Calf Muscle Tear

It must be related to Murphy’s law because any injury will inevitably happen at the worst time possible, isn’t it right? Maybe, usually 1st thing is to understand what happened and why…For me it is quite easy since I have kicked off my training for Kona only a couple of weeks ago so I certainly could not afford much time to ramp up gradually. A classic mistake I frequently do and I am well accustomed to by now!

A few good runs in July and August, including a 20k trail race early August. Monday (Sept. 4th) was my 1st long run with 30k on the treadmill…and to my surprise it went very well (slow but the point was to more or less jog for 2h30 non-stop).

Garmin extract

This is NOT your classic Kona competitor profile. (Obviously for those who know me…swim is optional)

48 hours later, which is usually enough for me to recover from such effort…Long 150k+ ride followed by 10k easy. Bummer: calf strain after 5-6km…

[Actually it started on August 15th and I stopped running for 10 days, more or less as I still had to do some jumping / jogging around for a Track & Field coaching course…]


Find out if your injury is injury is on the Calf or Soleus (most cases on Gastro…)

Long story short, calf is not 100% yet, obviously. Calf strain 5 weeks prior to Kona race…hum, not ideal. And usually 2 to 4 weeks to properly treat a grade 1 strain. [Lots of stuff on Calf strain online (Grade 1, 2, 3…what to do and so on)]

Dilemma: treat it properly and race poorly (*). Or keep training and maybe do not race at all. Classic. 

(*) Triathlon is a great sport as you can always train injured and improve your swim or your bike (or technique, or core strength or whatever…nutrition, recovery…) while treating your calf. Here it does not apply that much as I was focusing on having a good marathon run only (and did not care about the swim and bike since I did not really train for that anyway). 

Still, the lesson is to focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot do! (and no whining too!). Too early to tell whether successful or not, I have not yet run since…but what I did so far…

  1. Iced & Rest the 1st 24/36 hours. Compression sock might help. Not much elevation tho…(RICE, or PRICE, or whatever upgraded acronym…Not yet read the Iced book and still believe it is useful on the 1st few hours…maybe not!? iced
  2. 45 min runs in pool (ocean in my case) at least 3 times in past 6 days [and you thought turbo trainer was boring!?] I was impressed by the results  when I used it in 2012 when my Achilles was so painful I could not run at all expect in the pool. You definitely do not get the pounding but the brain still fires messages and you can pretty much finish intervals on tired legs! Seriously!aquajogger
  3. Massage (after 48h+…by hand & Compex) – not my legs below photo…reference onlycompex
  4. Keep cycling & swimming
  5. No run or jog for 8 days (still much less than the 2 weeks mentioned)
  6. Concentrics/Eccentrics after back to running

Looking forward probably start with gentle jogs of no more than 8km on soft surface [forget it in hong kong: hard to find, very scare resource], break long runs into 2 parts (morning/evening), try to run on fresh legs since running after long ride did not seem to work well… and touch wood for race day => more info soon…

Goal being to be healthy in 5 weeks time and not completely unfit…& still manage to run a decent marathon after a long & slow (& hot & windy & …) swim/bike!



& if any good advice how to treat it 100% in a shorter period of time or other tips…please feel free to share/comment. Thanks!

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