Advice For Returning to Training After a Calf Injury

  • Creator
  • #63591

    Hi all,

    I know this is an often talked about topic but I wanted to get everyone’s opinion on calf strains and the best way to get back to training without risking over injury. I recently completed the 8-week mountaineering training plan through Uphill Athlete with tremendous success and with little issues. In week 8, I started to gear up to transition to the 12-week mountaineering training plan and my left calf below my knee (on the medial side) just started having a dull aching feeling. This persisted and it now prevents me from running. I would consider it a mild sprain given that I don’t limp, but I have pain with rest as well as with activity. I have a climb of Mt. Baker coming up in May and I want to continue my aerobic and physical growth, but I don’t want to exacerbate this injury by rushing back to running. Does anyone have any exercises/recommendations. I know RICE is the preferred treatment for this condition, but I am just paranoid I am going to lose the ground that I have gained over the past few months. Any advice is greatly appreciated!


Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Participant
    eric on #63595

    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.

    viyat on #64934

    Just sharing my experience on some recovery/rehab work that helped (mine happened due to too much too soon technical downhill running and I had a slight bruise so grade I/II).
    Ice on the first 2 days, deep tissue massage on the 3rd day, zero running for a whole week, recovery tights/compresssion, daily calf stretch (not too much) and light calf raise eccentrics (slow on the way up and down) for 2 weeks.

    re for UA training, I found that climbing indoors and using a stairmaster with mountain boots on didn’t irritate the calf. I was back to running in 2 weeks with no pain.

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