Jun 19, 2021 5 min read

Effective Ways for Running in Calf Pain

How to Run with Calf Pain

Experiencing calf pain is quite of common indication that you are doing a high-impact running session. Regardless if you are a beginner or an experienced runner, anyone can have soreness in the calves.

Practically, it ranges from sweet pain to debilitating pain, therefore, it should be stopped before it goes beyond your scope. There are ample reasons for calf pain and so are the remedies to prevent it. Thus, I have mentioned various tips for you so that you don’t have to skip your running session.

7 Pointers How to Run with Calf Pain

1. Sufficient Warm-up

The common reason for minute calf pain is insufficient to warm up. I never recommend my friends to ever skip the warm-up session. It is very much needed especially when your muscles are tight and cold.

Further, if you skip your warm-up session, it often causes excess calf cramps when you run. Sometimes you may feel achy calves after running. Thus, make sure you do sufficient warm-up before heading to your intense running workout.

2. Keep Your Body Hydrated

The next reason for calf pain is running with a dehydrated body. You may feel the pain during or after your run. Also, the intensity of the pain depends on the extent of dehydration.

Here, if the dehydration is on the higher side then it may cause extreme muscular spasm or camping like charlie horses. Whereas, if dehydration is on the lighter side, it will just lead to chronic tightness in your muscles. So keep yourself hydrated before, during, and even after a full-fledged running session.

3. Additional Stress on Your Calves

One more reason could be your calf soreness. Generally, it happens when you keep on changing your running forms. In this case, you should seriously analyze the extent of your muscular strength.

In addition to this, sometimes the muscles besides your hips get imbalanced and lead to putting extra stress on your calves while you are running. Also, even the slightest change in running forms may result in soreness in your calves. So, whenever you detect such reasons, try to work on them and get rid of them on a priority basis.

4. Overloading the Calf Muscles

Regardless of the power and strength, your calf muscles still have a breaking point so you can say a threshold beyond which if you still run, you may end up having an injury. This threshold depends on various factors such as flexibility, strength, sturdiness of your calf muscles.

However, the trick here is all the above-mentioned factors can be easily changed by making a daily training routine. As you train your body, it naturally gets strong and flexible.

Another thing to note here is that despite the reasons if you try to exceed this breaking point, the damage may start. You may or may not realize the snap but it may feel like a gradual pain. This pain may get worse when you ignore it and choose to damage your calves unintentionally.

Moreover, till the time you know about the pain, you will already have a damaged tendon or muscle. Also, you have to get the right therapy or tailored rehab to bring it back to normal. It is always recommended to never workout with a damaged tendon, make it pain-free and functional before it gets severe.

5. Barefoot Running Sessions

One of the effective ways to dodge this painful soreness is by slowly including lower-heeled shoes or introducing nothing at all. This is quite a good method to avoid calf pain especially in your early season running workouts.

running on grass

Further, if you have switched to a minimalist shoe and it didn’t give you the expected results, you can start running in your post-run strides. However, this time you have to run barefoot in the grass. This is one of the popular ways to handle calf pains.

In addition to the above point, another advantage of running barefoot on the grass every week is that slowly your calves will be trained to tackle eccentric load. Also,  it is quite a helpful way of making your feet accustomed to working out in lightweight shoes. With this practice, you may not be having calf pain or you will be able to run with that as well.

6. Neural Problems

I have no intention to frighten you but the truth is if you ever had neural or back problems then it may be because of sciatica. Let’s understand a little about sciatica. It is damage to your nerve which is also known as the sciatica nerve. It starts right at your spinal cord and goes down through your hip down the leg.

Further, it is quite a long nerve and it can get damaged at any point along this nerve.  Additionally, the damage in this nerve can cause severe pain in the legs specifically below your area region and it can even cause injury in your lower back.

Besides this burning pain, you may feel other neural symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and pins along with your leg areas. You will experience intense pain in the lower leg around the calves.

Now the only remedy to fight against this sciatica pain is to look for professional guidance. Another important recommendation is never to try to heal it at home, you must seek professional help only.

Also, be prepared to live with this pain for months and you will have to leave your running session even for a month. So, it would be better if you will keep yourself in high spirits during that period.

7. Running Forms

Improper running style is also a critical reason for soreness in your calves. If you are slouching or even overstriding, you are straining your calf muscles. The best way to eradicate this, assess your running form. If you have found the reason for pain in your calves then immediately work towards improving your running form.

Is it Fine to Run with Calf Pain?

If you occasionally experience calf pain after doing tough treadmill workout sessions or long runs, it’s fine to continue. But, in case your calf pain is gradually progressing towards the chronic stage and resisting you from running then you must not ignore it and work in the direction of necessary medication.

Many times it is observed that runners unknowingly assume that calf pain after aggressive running is a common thing. Moreover, it is a normal result especially in beginners or those who are doing high-intensity running sessions.

However, extreme pain in calf pain or chronic calf soreness is certainly an indication that you should consult a specialist. Running with severe pain or prolonged calf pain is indeed not recommended.

Before You Go…

I hope the above-mentioned points will help you to sail through this calf pain. One more point which I have not included is worth mentioning here, it is always good to get a well-fitted pair of running shoes for calf pain to deal with calf tightness and soreness.

Further, if you even follow a proper warm-up routine, half of your pain and cramps will disappear then and there. Finally, I wish you a happy running session ahead without any stop or pain.

I am a middle-aged runner with aspirations of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2022.

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