The Guru suggests full range stretching to Susie, who has calf pain & is running the Marathon des Sables in 5 weeks

February 27, 2015

Hi Guru – You have helped me in the past so I’m hoping you can help!

I run very long distances regularly. Last Sunday I ran a half marathon on a tight calf. All was ok until about mile 7-8 and then it started to hurt. The pain got worse and worse. I managed to finish, but have pain at the top of my calf. (the tightness started in the soft bit behind my knee)

It feels like its getting better – I’m RICEING, foam rollering etc. It seemed better – but today its got worse.

Heat or ice? I have the Marathon des Sables in 5 weeks and need to get some weighted runs in.

Can I run on it? (slowly? No hills?)
I really should stretch and warm up properly. 🙁
Thank you for your advice! 🙂


February 27, 2015

Hi Susie

I think I’d take the getting worse today bit with a pinch of salt (admittedly very easy for me to say!) but 1 bad day doesn’t mean it’s doomed considering you’ve had a bunch of good, recovery days.

Truth is heat or ice, when it’s not super acute, really have the same overall effect. One vasodilates the blood vessels then vasoconstricts the other vasoconstricts then vasodilates – then they both wiggle around and end up in the same place.

I think you can afford another 48 hours without running but I think I’d gently do through range stretching, not just end range and certainly not into pain, but just a stretch sensation.

Also as pain allows some single (or assisted) slow, through range straight knee and bent knee raises – just to the point of fatigue. Little and often but not into pain.

Your calf will also like being compressed too during the day.

Bike and rowing are your friends today and tomorrow. Recovery run on Friday…

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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