Knotted calves post run

I have this recurring problem where I get real knots in my calves after running. They are fine while I run, I do my stretches ok and if I keep walking no problems. As soon as I sit down - ouch they seem to just go hard and bunch up. I've had massage and even accupuncture on one but it still keeps coming back. I am trying this new 'chi running' style and have no problems anywhere else in my body, just there. Do you thing it might be the change from runing by pushing off the toes to placing the whole foot down?? Any solutions please.


  • Chi running does place huge pressure on the calves and training these up is a problem. Over striding also tears the calves with an extreme heel strike. So somewhere in between is about right which means you may have to sacrifice pace for a bit till they stregthen

    in the meantime stretch and stretch warmed up muscle, do calf strengthening exercises (the best ones are the same as achiles strengtheners eg
  • Heel drops are great for strengthening the calves (think that's the achilles one cabletow refers to).
  • thanks cabletow I thought it might be the technique as there is mention of it in the book. I'll modify things a bit and start the strengthening exercises as well as stretching and see what happens.
  • Running 'techniques' are dubious IMO as they can be biomechanically inefficient for some individuals. And when you get tired, you always revert to your preferred running style anyway.

    There are modifications all runners should experiment with like stride length, stride rate, upper body position, hip extension etc but these are all natural stages of the running / gait cycle.

    If you had to run from danger would you do it Chi or Pose style..? Keep it natural to avoid injury.
  • Somebody suggested massaging with E45 cream to help combat scar tissue from muscle tears. Haven't tried it myself though.
  • Glad you started this thread as I've been having similar problems and I've also been experimenting with chi-running as well. However my calves were 'riculously tight' before I started.

    What I find most beneficial about the chi-technique is the postural stance as I find this protects my back during in running but yes you do have to concentrate. I also appreciate the philosophy of not being so goal orientated and more enjoying running in the moment. I also like the chi technique for running up hills but agree that there is probably nothing particularly revolutionary about this.

    I've been self-massaging my tight calf and stretching along with all my other muscle groups. I'll start adding in some calf strengthing exerises as don't want to pick up another injury.

    Incidently I met the Brooks rep this morning and he commented that I was particularly strong in the lower leg and needed to take care of myself. I didn't want to appear stupid so didn't ask him to explain what he meant.
  • I have looked this up on the chi running website and they say it is because the runner is still pushing off the toe rather than putting the foot down flat. I suppose I'm in the middle of changing and that might be aggrevating things. They recommended doing the sandpit test to see what your pattern is. Also it could be due to over long striding so shortening of stride would also help. Its so frustrating as this way of running was recommended to me by a physio that I had to go to after being sold the wrong shoes and causing a hip problem and I thought it was cracked. I ran a 10k not long ago and had so much left at the end - also it was rather nice to go past people up the hills with their upright stance who were really struggling.I felt rather chuffed with myself as I was twice their age!! I seem to get the sore claves worse after a long run on the flat (I usually run hills)so obviously am doing it wrong when I don't have the hill to help. Can't imaging what strong lower legs are but sounds interesting to say the least!
  • Don't beat yourself up about it - the books says it takes time to learn the technique. Do you practice even when your not running?

    Maybe I could work it into a new chat up line - would you like to come back to my place and examione my strong lower legs???? Maybe not...
  • Interesting line.....imagine who would be interested!! Probably best not to really.
  • A podiatrist????
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