Is the calf pain your experiencing an injury?

Gwen asks

Hi Lee,
I am having trouble figuring out when I should say/think I'm injured and when not.  I have had very tight calves and have taken a day off to stretch and rest them and logged it in the program as a missed session for "other reasons".  I currently have a very tight spot in my calf that is causing me some pain when running, but don't know whether I should stop for a few days or try and run through it. If I stop for a few days to give myself some rest, should I log it as injured or just for "other reasons"?  If I log it as injured, the site tells me to recover and do some very light sessions afterwards for a week.
My half marathon is in three weeks and I have worked really hard up to this point and don't want to lose fitness/run fitness, but don't want to be injured on the day either.  I have seen a physio who has done some functional fascial taping which worked really well for one run, but not the next.
Any ideas or suggestions what I should do?
P.S. Still loving the site and the program, so thanks again

Lee's response

Hi Gwen,

Great to hear from you and that you are still loving the site.

You need to get onto this calf issue very quickly. I know you said you went to the physiotherapist but I would get back in there again but in the mean time rest your calf for a few days and avoid running or standing on your feet for long periods of time. Ice your calf for ten minutes at least two times a day and consult your doctor about taking anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or aspirin to help reduce pain and swelling.

Other things that may assist you with your calf are:
1)     See an osteopath/ chiropractor to see if you need a re-adjustment/ alignment. Your hips/ lower back could be out and as you run, once side is over compensating for the other and placing great stress on your stride  pattern. There may also be a leg length discrepancy contributing to this.
2)    See a podiatrist. You possibly may have a biomechanical fault in your running stride that is placing more stress on one side affecting your calf. There may be a leg length discrepancy also as I indicated above. They may provide a heel lift or orthotic to help cushion the area.
3)    Look into acupuncture. This can be seen as a great way to reduce muscle and tendon tightness that is contributing to calf soreness/ tightness.
4)    Make sure your footwear is adequate and run on softer surfaces opposed to harder ones.
5)    Stretching: Calf stretch may help alleviate tightness in the muscles of your foot. Place both hands on a wall and put one leg behind the other. Keep your back leg straight and slightly bend the one in front. Make sure both of your heels are flat against the ground and lean forward slightly. You should feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 10 seconds and perform 10 times.

Now in regard to the website. You should log in as "injured". The site will tell you to seek professional help and then log back in when you have been given the all clear from your medical practitioner. You are 3 weeks from your half marathon and you need to make sure the injury is on the improve/ heeled. I know you don't want to lose fitness but all the hard training has been done and you now need to get you calf 100% so you can make it to the start line.

Good Luck,