Tight Calf

I'm in need of a little help/advice from all you fantastic runners out there.....

For the last couple of weeks, when I run, my right calf tightens up and usually takes until the next day to get back to normal. I always warm up and cool down properly. I can't think why it is happening or how to try and put it right.... Any suggestions would be greatfully received.....please!


  • hey your lucky my left calf is still tight from sunday ! again v interested on any advice
  • Foxy, sounds as if you need to see a nurse :-)

    I'll think about calves while wrenching off a toenail in the next half-hour.
  • Thanks V, can you recommend any?
    I wouldn't go to the dodgy F&B clinic ;-)
    Hmmm lovely thought as I take a bite from my sandwich (toe nail wrenching......)
  • Just a thought........have you purchased new trainers around the same time that the problem arose. I had the same problem with my calves and it took a few weeks for the calves to get used to the new trainers.
  • H Goblin,
    No, have had trainers for about 6 months...

    It did begin as I was passing mile 8.5 of the GSR (that was the furthest I'd ever ran before but I don't suppose that's relevant?)
    Even now, it happens on anything past 2 miles.....
  • Where abouts on the calf?
  • That sounded dumb. What I ment to say was are you getting any specific area that's tightening up or is there any specific pain, or is it just the whole calf from below the knee to just above the ankle?
  • Not a stupid question - I knew what you meant (nice pic by the way - a lot cuter than the last one!)

    It's actually on the out edges most of the way up and down (does that make sense?)
  • Sounds like you're over pronating. Six months is getting rather old for running shoes - perhaps they're not giving you the support any more?

    Oh and Tim, if your pain is in the same place it's your Jazz 6000s that are to blame - not a stable shoe when new, and your pair are clapped out. You're going to have to face your better half...
  • So what's the diagnosis - new trainers?

  • I'm no expert but I have something similar and according to my sports masseur it's achilles tendonitis. It's probably a good idea to go for a massage as a good masseur can pick up any problems and either sort you out or direct you to somebody who can.
    I hope the words "Grandmother" and "eggs" aren't coming to mind!
    Hope you can get it sorted.
  • Foxy, I would always buy new trainers anyway, because I'm addicted. But in seriousness six months is quite a long time - don't know how many miles you've been putting in since that long ago.

    What brand of shoes are you using? Assuming you're pretty light anything moderately stable would do.

    Bear, I would normally assume tendonitis would be straighter up the back of the leg and lower down. Massage would certainly do no harm though.
  • Bear, I think I'll use it as a good excuse to get a massage anyway - thanks.

    Glenn, I've actually had them just over 5 months and have only upped my mileage of late... (Reebok DMX runners -won't be getting them again - not overly impressed!)

    I think I'll visit my local running shop and get my running assessed and all that...
    It will probably be worth it in the long run. But will that help my calf? we'll see..
  • It sounds like an overuse-type achilles tendon problem, Foxy. Although tendinitis CAN be felt in the midline, it's often to one side or the other depending on where the gastrocnemius or, much more rarely, soleus fibres have become stretched and torn where they are attached to the tendon.

    The standard treatment is reducing your mileage by about a third (or to whatever you can do comfortably), ice, anti-inflammatories if it's bad enough to prevent you from walking normally, and a gait assessment to see whether you need a different type of shoe. You're well due a new pair anyway, if only to rotate with the Reeboks (I didn't know Reebok did proper running shoes - doh!) to vary the biomechanical stresses.

    Hope you're soon on the mend!

    Tim, when your sprats are big enough to demand clothing with labels, you will bitterly regret having denied yourself the luxury of lots of pairs of delightfully expensive running shoes.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Here's quite a good site for all those hypochondriac runners out there
    Check it out and if you're anything like me you'll feel all of the symptoms for just about everything!
  • pponline has also got some exercises to help avoid these problems:
  • You are all great! thankyou, I will take all this advise away and hope I get a result.

    V-rap, if I was to cut my average 'weekday run' by a third (5m) I might as well stay at home.. but think I might ease off and do some cross-training and see if it helps?

    At least now I know that I buy crap running shoes and should buy more often!!! I'm off to the running shop at the weekend!!!
  • V-rap, just checked out the overuse-type achilles tendon problem on the sportsinjuryclinic (thanks Bear) - and it all makes sense and your diagnosis seems spot on (thank you). It looks like the 'right' trainers are the important factor (and not over-training in the first place -although I don't think I do).
    I'm just off to check out your exercise web site Glenn...

    Thank you all!
  • Tim, I've been checking out the sports injury clinic link Bear posted - it has a virtual therapist which is quite useful....

    Want to swap trainers notes? hee hee
  • Sound similar to a problem I had.... and guess what.... changing shoes did the trick.

    V-rap... I'm interested in your comment about rotating shoes. After running a 10K at the weekend in essentially new shoes (I know stupid! but it was a tough choice, stability or no stability and potentially more problems) I can understand the need to break them in so to speak but you seemed to be saying something else about decreasing biomechanical stress.. could you expand... are you saying it would reduce the stress caused by one set even though the second set might be the same make and type?


  • Mike, on the contrary, rather than buying two identical pairs of shoes and wearing them alternately, it's not a bad idea to have two DIFFERENT types on the go at once. Even though you will need the same broad category of shoe each time (cushioning, support etc), the design differences between models and manufacturers are big enough to shift some of the weightbearing stress from one muscle group to another. For example, I am currently alternating a pair of old-style Nike Air Althea (the new model is rubbish, but don't let me get started on that) which have 400 miles on them with a pair of Mizuno Wave Riders which have about 60 miles on them, and walking in expired Asics 2060s - all suitable for lightweight mild overpronators, all very comfortable (I am as fussy as can be about running shoes, and won't buy something that feels as if it needs "breaking in"), but all very different to run in.

    My approach is to buy a new pair when the next newest pair has about 250-300 miles on board, try them out on the treadmill a few times, then let the oldest pair become walking shoes.

    It could all be pure pseudoscience, but it's an excuse to buy lots of trainers!
  • Thanks V-rap. As always the logic behind your postings is most informative and enlightening.

    What if it means we spend more! Initially at least! Your going to buy them in the long run anyway... just that you might buy more over time because you decrease the chance of potential injuries... that to me is a bargin

  • Hi V-rap I would agree with what you are saying about different shoes. You might like to try the new Saucony range, Trigon. Like you I have been wearing Mitzuno Wave riders with Performance having found some Asics to supportive. I ran the Flora London Marathon in the Wave riders and found them the most comfortable shoes in 5 Marathons. The Trigons are a neutral shoe and the range covers suportive through cusioning to racing shoes.


  • V-Rap, just like to say that I went to my running man (that's what we call the guy who owns the local running shop by the way) - did a gait assessment which was 'normal' but found out that my reeboks weren't actually running shoes afterall (although they were sold as 'runners').....
    I ended up buying a new pair of Saucony Grid Jazz which I test drove yesterday and I'm pleased to say that not only did my time improve but there was absolutely no calf pain at all!!
    Maybe you should try it too Tim!
  • Good minds think alike... glad your calf seems better too!!

    What run on Sunday? hope all goes well!
  • I'm srue it'll be no bother for you with your new trainers! Good Luck.
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