General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Pulled my calf... ok to swim? Rss Feed  
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2012-09-21 9:14 AM


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Subject: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

So I was into my first mile of seven last night, and had to pull up lame after I pulled or strained or did something to my left calf.  I swear I heard something snap in my leg but I am probably imagining that.  So I limped home.

Today theres some pain when I walk, though less than last night.  Going up and down stairs is not good.

 

Is it ok to swim?  I dont think I'll be doing any running this week.

 

Argh, my marathon is in Nov.  This had to happen now...



2012-09-21 9:20 AM
in reply to: #4421820

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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

Proceed with caution. This is one of those injuries that you think you are better and you go back running and hurt it again and again. Baby it like crazy and you will be ok for you marathon. Seriously. Do not run until you can walk with no pain. The second it starts to hurt -- stop running immediately.

As for swimming, only if it is painless. A pull buoy may be your best approach.

good luck.

 

2012-09-21 9:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

Not trying to be flippant, but you're asking a question that nobody here can answer.  If you're that concerned then you need to see a doctor.

The fall-back response is "If it hurts, then don't do it".

Mark

 

 

2012-09-21 9:37 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
See a doctor immediately. I had a similar experience a few years ago. Deep in to a long run I felt a pop in my left calf and immediate pain. Doc diagnosed it as a tear and gave me strict instructions to not exercise for 6 weeks. Naturally I asked about swimming, going for the whole "it's low impact angle." Doc told me swimming was out as well.

2012-09-21 9:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Like Mark said above. Only you can decide if you can swim. If you get in and push off and it hurts. Don't. If you feel ok, carry on I would suppose. But there could be underlying issues. I pulled mine a week before my HIM last year in a bike wreck. I tried to run the next day, couldn't do it. I could still bike lightly to taper and swim pretty much normal. Race day came along and I was fine. I think after the swim and bike I had loosened up any tightness. But all week I couldn't do more than an extremely light jog.
2012-09-21 11:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Nipper - 2012-09-21 9:20 AM

Proceed with caution. This is one of those injuries that you think you are better and you go back running and hurt it again and again. Baby it like crazy and you will be ok for you marathon. Seriously. Do not run until you can walk with no pain. The second it starts to hurt -- stop running immediately.

As for swimming, only if it is painless. A pull buoy may be your best approach.

good luck.

 



X2. This is good advice. I will add this though. Start with 2 weeks of not running. Do not run again until you can jump up and down on the injured leg with no pain. Start back easy. If you try to come back to soon it will keep coming back and you will fight this for month's. If your marathon is in November you have plenty of time to be ready.
Google calf heart attack. I used this to start running again after a calf injury.
Good luck.


2012-09-21 11:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Swimming is probably ok, but if you do flip turns, don't use the leg you hurt to push off.

As a semi-frequent calf strainer myself, I've found that it is very easy to only take a week or two off from running and then re-injure the calf. My conservative approach is now to take at least 2 weeks off from both running and biking, then start easy biking for another 2 weeks (assuming no pain), and then gradually start running after about 4 weeks.
2012-09-21 12:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

I tore my calf this summer about 10 weeks out from IMWI.  I went to a physiotherapist, and with her help, I was able to return to running after about three weeks of very minimal running.  Once I returned to running, I could not do hills or speed work for another few weeks.

I would suggest enlisting the services of a medical professional so that they can help you return to running safely.  the fact that you think you heard it tear is a little terrifying to me.  there are three stages of calf tears, it sounds like yours might be more serious.  The grade of the tear will determine how quickly you can return to running (or other activity - I was able to continue cycling and swimming) and its something that really should be determined by a professional.  (My tear was between a grade 1 (usually one week off running) and grade 2 (usually 4 to 6 weeks off running) tear.

2012-09-21 12:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

You have plenty of time for your Mary.  Just rest it for a few weeks.  I have a calf that acts up and I stop running for sure.  Now swimming could be okay as long as you are not aggressively pushing off the wall.

 

2012-09-21 3:30 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Since a calf tear/strain is what got me started into this crazy mess, I'd say go for it.  I felt a pop in my calf running in a mud run, before the first obstacle.  I met with my doctor, and also had some ART therapy, was easy running (run + walk) in 4 weeks, and running normally in 6 weeks.  I started the biking and the swimming during that time, well because I could do them and didn't want to stop being active as i was just getting over the hurdle of getting active.
2012-09-21 8:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Axis of Weasel - 2012-09-21 9:14 AM

So I was into my first mile of seven last night, and had to pull up lame after I pulled or strained or did something to my left calf.  I swear I heard something snap in my leg but I am probably imagining that.  So I limped home.

Today theres some pain when I walk, though less than last night.  Going up and down stairs is not good.

 

Is it ok to swim?  I dont think I'll be doing any running this week.

 

Argh, my marathon is in Nov.  This had to happen now...

Lots of possibilities, but the last time I killed my calf I also heard a snap - turned out to be a plantaris muscle.  Hurt like heck, but luckily since we no longer swing in trees the muscle is no longer needed (they use it for donor muscle, in fact).  So the worst may not be what is hurt.



2013-05-13 9:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

GBarrett - 2012-09-21 11:58 AM Swimming is probably ok, but if you do flip turns, don't use the leg you hurt to push off. As a semi-frequent calf strainer myself, I've found that it is very easy to only take a week or two off from running and then re-injure the calf. My conservative approach is now to take at least 2 weeks off from both running and biking, then start easy biking for another 2 weeks (assuming no pain), and then gradually start running after about 4 weeks.

Calf strain in Week 7 of 16 week HIM plan while running this Sunday.

Just wanted to resurrect this thread and say aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggg!

  It's going to be tough to rest a week.

2013-05-13 1:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?

You should be ok to swim, but take it easy until your calf stops hurting.

Have you heard the term "calf heart attack"?  You are describing the exact same issues I've dealt with before.  It's basically a micro-tear deep in the muscle and not a pulled muscle.  This could take months to recover from if you don't take it easy.  Check out the Runner's World article below.  It helped tremendously.  It's also good information for all runners.

http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/calf-heart-attacks?page=single

2013-05-13 3:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Pulled my calf... ok to swim?
Thanks for listening to me vent and for the great article.  Looks like a rest / light swim week for me.
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