Return to Running After a Calf Strain

13th May 2019
If you suffered a calf strain and you're a runner, this article is just for you. Keep reading to discover how to return to running.

If you’re a passionate runner and you’ve suffered a calf strain or tear, you might have noticed how easy it is to become injured again? It can also be difficult to recover your usual pace without hurting yourself again. For this reason, we’ve gathered the best tips that you should consider before running again after a calf strain. 

A calf strain is very common among runners and it often happens as a result of excessive effort when running or a poor muscle warm up. Warm up is very important; after all, the calves are supporting your body weight when doing strides.

But starting to run soon after an injury can make it worse or last longer. And keep in mind that you can also injure yourself by making abrupt movements where you flex your ankle as your lifting weight at the gym.

Also, it’s necessary that you know the right time to start running again after a calf strain. In reality, it’ll depend on the type and severity of the strain and the distance you usually run. This is the reason why it’s often better to talk to a doctor about it, to better understand the injury and plan out when you can return to running.

Stretching with lunges.

Tips to start running after a calf strain

When it’s time to start running after a calf strain, understanding the cause of the injury is the best way to prevent it from happening again. You should make small progress at the beginning to avoid worsening your injury; this is definitely the smartest option.

Plus, you should start by running only 30 percent of your usual distance, at a slower pace. Allow yourself to take two resting days between sessions to make sure that the muscle completely recovers after exercise. Then, if you can do your weekly running sessions without any discomfort, try increasing the distance by 10 percent each week, as well as your pace.

Furthermore, you must take into consideration that the tension in your calf is often the result of a poor warm up before your workout. Keep in mind that properly warming up helps stimulate the blood flow in your muscles, which makes them more relaxed and resistant to exercise. Cooling down after a run is also important to keep your muscles flexible, making you stronger after each workout.

We also suggest that you slow down your pace, or take breaks when going uphill. You may not believe it, but staying hydrated during your run and regularly drinking sports drinks is ideal to prevent any risk of injury. Finally, try to invest in a good pair of running shoes to improve your pace and prevent injury recurrence.

The consequences of running.

Stretch out before you return to running

After the initial pain and inflammation start to decrease, you should begin your run with a mild calf muscle stretching session. It must be low intensity and you shouldn’t feel any pain.

Stand up with your back to a wall, and place your feet hip-width apart. Without letting your heels lift off the ground, slowly move your body forwards until you feel your calves stretching. Keep your back straight for 30 seconds and do three more repetitions to warm up your calves before training.

Finally, if calf pain persists after following these tips, talk to a doctor or a physiotherapist. Maybe you’ll need other treatment to help you recover. Don’t forget that running with pain will only make it worse.

Also, remember that you must do stretching exercises to warm up the area and avoid new injuries. If you follow these tips, you’ll be back to your running sessions in no time!