Usually RICE is good advice for most injuries and a doctor visit if they aren't going away or keep coming back after you've rested. I found that getting a foam roller has really helped the tightness I get in my hamstrings and calves.
Anna Height 5'7" 1st April 2011- 100.4kg (221lbs) 1st April 2012 - 74.6kg (164lbs) 1st April 2013 - ~78kg (171lbs)
It does seem to be a tricky muscle to isolate. I can't find a stretch that hits right where I'm feeling the stress on it. Closest I get is just standing in a shoulder width stance and holding my ankles. I think that is one thing that is difficult for me - I don't always feel the tightness in the muscle, but sometimes it creeps up on me and says "HEY! I'm still here!!". But again, it's not painful - just something noticable enough to make me take note.
I feel no hamstring irritation when cycling so my PT said it was safe to continue cycling. She was a little more vague about when it would be safe to return to running but said that when I restart, I should alternate running and walking (i.e., gallowalking). This effectively ensures both a good warmup and avoids overuse.
I suspect your observation about calf muscles is significant. I know that when I do hamstring stretches, I also feel it in my calf muscles. In other words, I've never found a hamstring stretch that truly isolates that muscle. So that could mean that all my efforts at stretching my hamstrings are really just helping my calves with limited affect on my hamstrings! (I actually put this question to my PT and she said "Just do it anyway!")
PASTAFARIAN - That is interesting - that seems to describe what I was feeling. During this morning's run I didn't notice my hamstring at all. The only thing I noticed is my tight calf muscles... I really don't want to take any time off because I am enjoying it so much. I'm having such a hard time figuring out what to do. When you take time off do you do anything else for cardio? I used to do the step mill, but that doesn't seem like it would allow my legs to heal at all. I couln't imagine taking 3 weeks off! Not when I'm starting to build so much momentum - and not with vacation only 4 weeks away!!
After a race last year, my right Achilles was tender and would hurt for the first mile of my runs before the pain went away. Rather than continue to run on it and assume that the pain going away after the first mile was a good thing, I took a couple weeks off to rest it and let it heal itself before getting back to running. I did the same thing when my knee and IT band got tight after a different race.
Our tendency is to run thru those little aches and pains and tight muscles. But, we usually recover and improve better by resting and recovering.
Rest should be a part of your training and like Nancy said, it will help keep small nagging aches and pains from turning into major injuries.
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." ~ Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)
Thank you for the advice!! I cut my run short on Saturday because it was bothering me a little bit, today I managed my 4 miles without feeling like I was going to make anything worse. I've never run distances like this more than once in a blue moon, so maybe some of this is normal. I think I'll give it another week of listening to my body but continuing my runs and take the week of off lower body strength training. If it is still tender or if it becomes painful I will seek professional advice.
I have had hamstring tenderness which was brought on by cycling on a bike that was ill fitted to me. While it didn't bother me much, I continued to run on it and it was over a year before it finally stopped bothering me. I usually am pretty conservative when it comes to not pushing myself through pain, but since running wasn't making it worse (it turns out it didn't help it, either), I continued to run on it. I probably would have recovered in a few weeks if I had been smart and let it heal completely instead of continually pushing through it.
It never hurts to have a doctor look at it just to make sure you didn't tear something and to get a diagnosis and some idea of what the recovery period.
Good luck and I hope you're healed up soon.
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
Fitness Minutes: (112,042) Posts: 46,222 6/18/12 4:15 P
It's difficult for us to offer advice because of the uncertainty of what is causing your discomfort. That being said, my running coach last February used a great analogy when it comes to running aches and discomfort. He recommended to me when I was having a knee issue to take a few days off--resting, icing and taking anti-inflammatory med (if you can take them without medical complications). He equates these episodes to a chip in your windshield...if you allow time to heal the issue you are having, you may be able to prevent the chip from turning into a crack and then having to have the whole windshield replaced. If after taking some time off and doing what you need to do, you are still have issues, you may want to see a sports medicine doc to get a proper diagnosis.
Remember your goal as a runner is to stay healthy and injury-free.
I'm sure this type of question has been answered on here somewhere, but I'm not seeing it.
I have a slight discomfort in my right hamstring. It's similar to just being sore, but it's been there for about a week and my left hamstring is just fine. It is not painful, but I can feel it when I'm running. How do you know when to push through and when to let your body rest? If I let it rest, do I just walk for cardio and avoid lower body strength training? Like I said, it is not painful and I can still move normally - it's just when I move certain ways I feel a bit of a.... tension or pull?? Not sure exactly how to describe it.
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