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Hello All,

I am 43 and have been running every other day now for three weeks. I've noticed that my calves look bigger and bulkier, well actually so do my thighs but not that concerned about them.

My calves measure 1/2 an inch more than they have ever measured in my life!!!! literally!! Since I can remember through all my weight changes they have only ever been 14 inches and now are 14 and a half! My thighs were 19 inches before I started and are now 20!!

I don't get it. I'm not eating more. I'm not doing any other exercise.

Even more confusingly, years ago, in my late twenties I used to run about 25 miles a week and my calves never got even slightly bigger....in fact I'm sure they got a tiny bit slimmer than 14!

It has reall disheartened me as the whole point of running is to make my legs look longer and leaner not shorter and bulkier.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the way you run can influence whether your calves get bigger, if you put your foot down in a certain way it means you will get bigger calves. Does anyone know about this? This is obviously what I'm doing as there is no other explanation. I am aware that I am running differently now than in my late twenties but cant pinpoint how I am doing it differently.

I've also read if you do hill sprints it can build calf muscle. Threre is one part of my run that is actually a flyoever over the A50 and it incorporates three consecutive uphill sections. I never did any hill running before so perhaps this is also part of the problem, therefore I am going to cut this part of my run out.

I could understand it if my natural propensity was for larger calves but, as I say, never in my life and I am 43 so I belive this is reversable.

Any tips anyone?:rolleyes:
 

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Hi Runda

Bulky muscle is generally what you use for short bursts of intense exercise, apparently long-distance muscle is really thin. Maybe try running slower but for longer?
 

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Thanks Katten. I tend to run for about four minutes and walk for about two minutes but when I run it is really quite slowly, definiely a jog rather than a run. I've been doing a bit of power walking here and there I've realised today, not much, but that could be the reason my calves are larger as they seem to hurt more after than after the run.


All I can say is never in my life have I balked at wearing a skirt because of my legs but the way my calves look at the moment there is no way I would wear one..what a difference and a half inch in the wrong place makes!!lol!
 

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Hi - big calves are becoming a problem for me too...especially with summer on the way.

Any more advice?

Cheers.
 

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Hi Runda - I'm not sure I understand why muscly calves are a bad thing? I have large-ish muscly calves, larger than my husbands in fact (who is taller than me), but I'm proud of them as I wouldn't have much shape to my legs otherwise. I do worry a bit because some women seem to think that small skinny calves are attractive, I'm not sure where that idea has come from? Am I alone here? I know that doesn't answer your question... just curious about why you think your calves need to be smaller. I mean running will make your legs naturally more muscly anyway - isn't that kinda the point of running? I'm just a sucker for muscle I guess.... Just my opinion.

Maybe not exactly the same thing but when I used to ride my bike more often my thighs would bulk up initially but over time they leaned right out - I think you tend to gain the muscle first, and then they get leaner as time goes on?
 
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