Ever finished a running session and felt like your calves are on fire? There are several reason's why they might be sore and tight but we'll get into that soon. Here's what to do immediately after your training session.
1. Immediately after your run
Cool Down and Stretch: Spend at least 5-10 minutes cooling down at a slow pace, then move into calf stretches. Repeat the stretch on each leg 2-3 times, holding for 20-30 seconds each time.
Here's a good calf stretch that allows your to get as deep as needed.
2. 1-2 Hours After Your Run
Hydrate and Refuel: Drink plenty of water to replenish fluids lost during your run, and eat a balanced meal or snack to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for recovery. Foods rich in protein can help rebuild muscle, and foods high in potassium and magnesium can help prevent cramps and muscle tightness.
3. 2-24 Hours After Your Run
Ice: If your calves are particularly sore or swollen, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time, every 2-3 hours. Always wrap the ice pack in a thin towel to protect your skin.
4. 24-48 Hours After Your Run
Massage: Once the initial inflammation has gone down, massage can help promote blood flow and loosen up tight muscles. Use a foam roller or a massage stick to gently work over the tight areas in your calves. Spend extra time on any knots or particularly tight spots.
5. Throughout the 48 Hours
Rest and Elevate: Make sure you're giving your calves plenty of rest to recover. If possible, elevate your legs to help reduce swelling. If you need to be on your feet, try wearing compression socks to support your calves and promote blood flow.
6. 48 Hours After Your Run
Gentle Exercise: If your calves are feeling better, some light exercise like walking or cycling can help promote blood flow and further aid recovery. Avoid any intense or high-impact exercise until your calves are no longer tight or sore.
If you are finding that your calves are still hurting we advise that you see either a physiotherapist or a podiatrist in order to get a determination specific to your needs.
If you are good to go and ready to get back into training then don't hesitate to grab one of our specific training programs here to get you on track for you goal of serving in uniform.
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