I don't know what to do.....*please be kind* :-(

I feel like I am so lost right now. Maybe it's just girl hormones playing mind games?

However, I am looking for advice. Please be kind as I am new to running etc. Here's a brief background.

So I started running gradually (as I was a keen cyclist but not an experienced runner) but in April 2017 time. I started off with intervals and then did a couple of 5k park runs on intervals as well! Funnily enough, I met my partner there and I still think to this day it was fate!

Anyway, I then took up canicross with my dog in May (trail running with a dog attached to you out in front running with special harnesses and stuff) I was and still am hooked on it! So building a picture that I am starting to run more and harder off road. I had two twisted ankles on the left foot, all within 3 months of eachother through canicross and immediately sough physio advice. I have been trying to strengthen them as much as I can since with balance and wobble board exercises.

The main issues which have been recurrent since starting running are extremely tight calves and hamstrings

At the same time, I was also doing a bit of weights and stuff (PB on deadlift of 90kg!) however, I feel a past back injury was triggered which then lead to a few complications. I gave up weightlifting around October time, only been doing it around 6 months. But I was under physio orders to stop for a while.

This back issue also interfered with my running and cycling too! It only really became apparent, when I did my first duathlon that my back was really sore as I transitioned from Running to Cycling. As it was my first event, I wanted to just go and see, I ran in terrible Skechers and my old hybrid - but still - REALLY enjoyed it!!

After that I decided I wanted to do more duathlons. SO....I got a lovely road bike and some new running trainers with orthotics (as I over pronate) so I was much more prepared for the 2nd one, which went better, but I still had niggles. All during this time, I was making time to stretch and do yoga - albeit I never did it as regularly as I should have, but I did as much as I could with the spare time I had.

So After my last Canicross event in November, I was pleased as I would have all over winter and into the new year (as my first canicross isn't until 25th March and Duathlon is 1st May) to really focus on my intervals, rehab and really sort my body's niggles put before my event's this year.

The main essence of this story, is that my calves and hamstrings have been a constant issue, despite me trying to get it fixed. It makes me so upset - I just feel like I am not designed for this sh*t. I want to run, I want to do well. My times have been getting better - it seems to all come together then I go back two steps!! :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

For the last 3 weeks really, my training has been interrupted by snow, illness and my partner moving away for work in the Navy so It's been a tough few weeks. So I have eased a little into it, but I ran on Monday 5k with my dog for my canicross lesson and my legs are still feeling so tight now - despite doing lots of stretches and stuff. I am worried I may have pulled something slightly?

I woke up this morning and they are still a little tight, I used rollers, balls and my roller stick and it alleviated it slightly. I did do a run followed by a cycle yesterday and after the bike ride it seemed to be actually better.

I am not sure whether to keep stretching gently, or whether that will make it worse. I scour youtube and the internet for ideas and fixes for it. I am really tempted to just go back to my amazing physio and ask for his advice. I do not want to stop running - mainly for my dog as he loves it.

Like I said, I have tried to structure this thread as best I can so you guys can get a sense of my frustration. I am loving being more fit and healthy, I would never have thought this time a year ago that I would be competing in duathlons and canicross. I am never at the top, always at the bottom, but as long as I am enjoying it and hopefully improving each time, then I don't want to stop.

Any CONSTRUCTIVE advice is welcome. Thank you so much for sticking with this thread till the end :girl:


Active Member
My advice is to seek the advice of your physio.
I’ve been struggling with different injuries for over a year now, I’ll be fine for a few months and then for no reason I’ll pull a calf muscle or similar. At present road running is hurting my right calf, but treadmill running isn’t so I’m getting my runs looking at the wooden wall of my shed (5k in 22 minutes yesterday).
Running with the dog is great I’ve never competed but I used to take our deaf and partially sighted BorderCollie out on a harness (I used to steer her by putting pressure on the running line in the direction I wanted her to go). Unfortunately she was badly breed and has arthritis so can’t join me.

Running seems to be bitter sweet. Marvellous when everything is going right, annoying when you’re fighting your body.

