Since I’ve been increasing my mileage it’s not surprising that I might have gone to far with the trail run that I did with my Toronto friends. I haven’t been able to do any running due to the injury to my left calf and I think I have figured out what happened.
With all the increase in my weekly mileage and the trail run that took me to great heights (700m) and then a few days off followed my tempo run in the snow I guess I was asking for it. The pain appeared in my calf hit on km 16. My pain was located on the inside (medial) calf, but deeper than the gastrocnemius (the large bulky calf muscle).
Over the next few days I iced it, rested and then I did some research, I don’t think I’ve been stretching my calves with the runners stretch like I use to do last year. I would do this before running. I thought either not warming up adequately or not stretching enough. hmmmmmm……..
Overuse, Overuse, Overuse
My research found the following…..
When I do a lot of hill work (trail run the other week), or suddenly increase my frequency, duration, or intensity (yup running 5:30 instead of 6:30 for my long run) of your runs, I experienced a shape not dull, throbbing ache in the middle (side) of my calf. This soleus pain is due to overuse, and is easily treated with rest, ice, and NOT stretching. I took turmeric that helped with the inflammation. I would also apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, once an hour, until the discomfort subsides. I also went to get a massage and THAT WAS A HUGE HELP.
Now to prevent future soleus pain like I have encountered this past week I will have to increase your runs gradually, and make sure I get a new pair of running shoes (yup its time).
Here is how you DO NOT stretch the soleus. It is a trickier muscle to stretch and it is not a stretch that is routinely utilized SO DON’T TRY. Watch the videos first to see what you do!