Calf Strains

||Calf Strains

Calf Strains – Something I unfortunately know a lot about! Having suffered a number of tears last year, I kept coming back running too soon thinking my calf was healed and eager to get back to training. The problem with the calf is it might feel ready walking on it but sometimes it needs more time to recover and heal given the load you put through it when running. Myself and my physio Chris made the decision to take a few months off running to give myself chance to build the strength back up in the calf and improving my overall strength in the gym as it kept breaking down.

One of my exercises was calf raises on the smith machine in the gym, standing on a step lowering my foot off the step and pushing up onto my toes. I still do calf raises now to make sure my calfs stay nice and strong for my running and I think all runners should consider adding some form of calf loading in their programme. I used a smith machine to get enough load through mine, as the gold standard for calf strength is twice your body weight however you can perform single and double legged calf raises from home or by holding weights in your hand when loading. 

Early warnings of calf tears are a sudden onset of pain whilst out running, your calf will tighten immediately and you are often unable to load through the foot normally. Staying well hydrated and regular foam rolling/massage will also help reduce the risk of calf injuries. 

Soft tissue can be useful in the early stages and wearing compression socks. I would always recommend visiting your local physio to get an accurate diagnosis and so they can suggest suitable rehab to help you return to running pain free.