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? Will I just get used to running and my calves will adjust with time?


  • Hi Karen
    I tend to get tight calves as well. Recently I bought some sorbothane heel pads and they have helped quite abit. Since taking up running, even though I feel like I do alot of stretching, I can feel myself getting stiffer and calf stretches really hurt sometimes. If my legs start hurting while I am out running, I just tend to walk for abit as I feel a little self conscious stretching outside, and that seems to help a little also.
    Take it easy, and include some cross training to work different muscles.
    Hope that helps...Good Luck.
  • I got this when I started out, it was agony so you have my sympathy. I eased off the training, let things settle down a bit and when I started to increase the mileage again (slowly) things were much better. I think it might have been the muscle sheath restricting the calf muscles but it didn't take long to sort out.

    I'm assuming your shoes are in good nick. I wouldn't rush out and get inserts just yet as you can end up doing more harm than good.

    Hope it sorts out soon.
  • karen hello, I had this too,didn't know what it was at the time, but knew it wasn't pulled anything, because when it went it went completely. Looking back, the worst was whenever I made a sudden increase in distance, rather than pace (haven't done that yet!) I'm not sure if stretching helps, bit better after, but the sensation whilst actually doing the stretch I can only describe as my legs feeling nauseous!!

    Try to persevere, Karen and I'm sure you'll get through it. Don't make big jumps in distance, and if you miss a few days for any reason, don't go straight in with a longer one because you're feeling guilty!

    Good luck!
  • Hi Karen
    Another remedy for tight muscles is to get regular sports massage, a very good way to maintain good working muscles.
    You should be able to find one in your local area.
  • I think I've got this too but mine is more inner calf than posterior. It must be the same thing though because it hurts to walk and I'm doing a 10 miler on 10th Nov , so feeling very nervous! I think I quite like the idea of the muscles outgrowing their sheath, though....makes me feel very fit!!!!
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