Ohh just thought, my physio got me to throw out all my corrective footwear as it moved the problems elsewhere. I now only use neutral footwear, but check with your physio first.
I did also forget to add that my job is pretty sedentary, so every half hour or so I get off my desk and stretch my little legs and do calf raises etc! It's feeling better so I am happier :angel:


Active Member
I don't have a magic fix I'm afraid, but I have a story that should re-assure you that you're not alone..

I started running in Jan 2012 - shin splints...
Summer 2012 - came off triathlon bike, road rash to arm and leg painful to even walk
Autumn 2012 - hamstring tear during triathlon
(No training diary notes from early 2013)
October 2013 - knee issue - started strength training
December 2013 - Achilles tendonitis (and conveniently a chest infection)
December 2013 -
Jan 2014 - mild calf tear from cramp during swimming (!)
Feb 2014 - knee injury from an escalator - other calf now slightly tender too (compensating?)
April 2014 - back to normal(ish)
May 2014 - tendonitis behind knee
June 2014 - back to normal (won a 36km swimming relay race as part of a team of 6 and PBed at 10km)
July 2014 - hamstrings, knees, shoulders all niggling...
August 2014 - calves niggling
October 2014 - April 2015 - Marathon training - constant calf and knee issues; just about finished marathon with lots of tape...
June 2015 - back to normal
July 2015 - ITB issues in left hip
October - November 2015 - sore feet
December 2015 - ok!
January 2016 - severe achilles tendonitis (but not ruptured)
Febuary 2016 - injured shoulder fell running; swimming now painful!
March 2016 - knee issues
April 2016 - mild achilles tendonitis, knee issues and shoulder still sore
May - August 2016 - ok apart from a bout of food poisoning
Sept 2016 - mild achilles tendonitis again
Nov 2016 - mild calf issue
February 2017 - Plantar Fascitis (switched to weight training in bare feet and it gradually disappeared).
June 2017 - mild achilles tendointis
Nov 2017 - Dec 2017 - Random foot injury
So far in 2018 - nothing major...

But in between all this carnage I've made more friends running, swimming and cycling than at any other time in my life. I've participated in exhilarating races with spectacular views. I've set many PBs. I've run and swam in stunningly beautiful places.

And yes the times when I've been unable to run for weeks and I began to contemplate giving up have been utterly miserable, but overall, I'm happy to keep plodding on.

Hopefully you'll also notice that the issues have become milder and less frequent after 6 years of running, too...

In terms of practical advice the things that have worked for me are:

1) Regular strength training
2) Keeping a training diary and recording every niggle - then reviewing the diary after an injury and seeing if there were any 'red flags', i.e., more running volume than normal, more niggles than usual etc.
3) Foam roller
4) compression clothing

I'd say 1 and 2 have definitely been the big ones - if you can learn when you need to slow down (literally and metaphorically) before you get an injury bad enough to stop you running that's half the battle - since as soon as you have a period of no running it allows all the other tendons and muscles to weaken slightly and then you're at risk of picking up another injury on return...

The other thing I've learnt is to enjoy every run despite the niggles, the discomfort from the exertion and occasionally the 100km/h winds driving hail into your face because you never know when you'll suddenly not be able to run again for a while.


Active Member
Staff member
I can't suggest anything that hasn't been suggested already by better people than me but I'd echo the thought that it's worth going back to your physio and maybe building up distance even more gently than you've been doing. By intervals, I assume you mean walk/run? And canicross is fun but you go much faster and harder with dog-power so maybe that's not a helpful thing to do!!


Regular Member
No magic fix, but having snapped the left ankle and some months later, whilst at physio I did ask about cycling(no impact through the ankle) and whether it would help or hinder recovery. I was told I should try it stopping if it hurt/got worse, "did I have access to a bike?".

It's a light way of getting strength back into the ankle, with no impact injury, as you can get from walking. The good leg can take some of the strain off the bad leg. But as with any medical advice seek professional advice. What was done above worked for me, but may not be the way for everyone.
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