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How long to recover from a calf heart attack
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I hit 50 and now I had a calf heart attack. Went to the ART guy for a month now, been stretching, icing, heat, massage, stick, etc. and the calf feels really good. Go out yesterday, walk, jog, walk, jog, and within 20 minutes another heart attack and I'm limping home. Today, I'm trying a new PT person with a strong running background -sounds like the same stuff as the ART guy, manipulation and some trigger point. I'll see what they have to say.

I'm totally frustrated that its no better. Have been relatively injury free for 30 years. Luckily my A race is November but I think I'm going to have to bag Lonestar in two weeks.

Is there hope? I've read ST and some other sites and it seems like its hard to get rid of wants it happens.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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20 minutes was too long. Go out for 5 minutes to start. Increase it a minute or two a day until you are back up to 20-25 minutes, then you are probably good to go. If it happens again, don't go more than a few days or a week without getting back out there. As soon as you feel something, stop running immediately and massage it well, then walk or easy jog home. Give it a few days with some massage, then short easy runs. I've had 3-4 of them that laid me up for a month or more until I learned to get my butt back out there as described above, even getting one and massaging it and continuing on without losing a day.

The problem with hitting 50 is that it hits back.

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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks. Any thought on how biking impacts the healing process. I'm still biking and swimming and it doesn't seem to bother it. I'm assuming it helps with blood flow.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Thanks. Any thought on how biking impacts the healing process. I'm still biking and swimming and it doesn't seem to bother it. I'm assuming it helps with blood flow.


Blood flow is key. I've always found that cycling really doesn't use the calves much (assuming your seat isn't too high) unless you do a lot of climbing, so it shouldn't be an issue. Same with swimming.

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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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2 years.....but it happened to me at the ripe old age of 28.


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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Waaaayyyy too much, too soon. Ken's advice is solid. Start out with a couple of minutes and progress from there.

I used a modified version of this article: http://www.thestick.net/...0Heart_%20Attack.htm and it worked well. In the meantime, I did a lot of pool running to maintain my run fitness. The only thing I changed a bit was the "return to running" bit...I started a bit slower than it suggests.


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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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I've had trouble with calf strains as well. In addition to the other advice, I went to the Mend Me Shop online and bought an ultrasound wand so I could self-administer that additional treatment. The PTs I was working with were basically using the same regime, with the addition of the ultrasound. Designed to increase blood flow.

I appreciate your frustration.

I've been dealing with an achilles issue and trying to stay on target for a couple of races in the next 30 days. One way I've taken the load off is water running. It's a documented way to help preserve running fitness when you can't load up the legs for whatever reason. I'm able to run, but not push it, so I've been doing my "speed work" in the deep end of the pool. If you do it right, it really can kick your ass. I'll know in a couple of weeks (St. Anthony's) whether it worked or not.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [wylie] [ In reply to ]
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So sayeth Ed Coyle:

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Even exercises that seem similar are rarely similar enough, Dr. Coyle added. Some injured runners run in a pool, wearing a vest. That, Dr. Coyle said, is not the same as running on land. In fact, it is more like bicycling because it uses the quadriceps muscles to push against the water.

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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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You are describing exactly the problem I've had. I would run, strain a calf, rest/recover -- and then run and strain my calf. All since I turned 44 -- very frustrating.

Have solved it by stretching -- but stretching the whole leg, not just the calf. Start with the calf, then the hamstring, then the gluteus. In the mornign before I run and then in the evening before I turn in.

At least for me, it really works -- when I'm disciplined and keep up with it I don't have a problem anymore.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Try Graston. I'll bet it will get you out there MUCH faster.

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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for all the advice.

The last four weeks I had ART but today I went to a PT that does Trigger Point/Dry Needling. All I can say was that was interesting.

Basically all the same things as you indicated - stretch, nerve flossing, massage, heat, no ice. While he didn't say it, I think he thinks ART was treating more the symptom and not the cause. He also stuck me near my spine and glut, which was very painful. He thinks its more nerve impingement. At this point, I'm going to do it all. I think the ART helps the calf with blood flow and any scare tissue and the dry needling helps all the muscles down by butt and leg to get the blood flowing and release.

I'll try the running again this weekend but only for a few min max.

Thanks
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
So sayeth Ed Coyle:

Quote:

Even exercises that seem similar are rarely similar enough, Dr. Coyle added. Some injured runners run in a pool, wearing a vest. That, Dr. Coyle said, is not the same as running on land. In fact, it is more like bicycling because it uses the quadriceps muscles to push against the water.

