Your calf muscles simultaneously act as the gas and brake pedal when you’re running up- and downhill. What stops you falling flat on your face on the way down? Your calves. Need to attack a steep hill? That’s your calves once again !
Strong calves help you maintain a better running form, and give you more strength and faster times.
Did you know that weak calves are often the main cause of the most common running injuries? It’s ok, most don’t. But the ‘injury hall of fame’ includes achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and calf strains. Because they take on such a major role in running mechanics, your calves sure require a lot of TLC.
Fortunately, for you, we’ve compiled 3 Simple ways any runner can quickly train their calves to cope with the strain of running and help you knock out another personal best by simply staying injury-free and grinding away.
1) Work those running pistons between runs so they can work even harder for you on a run! Here’s a video to help you start straightaway. Simply follow along and you may just see & feel the benefits within days:
2) Use compression gear, starting now. Most of us have seen someone using compression calf sleeves, socks and other compression gear, and many have even used it ourselves. Even if there is some debate as to performance mid-run (despite elite runners swearing by them), it’s clear that they are an important recovery tool for any runner, amateur or professional.
3) Self-massage. Just as strengthening exercises are important to help your calves help you while you’re running and compression calf sleeves aid your recovery and prevent soreness by constricting and supporting your veins and muscles to accelerate the removal of de-oxygenated (or ‘used up’) blood back up to the heart and lactic acid from your calves, self-massage also helps you to loosen up your muscles and prevent injury during downtime.