Cramp in calf muscle

Does anyone have any advice?
Last week while I was running I got bad cramp in my right calf. It felt like my calf muscle had seized into a fist and every stride became increasingly painful. I took the week off and did a few sessions on the elliptical trainer in the gym. Over the week the pain went from being very sore to only being 'just noticeable'. I thought it would be okay to run tonight. Big mistake! Felt fine for the first 2 miles and then suddenly seized up again. I took a lot of time to warm up and stretch and drank water all day. Back to square 1! I have iced my calf and will probably take 2 weeks off and just cross-train. I have just got a charity place in the GNR and desperate to train!



  • Hi Russell,
    I had a similar thing last year and I ignored the pain for a while until during a run I felt as if I had been shot in the calf. I had actually ended up tearing my calf muscle. I then had to spend almost 9 weeks without running. Taking time off is the best thing to do. I would also pay a visit to a physio if it doesn't ease off. With regualr cross-training you should keep your fitness levels up.


  • Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for your advice. Isn't it the most frustrating feeling in the world? You want to run but can't! I am going to try and find a physio. Can't see any listed in Merseyside area in RW. May have to google it! Going to rest for a few weeks and cross train like mad. Have to get rid of the limp first as the gym might not be too impressed if I crawl through the doors.

  • Hi Russell, your gym should be able to put you in touch with a sports massage therapist, failing that try your local college who train the therapists or your GP, he/she should know of a sports therapist who can help. i would leave off the running until its sorted out, or you could be out of running for ages, better a short period of abstinence than a long term injury. good luck for the GNR. im doing also. its a great (pardon the pun) event, and you still have plenty of time to train. this will be my 11th GNR and its well worth the effort so dont risk it by being injured.
  • Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for your advice. I will definately be resting-up for the next fortnight. Hopefully cross-training will keep me fit. I will try and find some sort of treatment. Wow you have run the GNR 11 times! Amazing. Really looking forward to participating in the run. If I am lucky enough to get a place in the FLM it will be a good stepping stone.

    Typing this sitting in the garden under a parasol. Ah the wonders of Wifi...

  • Went to a sports-injury clinic this afternoon. I have a small tear in my gastrocnemius muscle (calf). He said it would take 2-3 weeks to repair itself. Had some sort of massage and ultra-sound treatment and was given some new stretches. I have already rested a week on Wednesday. Think I will take another two weeks off running. No need to 'run' the risk of further injury! He recommended taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements. Has anyone else tried these?
    Feel relieved now I know it will heal quickly.

    Spent an hour and a half in the gym cross-training.
  • Hi Russell,
    glad its nothing too serious. i've never heard of those suppliments but they're worth a try, if thats what the therapist has recommended, cant hurt.
    I had an absoluley awfull run yesterday, had to stop after only 4 miles on a 6 mile lap i usually do really easily. so easily in fact i was about to up it to 7 or 8 miles. I dont know what went wrong, but it was very hot, and i was trying out a new high carb drink which was very thick and sweet and made me feel a bit sick. I was just drinkning lucozade but this other drink came hightly recommended, think i'll give it another go but water it down a bit. going to have a couple of days off and run again on Friday, hopefully that will give me time to get over yesterday as I felt really disheartened.
  • Hi Lynne,
    My performance is inconsistent to say the least. I never know if I am going to lead the group I run with or trail behind struggling to keep up. I presume it depends on how hard I train when I am not running with the group and how much I have left in the tank. When I am struggling to keep up it is the worst feeling in the world! I try to listen to my body and add additional rest days after poor performances. That normally fixes things physically. But mentally a 'bad day' really shatters my belief in my ability to run.

    I think we train the mind just as much as the body when we run.

  • Thanks Russell, I know I'll get over it, had a poor run while out with my sister in law a few weeks ago to the point where I just couldnt keep up with her and was thinking of telling her to train on her own as i was holding her back, but a week later I was back on track and even she said I was cracking the pace a bit. so I know it'll be ok, but it does get you down doesnt it.

    still, gotta keep smiling, onwards and upwards as they say:-)
  • Russell, I had knee surgery a couple of years ago and the surgeon recommended Glucosamine supplements. I took them and others I know swear by them. It's one of those things, you'll never know if they actually make you better but they certainly don't do any harm so it's worth a go. I remember at the time that there were lots of different makes and the prices varied greatly so shop around. Good luck and I hope you get back training soon.
  • Hi SJL,
    Thanks for your advice. I think I will keep taking the Glucosamine & Chondroitin just in case it has any effect.

    I went back to running today after 2 weeks of cross-training. Okay 1 week and 6 days off. I couldn't wait another day to run. I did an easy 5K in 33 minutes and could only feel my calf muscle twinge very slightly. I am not going to push it for a few weeks. This is the first week of a 15 week training plan for a half marathon (GNR) and the next few 'long runs' are far shorter than my normal 10k run. I am going to alternate with cross training and take at least 2 days off a week until I am sure I've fully recovered.

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