It Might not be the same but its pretty good, and when you don't have a choice its better than nothing. I have known a lot of athletes that have had fantastic results with water running.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
In Reply To:
Thanks. Any thought on how biking impacts the healing process. I'm still biking and swimming and it doesn't seem to bother it. I'm assuming it helps with blood flow.


Blood flow is key. I've always found that cycling really doesn't use the calves much (assuming your seat isn't too high) unless you do a lot of climbing, so it shouldn't be an issue. Same with swimming.


According to some research from Associate Professor Jim Martin at the University of Utah the calf muscles were the first to fatigue during cycling. They were affected by fatigue before the quads & glutes. I know it sounds strange. I was kind of surprised too.





"If you want to run with the big dogs, you're going to have to learn to piss on the big trees."
Last edited by: Goat_Herder: Apr 9, 10 17:19
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Is a "calf heart attack" when the soleus locks up entirely and it feels as though it is tearing itself apart. Simeultaneously locking your foot ?

I occasionally have had these swimming after running , but the severe ones ....CHA twice only.

The most recent during the swim le of IM Canada last year 2-2.5 km's into the swim. The right , then the left shortly afterwards.
Exceptionally painful causing me to roll over onto my back and grab it whilst trying ery hard not to scream "too" loud in agony.
I tought it would be caused by dehydration , but I was very well hydrated. Water temperature or inflexibility of the area at the time may have contributed , I "presume".

Made for an overly-aerobic bike and delicate run as they were both clearly damaged.

I continued my acation for tn moe days with minimal active recovery , but plenty of icing , stretching and genral caution.

Hope you get ths under control.
Thanks for posting the thread and I look forward to reading through "your" and other responses.

Cheers,

Terry

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - Les Brown
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment" - Jim Rohn
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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I have been using nordic walking at a nice hard pace with xc ski poles on rolling trails as a way to get out for a longer session of over and hour without having the calf tighten up. For me it's more toward the lower end of the exertion scale, but it's a decent load on the legs and I can't run for an hour, so I'll use it once or twice a week and a bridge until I can run a little more. It's a good upper body workout also.

I was steady eddy all winter with a nice diet of 30 minute runs, then got greedy once the trails were snow free and overdid a weekend run and got that tightness, I walked it off and it did not "pop" but I'm taking it slow.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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For what its worth...

This is an update of a post I made back in July 2007.

I was having recurring calf problems (both legs) for 4-1/2 years starting when I was 42. When running, my calf felt like it would "grab" and there would be no way to continue running. Typically, it would be sore for 24 hours, then the pain would go away unless I tried to run. After 4 days or so, I could start running again, but slowly and for short periods. Over a period of weeks, I could return to my normal level of activity until it happened again. Some of the things I tried:

Heavy-Load Eccentric Calf Muscle Training
http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/...lles-tendonitis.html

My sports medicine doc claimed a 100% success rate with this treatment (until I came along).

Compression Socks

I tried these before they became popular. I raced in them once and I've never received so many comments about my attire. They seemed to help, but I just couldn’t stand the abuse.

The Stick
http://www.thestick.com

Others seem to like this, but I don't care for it.

Acupuncture

I did this for about 10 weeks and was injury free during and for 5 months after. The problem was that the treatments were becoming increasingly painful. When jury duty interrupted my weekly sessions, I never went back. I don't know why it worked, but it did seem to work.

TP Massage Baller
http://www.tpmassageball.com

I used the Quadballer on a big piece of foam daily. I would go both directions on the calf muscle from the foot to the back of the knee. This seemed to lengthen the periods between injuries but didn’t cure me.

"Calf Heart Attack" rehab
http://www.thestick.net/...0Heart_%20Attack.htm

I followed this protocol after one of my calf injuries and went about 3 months without any further injury. The article described my injury perfectly and the treatment makes sense, but it wasn’t long lasting as the injury occurred again

Active Release Techniques and The Graston Technique
I went to see a chiropractor who specialized in Active Release Techniques (ART) and the Graston Technique back in February 2008. I’ve been injury free (knock on wood) since. The initial treatments were really painful. He took what looked like a large butter knife and scraped down the back of my leg while the muscle was under tension. He also did (and still does) some pretty intense deep tissue massage. I saw him twice a week for the first three weeks, once a week for three weeks, once every other week for a month and once a month since then. I still use the quadballer on a foam pad on a regular basis. And I do the following calf stretches after every run.

