Help calves keep getting tight

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by gl » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00


I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a
tenderness at the back of my heel and under the arch of booth feet. I
don't know if these ailments are all related or if I am just falling
apart. I presently do the leanings  on wall with hands and legs
stretched out behind me to stretch calf before, after, and during run.
anyone have similar probelems and better yet a suggested cure
 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Guy Stev » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
> I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
> and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
> and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
> and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
> it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
> length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a

WOW. 60 miles a week in 4-5 1 hour runs. Thats 12-15 miles per hour.
Let's see,  15 miles per hour for an hour would whack 7 minutes plus off
the current world record for the 1/2 marathon, with a few good victory
laps thrown in for good measure. Even 12 mph is stretching credibility
for a training pace.

--
Guy Steven
15 Massey Crescent, Christchurch New Zealand
ph 355 6189
fax 355 6429

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by rbm.. » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00



|> > I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
|> > and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
|> > and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
|> > and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
|> > it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
|> > length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a
|>
|> WOW. 60 miles a week in 4-5 1 hour runs. Thats 12-15 miles per hour.
|> Let's see,  15 miles per hour for an hour would whack 7 minutes plus off
|> the current world record for the 1/2 marathon, with a few good victory
|> laps thrown in for good measure. Even 12 mph is stretching credibility
|> for a training pace.
|>
|> --
Don't be such a turkey. Key word in the original post: "about".

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by G » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Whoever gus stevens is I was obviously referring to time before injury
in my younger days when I ran seven days a week and includes a twenty
miler  for marathon training, now with injury or whatever it is my
running is much reduced  and probably at about eight to nine mins a
mile. I'm sure most readers understood what I meant and that I was
giving a history leading up to present condition
I wonder if you are as big an ass as your writing points to or are you
just not in touch with other peoples concerns and live in your own
cynical world. Have a nice day.



Quote:


>> I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
>> and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
>> and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
>> and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
>> it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
>> length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a

>WOW. 60 miles a week in 4-5 1 hour runs. Thats 12-15 miles per hour.
>Let's see,  15 miles per hour for an hour would whack 7 minutes plus off
>the current world record for the 1/2 marathon, with a few good victory
>laps thrown in for good measure. Even 12 mph is stretching credibility
>for a training pace.

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Dale Summe » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00

This Spring my calves were so tight that somedays I couldn't run.
To cure this I stretched after every run and stretched at other times.
I would stretch after walking to work, walk home for lunch and stretch,
walk to work after lunch and stretch and walk home in the evening and stretch.  

: I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
: and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
: and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
: and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
: it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
: length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a
: tenderness at the back of my heel and under the arch of booth feet. I
: don't know if these ailments are all related or if I am just falling
: apart. I presently do the leanings  on wall with hands and legs
: stretched out behind me to stretch calf before, after, and during run.
: anyone have similar probelems and better yet a suggested cure

--
Dale Summers

telephone 701 231 8631
Information Technology Services
North Dakota State University

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Guy Stev » Wed, 16 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

> Whoever gus stevens is I was obviously referring to time before injury
> in my younger days when I ran seven days a week and includes a twenty
> miler  for marathon training, now with injury or whatever it is my
> running is much reduced  and probably at about eight to nine mins a
> mile. I'm sure most readers understood what I meant and that I was

I certainly did not understand from your statement that you run at about
60 miles per week that in fact you currently run between say 25 to 40 miles
per week. If you had said so in your original post I wouldn't have needed
to venture out of my cynical little world.

Quote:
> giving a history leading up to present condition
> I wonder if you are as big an ass as your writing points to or are you
> just not in touch with other peoples concerns and live in your own
> cynical world. Have a nice day.

I plan to.

PS. Do you always get personal when someone points out that what you have
written does not read the way you had intended it.

PPS. I don't know who gus stevens is.

--
Guy Steven
15 Massey Crescent, Christchurch New Zealand
ph 355 6189
fax 355 6429

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Mike Tenne » Thu, 17 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>PS. Do you always get personal when someone points out that what you have
>written does not read the way you had intended it.

Generally when someone comes out of the blue with a somewhat sarcastic response
to a serious question, it is taken personally. That's how most flame wars start.

