Pulled Calf

Went out for routine run last Friday and after 1 mile, calf muscle suddenly tightened. Carried on running (as you do!)and it just got tighter, so stopped. Next day it was fine, a day later I tried again and it went again. 2 days later the same. As with most runners, I want to get back into it, but don't know how long to leave it.
Any suggestions?
PS I'm as fit as I've ever been - a week earlier did a PB at Chicago


  • pb at chicago-flight home-back to work- i think we are missing a recovery period here, and it seems to be you are paying the penalty(rest rest rest)there is always tomorrow
  • sounds too sensible! I returned on the Monday and had a number of good runs before it went. Feels fine now, but I'm sure if I try it tomorrow, it will go again.
  • Wouldn't like to say how long it will take but there's two bits of advice I can offer

    1. Go to a physio. A good one can get you back running much quicker than you would think.

    2. Build up slowly when you start again. Even if you just do ten minutes and then build up a couple of minutes each run.
  • JD don't allow what happened to me, I ignored the warnings and ended up with a full tear of muscle and tendon. Same story felt tight got tighter and scrunch that was it. Am now in my sixth week of no running - can cross train now. It was two weeks of no activity at all before I was even able to swim. Have also been having physio.
    My advice, stop and see a physio before going any further.
    good luck
  • I was in a similar position to VR. Torn calf muscle but hopefully no tendon damage, which by the sounds of it is what you've done.
    7 days swimming only followed by 7 days of using a bike & swimming. (careful when you stand & pedal as that's when your calf is under strain).
    After 2 weeks you'll be able to use the eliptical trainer in the gym or the stepper.
    After 3 weeks you'll be able to start jogging (not running). Build up slowly over the next 3 weeks to where you left off.

    6 weeks in all. This injury is normally caused by fatigued muscles so try to remember to build in a rest period into your schedual.

    I would advise you to see a physio so you can get some ultra sound on the injured area. The ultra sound breaks down the scar tissue around the tear. So hopefully the muscle will repair itself and return to it's former strength and flexibility. Scar tissue doesn't stretch like normal muscle tissue, increasing the liklihood of a reoccurance of the same injury.

    I'm currently at week 2 of recovery & it's the third time I've done it. Believe me don't rush back to training too soon. I did last time & it led to 3 months out after the FLM.

    Best of luck

  • Many thanks for the advice ed, vr and pm. Have seen a physio now - she doesn't think its too bad, but no running for a few days. The really frustrating thing is that it feels absolutely fine walking about and,you know what its like, you don't want to rest a second longer than you really have to. But your experiences are quite sobering, so I'll just take it easy.

    Thanks again
  • John, I think village runner and pizza man are being pessimistic. Doesn't sound like a tear to me, more like a bit of damage to the fibres.

    When you get running again build up slowly and you'll be fine.

    I reckon you'll be back running in a week or so
  • Many thanks - sounds a bit more hopeful!
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