I run 2  or 3 times a week - 3 or 4 miles each time, on mixed surfaces including beach. Usually no pain. About a month ago started to get stiff calfs. VERY FRUSTRATING ! Tried stretches - just feels sore with no noticeable improvement. Today, at beginning of run calfs were not sore. After 10 minutes pain began. Ran for an hour. It feels as if someone has kicked me 10 times in the calfs just before I begin running. Does not feel like pulled muscles. Pain is mainly in the upper middle calf muscle. Any advice/help greatly appreciated!!

Thanks in advance




  • Sports massage if you can afford it.  If not then get a foam roller and use it to massage yourself.  It sounds like you have build up tightness over a long period of time and every so often you need something a bit more thorough than stretching.

    I would also try running on easier surfaces for a few days and stay clear of hills.

  • For self-help have you tried foam rollering?  The problem though might lie very deep within the muscles of the lower leg.  Not only do you have the "calf muscles - Gastrocnemius and Soleus) but the Tibialis posterior, plus the flexor muscles.  All of these attach near the ankle and start high up in the calf area.

    I would suggest having regular sports massages with someone who has at least got a Level 4 qualification.  If you do already it may be that they are not experienced enough or have the right level of qualification to really help.

    If one muscle group is under stress this puts pressure on other muscles to take the strain and compensate so all areas need to be assessed to see if they are tight.

    Hope this helps!  If you live in Hertfordshire/Essex area then I am a qualified Sports and remedial massage therapist.......


  • Hi Donald, I started running this time last year and early on I had problems with both calf's tore muscle not sure to what extent I visited a physio who treated me 4 times a week to get it repaired. Since then I have invested in some good running shoes measured and fitted by a proper running shop to suite me, after long runs i now ice both calfs, I also bought some compression calf shields to wear which seem to work! Touch wood they have been fine since.

    Hope you get sorted and back on the streets!!!
  • Like others have said have you tried a foam roller? Or try freezing a small bottle of water and use that as a roller. You'll get the benefits of rolling and icing in one go. I'd also look at your warm-up and cool down routine. Do you do any specific exercises for warming up the calfs and shins. I do a lot of walking on my tip toes and heels. I also do some backward walking at the end of runs which seems to help the calfs too.

  • Hi Donald,

    Just incase you are still struggling with this, I've used this clinic in Hatfield for Sports Massage and it's been brilliant,

    I would definitely recommend them!



  • ...are you sure your calfs are tight?

    If stretching makes no difference, then they can't be. Most likely is that they are over stretched due to either lack of control (foot or hip) or strength (calf) and when you run they are constantly being over loaded at the end of their range.

    Shoe check time?

  • I have had major overload issues with may calfs for a year now. Ian following the following programme and within a matter of weeks I am on the mend:

    1.Rolling each shin for 30 secs - painful for the 1st two sets and then legs like new

    2. Stretching my quads - knelt on floor - one leg at a right angle with keen over toes the other bent behind touching my bum (or as near as poss) 12x 2 secs hold

    3. Hip flexor exercises (no idea what they are called). - basically on my back lifting each leg up and slightly to the side and moving slowly for a small range x 12

    4. 3 Side bridges each side - 2 secs inhaling in, 5 out

    5. 12 glute bridges on each leg.

    I am aiming for 4 or 5 sets of the above. I know this is a lot so I am aiming for 2 one day and then for 4 or 5 the next. I can't stress enough how much this is helping me! You will notice that I am not doing any exercises or stretches directly for my calfs. My physio's theory is that my calfs are very strong and just need to be left to calm down for a bit. It's all the other areas that they have been compensating for that I need to activate and strengthen.

    I'm now running up to 5 miles at a reasonable 8 min mile pace.

    I know everybody's bodies are different and I would always advise seeing a professional but this certainly worked for me. I finally realised that resting was not enough as even when walking, My body was into very bad habits!

    I hope you make a speedy recovery!

  • Just realised that this was posted back in January! Hopefully you're fine now.
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