May I suggest resisting the impulse to get snippy until you've posted a bit more
and we learn your idiosyncracies?

Mike "Just a suggestion" Tennent
"TriBop"
'98 Ironman Canada, 16:17:03

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Rache » Thu, 17 Sep 1998 04:00:00

When I had this problem I stopped wearing heels entirely for a while... but
I suppose that's not helpful.

I also stretched, often, and bought new running shoes.  I don't know which
of the three was resposible for the improvement.

--R (who currently has a great collection of flats...)

--
Rachel
Evanston, IL

remove the obvious to reply

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Richard Carmichae » Sat, 19 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Massaging the calf muscles also helps loosen them up.
 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Ozzie Gonta » Sun, 20 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:



> > I have been running for 20 years at about 60 miles a week. I am now 52
> > and in the last six months my calves have been getting real tight off
> > and on. Sometimes I can go for a couple of weeks with no discomfort
> > and then it will start and I am forced to walk for 2 or 3 minutes and
> > it is good again for ten minutes. My run are generally an hour in
> > length four to five times a week. I have also been experiencing a

Massage out the calves and shins.  This talks a little bit about the calves:
http://www.mindfulness.com/mind/of1.html  
See the picture to get an idea about rolling out the calves.

Tendons for all intent and purposes are not suppose to stretch. The muscles
above the Achilles tendon, soleus and gastrocs are suppose to do what
muscles do: Contract and relax. Your calf muscles are contracting but only
partially relaxing. When a knot in the calf occurs it tightens up to
protect itself and won't let go when you stretch it. If you continue to
stretch, you stretch the good muscle fiber on either side of the knot. It,
over time, gets over stretched and joins the knot. The end result is that
you end up saying, stretching doesn't work. It would if only you could
stretch the knot.

First work out the knot in the calf. Sit down. To find it, put your belly
of the calf muscle over the knee of the other leg. Move the knee back and
forth in the belly of the calf and you should find the knot. Remember when
a muscle is sore and contracts, in the contracted state it doesn't let you
know it's sore, until you start to feel around.

Put your calf muscle over your knee, a railing, the back of a chair.
Remember it's the back of the calf muscle. You put the belly of the muscle
over the back of the chair, or railing or knee.

Slowly (lovingly) rotate it back and >forth, that is side to side about a
inch. Slowly move(slide) the leg up or down the back of the chair, etc. so
that you "lovingly massage side to side >the entire belly of the calf.

Remember it you go too deep, too fast, too hard, you will only get the
muscle to tighten up even more---getting the opposite of what you want.

But remember your body is a system, so you may take the pressure off the
Achilles, but the calf may be due to an overly tight shin muscle which only
partially relaxes when the calf muscles are contracting, causing the calf
problem. And the shin may be cause by the quad or ham from the other leg
being >tight so that you get more impact on the leg with the calf problem
caused by the shin problem caused by..... And the reality may be due to the
way you sit at your desk all day in poor posture which causes.....

Anyway, see if you can massage out the calf. Then you can slowly start to
think about the form and style of running.

Let me know how it goes with the calf. Remember, what I'm sharing is
folklore. That is, if it works use it. If it doesn't, don't give it any
energy, Just chuck it out and look for something that makes more sense and
works.

Remember "DO NO HARM"

--
In health and on the run,
Ozzie Gontang
Maintainer - rec.running FAQ
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic, est. 1975

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Glesh » Sun, 20 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
>Tendons for all intent and purposes are not suppose to stretch.

I believe the book Sport Stretch says something quite different.

Bob

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Glesh » Sun, 20 Sep 1998 04:00:00

My calves have become a problem for me not in running but rather in a skating
jump and basketball.  I have started to focus on them with weight training,
etc.

Along with the very good massage recommendation I would suggest trying what has
worked for me.

On Wednesday I noticed that my left calf was tweaked and probably would not be
ready for a basketball game on Friday. So I did the normal icing stuff. The
next day I did plenty of massage, but I place an old wetsuit s***over the
area and held it in place with elastic.  This was for overnight and also under
my work pants during the day.  More massage.

