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Help for possible injury... (Read 773 times)

    I'll try to be as concise as possible here...

     

    I was injuted last spring (hip/groin) and have been slowly building mileage over the last 3 or 4 months.  I am hoping to train for my first marathon through the fall.  I recently began making a concerted effort to ramp up my mileage, still sticking to the 10% rule give or take a little.  Generally, things have been going very well and my injury from the spring has not caused any problems.

     

    Saturday, I was trying to get in 9.5 miles when around mile 5 I began to notice some discomfort in my right calf muscle.  I stopped, drank some water, stretched for a bit and then continued.  The pain got progressively worse until it became a very sharp pain just below my knee.  It felt sore to the touch and even though I stopped to rest and stretch again, there was no way I was going to be able to run on it. 

     

    Being stranded well over 3 miles from my car, I walked all the way back.  I had no calf problems while making this trek (and it had a rather substantial bridge in it).  When I got home, I took 2 aleve, iced the muscle, and donned my grandmotherly compression socks.  I'm a teacher and have spent most of today on my feet.  My calf feels fine and feels no different to the touch than my left one.

     

    I've read about muscle strains and pulls online and really don't want to do further damage if this is what happened Saturday.  Is it possible this was just a cramp?  Or does it sound more serious than that? 

     

    My next scheduled run is tomorrow and I already know that I want to go shorter and slower than usual (and no bridges).  I also have compression sleeves that are comfortable to wear while running and did a lot of training in them last fall.

     

    Do you guys think I should test it out tomorrow or take a week off in case I'm tempting a more serious injury??  Maybe someone has had a similar experience?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

     

    Thank you!


    Kill

      I've pulled a calf muscle twice. Last year, a couple weeks of lots of walking and little running was the solution. This year, I think it was worse, I tried to run within a day or two and ended up walking home after half a mile or less. I ended taking off the rest of July and it has been slow getting back to it.

       

      I would not recommend testing it with a run immediately. I would get in a good paced walk tomorrow and see how it feels a couple hours later. Then maybe try a short test the next day at a real easy pace. If all goes well, then keep the runs easy for a couple more days until you are pretty sure you are good to go. If you have a calf pain in the test run and walking does not hurt, then I would do what I did last year. For the first few days - take brisk walks of 45 minutes to an hour (or whatever works for you). After a few days of that, I added in a small amount of easy running - only 5 or 10 minutes max - I also did not do any uphill running because that seemed to bring on the pain. Basically, when my calf started feeling really tight, I would stop running and walk home. Massage and ice were very helpful, too.

       

      Good luck!

      Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

       

      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

        I like Bonkin's advice, having hurt my calf pretty badly this year.  A nice short walk.  My only advice is not to run for two weeks. I see you've strung several decent weeks together. But believe you me, a few weeks of no running is a better for the long term.

         

        Also, no more stretching. Just give yourself a break.

        "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

          Thank you for the advice.  I'll text my running buddy and let her know I'm out for at least today and then try a brisk walk instead.  If that feels good then I'll try an easy run Thursday and see how it goes.  That will be 4 full days off.  If that goes well, I'll be sure to back off my long runs for a few weeks.  If it doesn't go well, I know I need to take a week or two off from running entirely.

           

          My idea of "backing off" is often too ambitious but I'm rather injury prone so it's something I guess I'm going to have to learn.

              When I got home, I took 2 aleve, iced the muscle, and donned my grandmotherly compression socks.  I'm a teacher and have spent most of today on my feet.  My calf feels fine and feels no different to the touch than my left one.

             

            I've read about muscle strains and pulls online and really don't want to do further damage if this is what happened Saturday.  Is it possible this was just a cramp?  Or does it sound more serious than that? 

             

             

            If this is truly the case than I think you are being slightly over-cautious. With a calf strain you would normally have some pain or a dull ache when the muscle is pressed or stretched.

             

            As someone who has had his fair share of calf strains - usually as a result of ramping miles too quickly - I can say I have never had too much success with rest. It always seems to be just as bad when starting up again. Obviously if the pain is severe and you cannot even bear to start running then that is a more serious strain or tear and you should not run and seek medical advice. However your experience does not seem to be like that.

             

            For me the secret to getting back is to really slow down and stay below the radar - i.e. if the pain resumes at say 3 miles then run below that for a while. You can do doubles (with caution) to keep up the miles if there is no reaction. Any running is better than no running as long as you are not aggravating the injury. Also try to run on grass (not rough) or soft surfaces as much as possible with no hills.

             

            You have already mentioned ice and compression socks (just started using those myself) so I would just say I have also had succes with gel heating pads (warm up muscles before running/ice after) and heel lifts to take the strain off the calf. Only use those until you are happy that the strain has passed.

             

            Good luck.

            2013

            3000 miles

            Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

            Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

            Sub 88:00 for HM