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Sore calf muscle, how long do I have to sit around before I can go running again?

I felt my left calf muscle tighten up on a seven mile run the day before yesterday, now it's sore. It was near the end of my run so I slowed down, and took it easy for the last mile. Now it's tight and feels like it wants to cramp up much of the time. It doesn't really "hurt" and doesn't feel injured like a pulled muscle does, but somethings not right with it, a lot of tightness. I have a massager that I've been loosening it up with which helps a lot, and I haven't been stretching it at all. My question is, how long do I have to sit around with this before I can go running again, and am I risking serious injury if I do? What about cycling?

Sat. Jun 16, 6:36am

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Here's an excerpt from an article, and the link.

It has been suggested that vitamin E may help to reduce muscle soreness, but there is little evidence to support this idea. Vitamin E is thought to act as an antioxidant that may blunt the damaging action of free radicals that attack the cell membrane of the muscle fibre. It has also been suggested that stretching the painful muscle or muscles may be beneficial, but this has not consistently been shown to alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness. Similarly, an easy "loosening up" run "to flush out the lactic acid" is unlikely to speed up recovery. To the contrary, running when the muscle is still damaged may delay full recovery. I often tell runners that while it is possible to run when there is still some post run stiffness, they will be running better some weeks later if they delay their return to full training until they no longer feel sore.


Saturday, June 16, 2007, 5:25 PM

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I'm a runner , so I understand your frustration at feeling injured & not being able to run..I would advise not running or cycling for a few days..seriously..I know it sucks , but if you run when you have a soreness you are only going to make it worse..I have done this in the past , and believe me, getting a worse injury was not worth it ! so, I would say take it easy for about 3 days..go on a daily walk if you want to & ice your calf after your walk..and see if you can do an easy run on the 4th a slow & short run..just to see how your calf feels..if you feel a little twinge of discomfort stop running and take the rest of the week off from should be fine by the next week if it is nothing major..good luck & rest that calf !!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007, 6:04 PM

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Thanks! It's been a couple of days now, I'll give it a couple more before I try running again. Thanks for the tip about walking, I didn't even really think of that.

Thanks for the link!


Sunday, June 17, 2007, 1:49 AM

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when I injure something running (knee, foot....) I usually can use the elliptical at high intensity without a problem. Of course start out slow and listen to your body but for me the ellip is a great alternative

Sunday, June 17, 2007, 1:55 AM

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This might be a silly question but did you stretch after running?

Sunday, June 17, 2007, 10:45 AM

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Stretching does help! warm up a bit BEFORE stretching... then run.. and then stretch again after running.

When I feel my muscles tightening, I stop to stretch.
If you go from stationary to running to stopping cold, that can lead to greater injury...

In the meantime, yes, rest will help, but continue to stretch the muscle to keep it from tightening further...

Sunday, June 17, 2007, 11:20 AM

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I stretch a lot before hand, and warm up with a very slow trot for a few minutes before I start running. I cool down with a fast walk for about 5 min, and gradually slow down. I never stretch after a run, but I'll try it.

I'll also try a warm up (walk-trot) BEFORE I stretch. That sounds very logical, and probably guards against injury during stretching. I was trying to improve my pace on my run and I'm thinking now that I just over-did-it. Thanks for the advice :)

Not a big fan of the elliptical, or the gym for that matter. I'll keep it in mind if I sign up this winter though, thanks.


Sunday, June 17, 2007, 9:26 PM

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calf muscle

So I also have a sore calf muscle. I did feel a slight pop in there when I was running. but it's not swollen. I'm not even really limping.
But it is sore.
So I can resume walking?
Is it just running that risks tearing the muscle?
I've read the comments that you better not run while it's sore. But I can walk?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 2:09 AM

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