I kept the thing on for the game on Friday.  My left achilles tightened up a
bit even with stretching, but I was able to play full tilt full court for our
normal 90 minutes.  I was surprised at how well this worked.  I think the
secret is the heat the wrap creates.

Luck,

Bob

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by Ozzie Gonta » Mon, 21 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> >Tendons for all intent and purposes are not suppose to stretch.

> I believe the book Sport Stretch says something quite different.

> Bob

Hi Bob,

I'll give a quote from John Jesse's  Hidden Causes of Injury, Prevention
and Correction for Running Athletes and Joggers, c 1977  and then I'll
wonder/wander aloud.

pp.32-33

Fascia

The connective tissue which forms enveloping sheaths around muscle is known
as fascia.  ...Protracted stress, however results in a permanent
elongation.  Fascia also has a strong tendency to contract due to age,
chilling, poor posture and muscular imbalance.  Contraction reduces the
range of movement in body joints.

Ligaments

Most ligaments are almost pure collagenous tissue.  They are pliant and
flexible, but at the same time strong and inextensible.  The exceptions to
this are the ligaments of the spine and the spring ligament of the foot,
which are made up almost entirely of elastin fibers and are quige elastic.

All ligaments can bae permanently elongated if subjected to protraced
stress from postural faults, bad leg alignment, or repetitive
overstretching beyhond their maximum safety limits.  The term "sprina"
refers to strained, torn, or ruptured ligaments.

Tendons

Tendons are generally composed of heavy collagenous fibers.  Most tendons
form narrow bands or rounded cords, with the exception of aponeuroses,
which is a flat sheet and classified by some writer as fascia (Oz:  Plantar
fascia is an aponeuroses).  Tendons have great strength and are practically
inelastic.

 For me Bob, I look at muscles which are suppose to contract and relax to
their tonic state which means their optimal state of balance.  If the calf
muscle contracts and the because of tightness in a portion of the calf can
only partially relax, that tension is passed on to the tendon...which I
said "for all intent and purposes are not suppose to stretch."  It's the
muscle that's suppose to do the stretching.  If the fascia around the calf
muscles is contracted, you can stretch all you want but the fascia will
keep the muscle from going through its full range of motion.  Where the
fascia stops the muscle, then the tension is passed on to the next in
line...the tendon.  Remember that tendon is white and grissly (sp.?) which
means there's very little *** flow to the tendon.  A reason by tendonitis
(inflammation of the tendon) is slow to heal because of the limited ***
supply to it.  

Back to what I continue to say:  When someone is having an Achilles
problem, it's the calf which is the problem and the tendonitis is the
symptom.  Actually it could be the hamstring or quad causing the calf
problem, or incorrect postural alignment putting excessive tension on the
calf which causes the Achilles problem.   Back to something I keep
repeating to myself: "The body is a system. The presenting problem is a
result and often the cause is something that a systems thinker broadens in
looking as cause/effect.

So what I am saying is that if Sport Stretch is saying something quite
different, I'd like to know what they are saying so that I can better
understand if it makes more sense, is another way of saying the same thing,
or inaccurate because of the premises from which they started.

The reason for continuing for over 4 years to write and expose my thoughts
and ideas on rec.running is that I attempt to remain green and growing.  I
am here not to simply answer questions; rather I have been*** around
the likes of Mike/Tribop, Sam, Miles, Doug, Ray, Madeleine, Rod, Charlie,
George, Steve, Rick, Charlie, Denny, Bob Frick, you, Ben, whose names pour
from memory and your posts/replies along with so many others whose names
are not as embedded in mind.

After reading Hoffman's response to giving advice,  I continue to agree
with St George when he said, "Talk to a runner/marathoner first or better a
doctor who is a runner/marathoner to see what info they've heard from other
runners that might be of help to you.  The people who are contributors to
rec.running and have been on an ongoing basis for years come here for the
community and also to have their thinking and perceiving challenged.  

If I am a fraud of full of myself, it's pretty fast feedback running in a
community with transparent CRTs and who know the sanctity and
confidentiality experienced on the long run.  I remain a goldmine of
folklore on running, marathoning and all aspects attached from injury
prevention to almost 25 years of continuing to do psychotherapy on the walk
or run.   True, I also remain a legend in my own mind.

