The needle’s stuck…

Like last week and the week before, it’s been another Sunday without a run…  I thought I was doing the right thing by resting my calf until last Wednesday (i.e. a whole 8 days) but clearly that wasn’t enough as, only 2.3 miles into my run, I felt it tighten up again.  Inevitably this has curtailed my marathon training somewhat (see below) and it’s called into question whether I should actually enter the race and even whether I should consider retirement from long distance running events altogether… 😦

Anyway, I now plan to rest it for at least 2 weeks and I will therefore refrain from posting anything on this topic until I have some better news to report!

running log week 5

18 thoughts on “The needle’s stuck…

  1. If it’s any consolation, Niall and I have had the same problem. I’m seeing someone who painfully rubs it better and we’re both doing LOTS of stretching!

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  2. if you don’t want to have to see a physio for a massage, a good foam roller (especially a peanut one) does wonders for the calves! And a bit of time off now is not too much to worry about. I think you could still pick it up in time for the race… and it’s definitely not a reason to give up long-distance running altogether, I think!

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  3. Oh now THAT is a bummer! Calf injuries need rest. I once had really stiff calves (i never stretched after a run) which resulted in a tear… I would rest it for two or three weekend the problem would crop up again and again, till my achilles got affected (compensation injury) and I couldn’t run. It took a year before I could actually run, thank goodness I found Nordic Walking, it kept me sane,
    Go for a sport massage and like Kate says… STRETCH! Every day, even if you don’t run on that day. I bought one of these I uses it sometimes three times a day or more… or i drop my heels from the top and just stretch those calves out… but go to a therapist first… REST and take care…

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    • Thanks for the advice and link. I’ll definitely try the stretching and see if I can find something that looks like the Stretcher Round Roller. (Amazon doesn’t always deliver stuff to Switzerland. The rules about importing are ‘different’ for sure and not as seamless as you might think. Though also not as bad as being stopped at the border every time when you travel in and out of the country. Brexit could learn from the Swiss system – and improve it of course. 😊 )


  4. Without seeing you or knowing what the injury might be… several people have mentioned stretching and I would of course advise that. One thing people do wrong when they stretch is they do it too fast, kind of bouncing. It should be slow stretching. If you are doing the heel drops, to stretch the calf muscles, stretch to where you get the first natural stopping point. Breathe. Relax. You should then get a deep drop (stretch). If that is difficult to maintain then go to the first stopping spot, stay there for a bit, come up a *little* breathe and relax and then drop. You should get a deeper stretch. Up/down up/down quickly (bouncing) isn’t really doing that much.

    Also, I don’t know about in Switzerland, how they work things, but I know when I was practicing clinical massage that I would see people for “spot” work. Usually I’d do a full first session which consisted of analysis (postural, range of motion, etc). Then, if all the client wanted was to work on a specific area, then we’d schedule 15-30 minutes instead of an hour. It depended on the issue. Sometimes a calf problem is more than just a calf problem and you have to address upper leg, glutes, etc.

    Also, there is good pain and bad pain. Good pain is hard to explain, but it is like a nice stretch that makes you wince at first and then “ah.” It is like when a massage therapist hits a really tender spot, and you swear, and then “oh, keep doing that, it’s working.” Good pain is ok. Bad pain isn’t hard to explain. It just HURTS. If you are doing something, even stretching, that just HURTS, then stop it. Seems kinds of “duh” to have to say, but, sometimes people think working through the pain means you’re doing a good thing. Nope.

    Let’s see, that’ll be $60 for that book-length comment I just left. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for your very detailed advice. (The cheque is in the post! 😉) I know I should go and see someone about it, but it’s a question of finding the right person and then being able to explain how it feels or how it ‘goes’ when I’m running (most often after 25-30 minutes when you would think I would be warmed up). I half imagine I have a gremlin lurking in my body, just waiting to pop up somewhere, as sometimes I get a ‘pull’ in my thigh (next to but not my hamstring) and other times in my calves. It isn’t the same leg I’m sure each time. So I do wonder, as you suggest, whether the source is my lower back or my general posture (which is poor at the best of times). Of course, it could just be my body telling me I really shouldn’t be running at my age! Thanks again. 🙂

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      • It *is* difficult to find a properly trained MT when you start going into the realm of more than “just” relaxation massage. (I’m not a massage snob, there’s a lot of benefits from relaxation massage.) Again, I don’t know how MTs are trained in Switzerland or what they call things over there. Then again, I can think of worse things than trying out several massage therapists to find the one that is right. 🙂

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        • There is a lady in the village up the road but the words ‘sports massage’ don’t appear on her list unfortunately. All the other types do, but not that one. There is a place down in the Rhone valley, but they are 50% more expensive. So I guess it’s a question of whether I want to go through the pain (of paying)! 🙂


        • Depending on what your issue is, you don’t necessarily need a sports massage therapist. You need a “clinical” massage therapist. Again, I practiced in USA and I’m sure the categories are different, but things like neuromuscular therapy might be one. Best thing is to call, find out what she does, how she works, see if that sounds right to you, give it a go. I would tell my clients, depending on the issue, it could take several sessions to see results. It might be better the first session, it might take a few. Soft tissue work is, well, touchy. 🙂


        • Thanks again M. Your advice is much appreciated, I may try the place in Sion. It’s much more likely to have someone like that. I’ll let you (and everyone else no doubt) know how it goes – if I pluck up the courage (and cash) to go. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Wish you the best recovery, Mike. I’ve read about a skilled long distance runner. He lived by running –
    If he got injured, he trained circular training, and then he ran in water. Maybe you have a swimming pool nearby.
    You need to increase blood flow so that the waste materials get away from the damaged areas. You shouldn’t do that by running. – and maybe not by walking either.
    Just some thoughts! I’m not a doctor!!!
    Take it seriously and take care.


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