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calf problems

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:36 pm
by leif3141
need some advice. I used to be in the Army and ran like crazy. I used to run like 5 times a week and blah blah blah. Well anyways the past year I've been trying to get back into running. Here is my problem: I think I've put on not too much fat, but too much muscle for my calves to handle. In the army I used to be 170, now I'm 215 (some being fat and muscle, because I was lifting alot in that time). Anyways, I have no problem with running except for my calves. My heart and lungs and the rest of my leg muscles are fine. My calves get extremely sore and it can last for upto a week. If I run at all in this time it just makes it all the worse. I have tried several things: lifting for my calves like crazy, supplementing running with other exercises, and so on. My question is do you think I just need to lose weight entirely, or just keep running and it will pass?

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:06 pm
by VoK
Calves tend to be a body part that recovers quickly.

When I was (and still am) doing my track workout, the first time I did 4x400s, my calves were on fire and cramping like crazy. What I did to fix it was change my form in running, using more of a heel-toe strikethrough than running on my forefoot like a sprint.

Calves are generally very hard to train and it is not easy to gain muscle mass in them. You might want to take longer runs to get some endurance in your calves, or do body weight excercises that get a change in repititions.

But in any way, I think a change in style of training is a better idea.

Maybe It's The Shoes.

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:26 am
by Guest
Several thoughts about your calf problems:

1) The first thing to look at are your running shoes. Inappropriate shoes can cause a lot of problems, including sore calves.

2) Tight calves are prone to cramping. Stretch them out often.

3) When starting a running program, it is important to gradually build up your mileage. Many people who have good cardio function are nevertheless not ready for the pounding that running places on the joints and muscles.

4) The extra weight that you have now, whether it's muscular or fatty, *is* a hinderance to running. It's no accident that distance runners tend to be thin. If you plan to remain at your current weight, you might have to scale back your former mileage.

5) If the pain persists longer than a couple of days, see an orthopedist. Sometimes a stress fracture can masquerade as muscle pain.

I hope that helps

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:28 am
by Stephen Johnson
I am the "Guest" who posted the message above - forgot to log in

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:40 am
by Stephen Johnson
As an addendum to item #4, you might consider cardio cross training using one of the low-impact cardio machines here - or a bicycle, if you don't want to be stuck in a gym. Also, don't discount walking - brisk walking will give you much of the same benefit of running without the heavy pounding

one more thing

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:30 am
by leif3141
one more thing i forgot to mention...sometimes if i just do sprints instead of going long distance, it isn't as bad. For instance, if I go 2 or 3 miles at a moderate pace the pain is worse in the morning. If I just do sprints and walk the rest of the way for about 2 miles it is not as bad. Does this make any sense? I do need new shoes I think...but I went to a running store originally awhile ago to get my shoes. I do cross train as well to try and lose weight...but i want to run! heh, maybe i'll just wait till i lose some weight. thanks!