The work I do allows me the time to play around at rec.running...although
the book is coming.  You can check out some of my folklore at
               www.mindfulness.com.  
Look under Mindful Running.  Most of it has been e-published here at one
time or another.  The truth be told, if all those who have shared their
folklore and wisdom so freely were to have been paid for what was shared on
rec.running, they/we would probably have no need to do any other work to
support our families and futures.  The wisdom on rec.running remains in my
mind a rich resource which is priceless but is often mistaken as valueless
because it's free and mixed in with fool's gold and lumps of coal dressed
as diamonds.  Back to It's all folklore.  Find what works for you and makes
sense and use it, otherwise give it no energy or power, but find someone
who does make sense or makes you think.

Anyway,  I just got back from the Marathon Clinic where Mary Burnett just
came down to run with us for the first time in 10 years.  Helped train her
for the Avenue of the Giants.  I would also like to mention the passing of
Paul Salter who never lost his marathon spirit of living life fully. We saw
him continue to attend the clinic with his 4 pronged cane as bone cancer
took about 6 inches from his height and gave him broken bones.  He was
there to be with friends and do what he loved to do...run...althought it
was a slow run of 25 or 30 minute miles.  I'll write a eulogy and share his
poems in the future.

I am back at Tai Chi practicing to run faster by using total body movement
to move slower.  

Oh you can get Jesse's book from me.  The info:

Here's a reference book for your running library that you will use for
years to come. If you want to purchase a copy of one of the books which I
still use as a guide to answering questions and understanding running
problems, send $15 which covers the price of the book and
shipping/handling.

The book is:
Hidden Causes of Injury, Prevention And Correction, for Running Athletes
and Joggers  by John Jesse, 1977. Excerpt from the Intro.

Make out the $15 check or money order to:
IAM or Int'l Assoc. of Marathoners
c/o Ozzie Gontang
2903 29th Street
San Diego, CA 92104

John Jesse was a team mate at USC with Payton Jordon who was the US Olympic
head track and field coach in 1968. John wrote this book for you and me, so
that we could understand through popular language, and with scientific and
technical language kept to a minimum but using diagrams, illustrations or
short glossaries so we the laymen could understand should we want to delve
deeper.

Hidden Causes of Injury, Prevention And Correction, for Running Athletes
and Joggers   by John Jesse, 1977.

Excerpt from the Intro:

"Three of the four hidden factors (of injury) - muscular imbalance,
postural faults, and foot faults - are so common among the general
population that it is doubtful whether any young athlete enters the field
of athletic competition without being affected to a lesser or greater
degree by one or more of them."

"The writer (John Jesse) believes a more detailed and complete discussion
of these factors and of the methods of correcting them or preventing their
further development will enable the coach, trainer, and athlete jto cope
with them early in the young athlete's career. It will enable the athlete
to reduce to a minimum the number of roadblocks and setbacks he(she)
suffers during training and in pursuit of his(her) goals."

"The information presented here should be of great value to the several
million physical fitness joggers and runners in the population, because the
book is aimed at providing understandable answers to all injuries that
interrupt their progress toward attainment of an increased level of
cardiovascular fitness, or that interfere with the psychological
satisfactions obtained from engaging in such activities."

"The human body supports itself against gravity, segment upon segment,
relying on the muscles and ligaments that cross the joints, along with
postural reflexes, to maintain an erect position and proper body alignment.
Hence, there has to be a total or "holistic" approach to prevention and to
correction of the hidden factors mentioned above. The reader must integrate
his/her thinking to a total body concept."

(A friend of my at the Senior World Masters in Oregon in August saw Payton
Jordon at 80 run the 400.  She said his run was poetry in motion)

--
In health and on the run,
Ozzie Gontang
Maintainer - rec.running FAQ
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic, est. 1975

 
 
 

Help calves keep getting tight

Post by FlyingSp » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00

don't rule out compartment syndrome though it is relatively rare it seems more
and more of us runners are falling prey to this insidious problem.  it is
basically the muscles in your calves becoming too big for their fasical
compartment. this is the basic explanation. the only way to check for it is
with a compartment pressure check done by an ortho doc. other symptoms can
include numbness in feet, extremely tight calf muscles and pressure and
cramping.
good luck