Calf Stretches

You will need a post for support.

Stand about an arm’s length away from the pole facing it. Place the heel of one leg on the ground close to the base of the pole with only the big toe making contact up on the pole (the bottom of your foot should be pointing up at about 45 degrees from the ground). Keeping the leg and back straight, lean into the pole slowly until you feel moderate tension in your calf. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.

The second stretch is similar to the first except you make contact with the pole with your entire forefoot rather than just the big toe. And you bend your front leg. You initiate the stretch by pressing your knee towards the pole until you feel tension. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.

The third stretch combines the first two. Keep the front leg straight, and make contact with the pole with the entire forefoot. Keeping the leg and back straight, lean into the pole slowly until you feel moderate tension in your calf. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.http://
Last edited by: tiredlegs: Apr 10, 10 16:26
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Been getting these damn things for years. It seems that from what my Dr. says, it's reoccuring muscle tears. After a tear, your body will fix itself by layering scar tissue within days. The problem is that if you don't get massage to work on the scar tissue if can happen again and again. I've kept a running log for over 20 years and have found that doing trails with uneven footing when it's cold, running fast or tempo pace without being properly warmed up, or doing any twisty turny runs/down hill running causes it to happen for me. The only remedies are rest and one time I did get a steroid shot and did a 70.3 7 days later with no pain. It's the only injury I ever get, but it sucks. I now don't do any hard running ie: sub 6 minute pace without adequate base mileage. Also, taking calcium/magnesium before bedtime and being very hydrated helps alot. Good luck.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Have never heard the phrase "calf heart attack" before. A cramp? A muscle knot?

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: I am a PhD, not a medical doctor. The closest I get to surgery is topology.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I hit 50 and now I had a calf heart attack. Went to the ART guy for a month now, been stretching, icing, heat, massage, stick, etc. and the calf feels really good. Go out yesterday, walk, jog, walk, jog, and within 20 minutes another heart attack and I'm limping home. Today, I'm trying a new PT person with a strong running background -sounds like the same stuff as the ART guy, manipulation and some trigger point. I'll see what they have to say.

I'm totally frustrated that its no better. Have been relatively injury free for 30 years. Luckily my A race is November but I think I'm going to have to bag Lonestar in two weeks.

Is there hope? I've read ST and some other sites and it seems like its hard to get rid of wants it happens.

You have an extra heart in your calf?

_________________
Dick

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Seriously, try some eccentric calf exercises.

Agree with Ken, start with very short runs once or twice per day if possible.

Try warming up on the bike or trainer first, so you're warm to start. Get rid of overbuilt running shoes.

Aquarunning will help with run fitness in the meantime.

_________________
Dick

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [mmrocker13] [ In reply to ]
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~4 weeks before Timberman I had a calf heart attack. I scoured the threads here and ultimately decided to follow the advice from the link in this post. I was on a 600-800mg x3 day routine (which I kept up through race day) and no running for 10 days, then slowly ramped up each day 1mi, 2mi, 3mi, etc. When I came back, I wore a compression sock on the affected calf whenever I ran. This worked for me and I was able to run through the entire 13mi on race day. I felt some tightening of my calf around mile 5 so I dialed it back and ultimately had a slow run split, but at least I could run the whole thing.

Thanks for the link and the advice.


In Reply To:
Waaaayyyy too much, too soon. Ken's advice is solid. Start out with a couple of minutes and progress from there.

I used a modified version of this article: http://www.thestick.net/...0Heart_%20Attack.htm and it worked well. In the meantime, I did a lot of pool running to maintain my run fitness. The only thing I changed a bit was the "return to running" bit...I started a bit slower than it suggests.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [r.cal] [ In reply to ]
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I will second the Graston technique. I had a Anterior Tibialis strain earlier this year and switched my chirporactors and my new chiropractor does the Graston. I had difficulty running or no running for close to 4 more months. Did everything cast,therapy rest, anti inflamatories but the Graston got it resolved. i now have ben able to train pain free for close to 8 weeks. I have been able to race again and while fitness is still a work in progress ,I have placed in the age group in all races. Warning the first couple of sessions are going to really hurt and may bruise the area but it is becasue it goes so deep.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Just to give you an update. My last post was early April when I went to a trigger point dry needling PT to cure my calf heart attack. This was after several visits to an ART guy, whch didn't seem to be helping.

