins where you have a good 10-15mins at a strong pace.

    Then for 2 days of the week you put into place specific leg/core stability strengthening exercises. But you need to gradually build this up otherwise you will get injured. Things like hopping, skipping, little bouncing movements like boxes do. One legged squats (no weight) making sure you drop your bum down not bend at the knee as this causes stress to the outside of your knee.

    Also your ITB band located on outside of the Thigh can get tight so do a good range of stretching.

    Good luck.

  • This is the most effective way I've found to stretch the lower leg muscles - it works really well for me.

  • I've had the same thing now on and off for probably 20 months. I finally seem to be getting over it at last and the secret has been to run once a week only, about 5 steady miles and to cross train by cycling and gym sessions. This might sound desperate but it allows almost total rest for the injured area while still having one day of impact training to ensure you can still run with less risk of new injury. This was my physios suggestion. I also had physio every week for a half hour session and did regular stretching myself. I've been following this regime for about 2 months and I feel 70% so another month should do it. If you don't do it now you might never run well again - think about it, it makes sense to rest.
  • Ian - why not do specific strengthening exercises so that you could start to run more than once week ?

    As I suggested earlier on this topic - check out pponline.co.uk which has some great articles on this area.
  • What do you mean by 'specific strengthening exercises'?
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