really tight calves

I have been running for about three months and have really tight calves. Sometimes I have to stop repeatedly during a run to stretch them. I run about 30-40 mins, 3 times a week.

A search of the internet suggests that I have "posterior compartment syndrome" - a muscle growing too big for its sheath - which is apparently not uncommon for beginners.

But what do I do about it? I imagine that frequent massage is a good idea. And maybe exercising the other calf muscles (with standing calf raises) will help balance things out? I've recently also gotten some proper running shoes (I did have too-small crosstrainers), so that may help.

Is there anything else I can do to rid myself of this?


  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    When you say you have really tight calves, whereabouts do they feel tight? I found this when I first started running, especially at the back of my calves. They didn't generally hurt too much while running, but afterwards they would really seize up. I started gently stretching before a run, then following the run with a really good, thorough stretch. This really seemed to help, as did starting off gently at the beginning of a run.

    I honestly don't think it's posterior compartment syndrome: it's much more likely that, as you have not been running for very long, your legs just need to get used to the extra use they're getting. Mine went away after a while - hopefully yours will, too.
  • Calfs have been a big problem for me lately but I have had to learn to warm up correctly. Light stretching to start then ease myself into the run for ten mins or more then a warm down of about the same and more stretching to finish. If you can get a massage all the better. It's a problem that a lot of runners have to put up with but if you can stick to the rules you will have a full running life and that's what it's all about.
    Good luck
  • Karen,
    I had similar problem, I met an old boy at the Edinburgh 10k he gave me a little massage before the race and said I had extreamly tight calfs, he suggested that I jog to warm up instead of streaching for about 5-10 min, I do this now instead of streach's prior to any run and my calfs stay loose, not sure how sound this advice is bit it worked for me.
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