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painful calves
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painful calves

I have been working out at the gym on and off for years. Recently i started running around our neighborhood, this is my first time running outdoors. I noticed that after a few days i started getting this sharp pain in front of my lower leg and my calf. It would happen to 1 or both legs at same time. when i stop running i would have to continue to walk to ease the pain. I never experience anything like this when i used to run in the treadmill.
i took a week off to see if it would help, yesterday i went to the gym to try running on the treadmill, for the first few minutes it was fine but then my left calf started getting really stiff and it felt like the muscle was extremely tight so i stopped running and it took about 30 mins for the stiffness to feel better but not completely gone.
What could be causing this? Could it be the way i was running outdoors since it was my first time? Is this common?

Thanks. Edith
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4 Comments Post a Comment
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1236893_tn?1394988190
If you're running on a hard surface like blacktop or pavement that's no good! are you using  a good pair of running shoes? it could be Shin splints. tight calf's try stretching and strengthening  use hot/cold pads and massage it will take time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Streach your legs both before and after running. Have you lost a lot of weight recently? Loosing weight can SOMETIMES cause bone strenghth to be lost. Also staying hydrated will help with the tight feeling. I had this feeling lately too but I got weird legs and feet so I should always take more care to them. If you want to do a sport that won't put much pressure to almost no prussure on your joints and bones, swimming. But do what you like best. Yes a good pair of shoes will deffently help.
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1223598_tn?1289972059
Well there's a lot of differences between running on the treadmill and running outdoors, outdoors is rough on your knees, your legs, feet and calves, the best place to run outdoors is trails in the forests that are covered with mulch, and places that are soft like grassy fields. Yeah its never good to run on pavement. Also the way you run is highly different. You may not be used to using certain muscles on the terrain outside that you are inside on the treadmill, especially if you are running flat on the treadmill. Your legs might get jolts that they are not used to. I would give your calf some time to rest, stretch it lots, and strengthen it.
Whenever i have odd pains, or odd leg, calf or knee problems i do strengthening exercises. Lots and lots of calf muscle work, and because i do lots of calf muscle strengthening for my running i have to focus on my knees or else they will get weak.  
Strengthening muscles works for even the worst injuries for me. I just got over cracked knee caps in under a week because i did a crap load of knee and calf exercises, the muscle is always good to protect the bone.

Personally i run on my toes first. It builds up my calf muscles extremely, however i've been lectured saying its bad to run that way? Well it works for me. Everyone runs different, foot placement even. (I don't run outside unless its in the woods its too risky for my personal athletic goals and i don't want to injure my legs). You have to supposedly pay lots of attention and fix any unhealthy ways you run, because it can injure you. I'm not actually sure of the right way. My fitness instructor told me it's better to run heel first (that just sounds plain dangerous to me because it feels unnatural, sounds like i would rip a muscle that way.) But i've talked to marathon runners who told me its better to run toe first. So, i guess it depends on opinion?
But yeah, its pretty common when you switch to running outdoors to experience odd things. Your left calf tightening sounds like a muscle spasm, nothing serious. It's probably something simple like the switch to outdoors, make sure you start of slowly, and please run in environments that are soft on the legs.
I agree with the comment above as well, good expensive shoes are always a good thing for support, and make sure they cushion the shock from running outside.
best wishes in your running goals,
- Sabrina
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi, there is a slight difference between running on a treadmill and running on a hard pavement or road. You have to choose the on which is comfortably for you as the outcome is equally good for both. If you are comfortable on treadmill then that is perfect. But if you insist on running outdoor then you have to slowly adjust by some stretching and warmup exercises. Using good, comfortable and cushioned shoes and avoid running on hard surfaces. It is also important to take regular breaks before it starts hurting. Regards.
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