Calf strain. Help!

Hi, so I am currently training for VLM, this will be my third marathon. Training has been going well and I was hoping this time I may dip under the 4hr mark (PB 4.05). Last week, whilst running a flat 5 mile run my calf was sore, I stopped but it was too sore to continue running so I hobbled home. I saw a physio who diagnosed a mild calf strain, and said I should be ok to run in a week. So I gave it a weeks rest, and then attempted a run yesterday. I managed 100m before my calf started hurting again so I stopped straight away. I am seeing a physio again tomorrow, but I am starting to panic - is it ok to have a two week break at this stage? Shall I adjust my expectations now on a new PB? I have 3, 15mile runs under my belt... but I feel like all my hard work so far will be wasted. Anyone else recovered quick from a calf strain? Any help would be appreciated.


  • Same thing happened to me last year.  You won't want to hear this but it took 4 weeks to heal (my injury may have been worse), and it will affect your time but it will give your body a chance to rest and recover. Calf self massage (see youtube) I think will help but don't rush it. I recovered and was able to run a time probably 5 minutes slower than might have been. You have some good 15m runs already in the bank.
  • Thanks for your reply. That has made me feel more positive!
  • Si CSi C ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Maisie I have had persistant calf problems/Niggles for about 2 years.  As soon as i thought they were healing I would start running but if i ever increased my pace or distance they would cause me grief again.  
    However, after 10 days rest, I saw my physio and i have tried 4 new things and touch wood so far i am injury free 12 weeks into a 16 week marathon training program.
    1. Do more glute exercises both dynamic and static.
    2. Running using a shorter running stride.
    3. I wear compression sleeve/socks for my long runs
    4. Introduction to the foam roller.

    Good luck
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Si C's reply is on the money. I tore my calf in 2014 (it was a grade 1 tear - not bad, just a few fibres, but it put me out for 6 weeks) so I know the frustation. It doesn't sound as though yours is as bad as that, fortunately (I actually felt my calf pop) but rest, massage/rolling, glute work and some form of compression (I have the socks and the calf sleeves and find calf sleeves a bit easier to deal with) should get you running again.
    I'd start bad with some run/walk intervals and build up from there.

    The distance will come back quickly enough thanks to muscle memory. I had a groin strain in December '15 which knocked me out for a month - prior to that I'd got up to 17 miles so, although I started back cautiously, I managed to get the mileage back up again fairly quickly. I ran a half marathon a month after my comeback and then did a 20 miler in March. The marathon was pretty awful towards the end but I got it done. So don't despair.
  • Thanks for the advice, I saw the physio again and she said it is feeling much better from what she could feel, so has recommended I try a flat 3mile run this weekend. I'm also going to purchase some compression socks and I have been having some PT sessions to help build up my core and glutes. So fingers crossed.
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