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I'm a relatively new runner and have managed to keep it up for about a month now of doing 2 miles or so every two days. I'm 5'11 and weigh 80.4kg However, I've come across a problem I cant seem to solve. I'm starting to get bad muscle pain in my calves while running. I stepped up the distance by a mile recently and reduced the amount of hills I went up to ease my way into it. However, about a mile and a bit in, Ive started to feel my legs burn. My calves start aching bad but I can hold out till I get home. They hurt for a bit after the run but I dont get pain the next day or anything, so I dont think Im overworking it. I've always stretched beforehand and as the pain pccurs a mile in, I doubt its the lack of adequate stretching. I assumed firstly that it was just tearing the muscles and hence becoming stronger, so I gave myself more rest between runs and as I said, my legs dont hurt in the mean time. However the leg pain keeps coming back and it seems to be coming sooner and sooner. I dont mind the pain, however I want to be able to run further, just my body cant physically do it. My legs are screaming for me to stop.

I figure its just muscle regrowth that I'm tearing while running and hence making the muscles stronger. I eat heathily and keep a pace of about 11 kph. I've considered doing some training on my calves to make them stronger but I worry Ill just make them worse.

Any advice?

  • How old are your shoes? Are you running on your toes? I'd recommend adding some hills before distance -- this works different muscles, preventing muscle imbalance, which may be your issue. – LShaver Oct 7 '18 at 20:32
  • The shoes are fine, and I don't believe I'm running on my toes, although I wouldn't know, I don't record myself running. It's probably the working of different muscles, I think I've realised the pain comes with the amount of hills I do, so I just need to get some better legs. Kinda annoying how you're lungs can take more but your legs can't. – DubDub Oct 9 '18 at 8:08
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No one can really diagnose you over what you've given us but there are usually a few main indicators of calf pain when running.

1) You're new to running and are quite heavy, if you haven't done much exercise and sports prior to this your calves will adjust over time (a month in should have solved that issue)

2) If you're not running in appropriate footwear it can cause you to run in a way in which puts more tension on your calves.

3) Technique, This may come as a surprise but running form is also important. You may want to research this.

4) Muscle development, as you've mentioned this could just be muscle development in your calves as you're still technically a beginner to running. Especially with the hills like you say.

I recommend going to a sports physio or your local general practitioner for more insight.

  • Thanks for the advice, believe it was more of a case that the muscle development was an issue, I kept running and toned the hills back and set a new personal best, so I guess the hills were just doing my legs in more than I expected. – DubDub Oct 9 '18 at 8:07
  • @DubDub When running hills the entire strain is pretty much on your calves as the incline is forcing you to use your calves to step thus lifting your body weight with a calf. – Twyxz Oct 9 '18 at 8:16
  • Fair enough, I read this answer here actually: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/5058/… The selected answer specifies that the hill running works your thighs, however of course you're going to be using more than one muscle group. I thought therefore that they weren't too bad on the calves. – DubDub Oct 9 '18 at 8:22
  • @DubDub On a hill your calves are put through the full range of motion (depending on how steep the hill is and your running technique) of course a lot of the power comes from the quads but your entire legs do the work from the hips down. – Twyxz Oct 9 '18 at 8:24
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Streching before running has not proven to be benefical. In Fact people that strech regulary or do yoga can increase their risk of ingury over the cours of a year. This is not the case for people used to streching. Have you been streching before or just started with your running? use a blackroll after training to reduce lactic acid in muscle

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