With absolutely very limited running in April, three weeks of PT and slowly building back to a 45 minute run, I did Lonestar and made it through the run. Very slow.

Had a minor relapse in May. Two more visits to the PT, more needling, and I have now run steady from June through August without any problems.

I do a little more stretching but so far it has seemed to work.

Till this day, I believe it was some type of nerve inpingment, where it felt like a cramp but the muscle never actually cramped up into a ball.

Hopefully I'm done with calf heart attacks.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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i used dry needling and tp massage baller.......also, even though summer i used a heating pad for a few minutes before running or biking. also, my podiatrist said i was overdoing on the stretch, which i probably was....increased mileage very gradually and due to some other issues (back ddd) i have switched running style to a chi or maybe slightly modified chi and it took some of the load off legs....when i have concluded a running session that did leave a very slight sensation of pulling again i give it a few minutes of ice after the workout but not too long with the ice.

for anyone that has trigger points in the back (mine are in multifidis muscles) the dry needling while it hurts has really made a difference and much more effective than massage or graston. but it may take a while before the PT finds the tp culprit.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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You know what works way better than TP massage is TP massage with ice. Freeze a cheapo styrofoam cup half filled with water. Get your significant other to rub the injured area with it. You could pre-ice it with an ice bath but the trigger point massage with ice is amazing.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [tiredlegs] [ In reply to ]
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This post is a good summary. Thank you. So, my 1st symptom of "calf attack" was 2 weeks ago this morning...in 30+ years I had never felt anything like it. It has been BAD every time I have run since then. Actually soleus. Hard massage last evening. Sounds like you found ART and Gaston the most effective.

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [david] [ In reply to ]
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My turn to bump. H/T to Murphy's Law for pointing out the thread.

Looks like my only solace is that my first CHA occurred at the ripe ol' age of 57. Crushing the dreams of many a youngster right there.


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GET OFF THE F*%KING WALL!!!!!!! (Doug Stern)
Brevity is the soul of wit. (William Shakespeare)
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [parkito] [ In reply to ]
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hey - I went to the local ART guy....he did Graston too.....3 visits cured it. Just did IMCDA with no problem. I HIGHLY recommend the Tx I had.
-

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [olddog] [ In reply to ]
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olddog wrote:
You are describing exactly the problem I've had. I would run, strain a calf, rest/recover -- and then run and strain my calf. All since I turned 44 -- very frustrating.

Have solved it by stretching -- but stretching the whole leg, not just the calf. Start with the calf, then the hamstring, then the gluteus. In the mornign before I run and then in the evening before I turn in.

At least for me, it really works -- when I'm disciplined and keep up with it I don't have a problem anymore.

That is a good point. One thing that we often forget is that all of the body parts are connected, so that is why a problem in the calf might be alleviated by stretching the back, for example.

-------------------------------

“He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances” David Hume
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [the-dude] [ In reply to ]
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Found this article from Slownman...

http://www.slowtwitch.com/...alf_disease_926.html




"one eye doubles my eyesight, so things don't look half bad" John Hiatt
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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Someone probably already said what I am about to say, but I used to be plagued with these. Eery time I got into shape--BAM. Was constantly stretching my calves to try to prevent them. Then, I stoppped stretching them and started religiously using "The Stick". In the year since I started this new protocol, not a single twinge in the calf.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [sinkinswimmer] [ In reply to ]
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I went to Maui at the end of April.Went crazy and ran every day, then wore flip flops all day. My calf was sore but not bad, it would warm up eventually on the runs (5-7 miles). When I got home I was doing an easy 8 miler. My calf never warmed up, then "rip" at 6 miles. Great, calf heart attack. I run with older guys, they get them all the time. Well this was a big heart attack. I am finally better after 3 months! I tried to stay active doing the bike, elliptical, PT exercises, using the stick, got a massage, ice. Used that article from running times as a guide. Finally had to just take time off from running. That did the trick. Also limited driving the manual transmission car and no flip flops.
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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt] [ In reply to ]
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glad i found this thread. nursed itb last year with success. I moved to N. County in 11 and have nothing but hills here. Uphill or down, thats it by my house. I got my 'pull' a few weeks ago and have been through this same cycle. Feel better. run. hurt a few minutes into the run.

I have Surf City half mary in a few weeks. It was supposed to be a A race on a very limited race calendar. Hopefully I can rehab...and lower my expectations. 2010 was my best year. 11 sucked. I'd like to have a decent 2012.
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