Exercise! - Help Calf Pain

View Full Version : Help Calf Pain

03-06-2008, 09:23 AM
Hi everyone I have been doing HIIT and increasing my sprinting time, but the last two times I got pain in my calves --not when working out but later in the day--especially in the evening.
Can anyone give me suggestions on how to deal with it? I stetch out really well with yoga afterwards.
I don't want to have to go back to power walking only.

03-06-2008, 12:05 PM
Are you sure you're properly hydrated? THat can cause muscle spasms and cramping even long afdter a workout. I would suggest maybe boosting your water intake. If it's not that, then I really have no suggestions. :)

03-06-2008, 04:08 PM
Make sure you're stretching well after a workout. However, when I started running it was common for my calves to be sore after a long run no matter how much I stretched. Try cutting back a little and ramping up the running gradually, so your muscles can get used to it.

03-07-2008, 08:14 AM
Thanks Peachcake and Laura for your responses.
I was feeling pretty scared about all that pain Laura till I read your response yesterday. It calmed me down.
I am taking the day off exercising today --will probably not do HIIT till Monday. Sunday is my regular day off and tomorrow I will do my UBWL.
My calves are feeling better. We also have a great electric massager that I used on them.
I guess I just jumped into the HIIT too long ( 35 minutes out of 65 minutes). I had been doing endurance power walking on the TM for about 90 minutes but you are right Laura that running is harder on the legs. I am such a leaper( jumping full out into things)my m.o.:D
I've been drinking lots of water peachcake on my WL days but will add more on my cardio days as you advise.
It's a bit tough though if I have appointments and have to keep heading out to a restroom.
Thank you both so much for responding --you really helped me a lot!

03-07-2008, 11:45 AM
Katie, try to work up to the HIIT slowly. If you're doing it at a very high intensity, it is very hard on the body. 20-30 mins really is plenty, especially at the beginning. Don't increase length of the sprint intervals and do give yourself plenty of time to recover after each sprint (ie, alternate a minute of each). Do them properly and if you feel you need more cardio, switch to power walking or jogging at the end of your 20-30 minutes. You need to be smart with the HIIT or you'll burn out or hurt yourself. It is NOT an endurance exercise. :)

03-07-2008, 05:58 PM
I agree with baffled--35 min of sprints out of 65 min total is too much! One of the benefits of HIIT is that you don't have to do it for an hour to get the same or better benefits as doing steady-state cardio for an hour. I only do my intervals for 15 min.

I will definitely experience calf pain when I start running again after an absence. Sometimes it is just a matter of muscles that I haven't been using adjusting and it goes away after a week or so. In addition to the above suggestions, a few things to consider/try:
Ice packs: 15 to 20 minutes on, then off for 40 min, then on for 15-20 min, then off for 40 min. You can do this while you are watching TV. Cold is very good for soft-tissue injuries. Do it for as long as you have time for.
Cold/hot water: Get two big buckets (like 5 gallon paint buckets). Fill one with water as cold as you can bear (put ice in it if you can bear it) and one with warm water. Put your leg in the cold one for 15-60 seconds (as long as you can bear it), then in the warm water for 1 to 2 min, then back in the cold bucket, then back in the warm bucket. Do this for ten or fifteen minutes. I tried this approach for a knee problem and it worked amazingly well.
Ibuprofen: I use it frequently for muscle aches; it works amazing well.
Good Shoes: Have you been fitted for running shoes at a store where they analyze your gait? If not, do this. Also, if your shoes are more than a year old, maybe it's time to consider a new pair. Running intervals is very hard on your legs and your joints, much more stressful than steady-state cardio. Having the right shoes is critical.

03-07-2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks Baffled and Barbara.
Ya I figured out I must be doing the sprinting for too long. I was sort of trying to combine sprinting and endurance at the same time. Dumb. It's because I can't sprint fast like you Baffled--have to work up to it, and thought by doing longer I would do better.:dizzy:
Okay I am going to cut them down to 15/20 min.Then get off the TM for 5 minutes and just do power walking for awhile.
I get so hooked on numbers --like I have to do a certain number of miles>
Barbara those are wonderful suggestions for sore muscles --I shall have to buy two big buckets this weekend and some frozen packs of peas.
I always forget about icing because I don't realize that ache pain is like injury.
My calves have been so happy with my extra day off!:D
Baffled do you do the HIIT on the recovery days of NRL4W? Do you think a beginner to WL like me could do it? Also do you think older people like me can do it?
I mean NRL4W?
I just got new shoes but I live in a small town where there are no stores that analyze your gait. Wish I did.

03-07-2008, 07:32 PM
hydration is a big deal, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. also, potassium will generally prevent cramps. hope this helps :-)

03-07-2008, 07:36 PM
I would also recommend that you not only stretch directly after, but keep stretching them here and there for hours afterwards. With such an intense workout, you are certainly not going to get all the lactic acid out of your muscles with a stretch directly afterwards.

You might also want to increase your potassium intake (bananas) for help with the cramping. I would eat one before working out, as well as keeping your water intake up.

03-07-2008, 08:47 PM
The thing is Katie that you want to make the 'sprint' interval something that is high intensity for *you*. That can be walking quickly, walking on an incline, jogging, sprinting, whatever. You just want to be working as hard as you can for one minute--and you want to be pushing yourself harder each time. (I generally try to do my intervals 0.1mph faster every time or two that I do them, although I suppose I will max out with that soon enough.) You don't have to actually sprint: just get your heart rate UP and make your body work! It's a totally different kind of exercise from endurance and you have to think about it in different terms. I think doing endurance afterwards is a good idea for you, at least until you get comfy with the HIIT.

I think you can absolutely do NROLW. Pat does it and Pat is, um, older than me by quite a bit. :o (Sorry Pat!!). Anyone can do it! The NROLW plan has you doing 15 minutes of HIIT after lifting on weight days, so that is when I do it. I would do HIIT on my non-lifting days also except that my dog requires that I do steady state cardio with her on those days. But, I believe that Meg does HIIT every single day, lifting or not.