I’ve had a left calf injury that has put me out of commission approx 4x over last 10 years. I’ve been slow to recognize how/why this happens and how to avoid/mitigate it. I read a long time ago that calf issues are one of the most vexing issues facing a runner. I agree with that, and for me it’s a long term management thing given the potential for recurrence is very high. My background is from a running perspective (trails and roads).
My key observations:
1. I think the cause for me has been overtraining – it’s happened when I’m doing too much with too little recovery. I’ve had it happen while running fast and during recovery runs. Again, the root cause is overtraining.
2. The very second I feel anything coming in left calf, I stop. I literally walk back. I don’t even try to jog.
3. I’ve had success going to zero running and getting back in a program with as little as a week or so of no running. The zero running part is essential – at least a week. If it’s really aggravated, it’s taken as long as 4-6 weeks of no running to get right.
4. I found I could ride an exercise bike with low resistance with no pain;
3. Re preventative stuff, I’ve had success with singe leg eccentric calf raises using a stair.