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Thread: Minimalist Running - Sore Calves

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Minimalist Running - Sore Calves

    Yesterday I went for a 4 mile trail run/hike and I used a pair of Speedo water shoes instead of my usual trail runners. This morning I woke up and my calves were very sore. I assume this is due to the technique of landing on the balls of my feet as opposed to my usual heel strike. Is there any exercise I can do to strengthen my calves or will they just adapt to the new running style over time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You can do calf raises etc...but probably the best think is to run barefoot. 4 miles is a long first time, build up slow and you will adapt.
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  3. #3
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    Start off with shorter distances. All that impact that used to go into the padded heels of your shoes, your ankles, knees, and hips is now getting distributed to the soft tissue of your feet and your calves. It'll take a few weeks to really get used to it.

  4. #4
    Took me 2-3 days to recover enough to run again when I first used my VFFs. Used to get the worst ever muscles cramps too, searing pain and a stone hard calf.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caveman_chris View Post
    Took me 2-3 days to recover enough to run again when I first used my VFFs. Used to get the worst ever muscles cramps too, searing pain and a stone hard calf.
    I know this thread is old but I didn't want to start a new one if something already existed! I walked but at a fast clip for 4 miles yesterday which was the first time outside in my merrell pace gloves and my calves were killing me when I got done! (it was supposed to be a short 30 min run or I probably would have worn different shoes and tried to break these in another time) They still hurt today, but are a little better. Sheesh.

    Will jump roping really help or any other exercises I could be doing? Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lea View Post
    I know this thread is old but I didn't want to start a new one if something already existed! I walked but at a fast clip for 4 miles yesterday which was the first time outside in my merrell pace gloves and my calves were killing me when I got done! (it was supposed to be a short 30 min run or I probably would have worn different shoes and tried to break these in another time) They still hurt today, but are a little better. Sheesh.

    Will jump roping really help or any other exercises I could be doing? Thanks.
    I bought some NB minimalist type shoes last winter and used jump rope sessions to prepare myself over the course of several weeks. I think it worked well. When it got warm enough that I wanted to run outside in them, the only transition needed overall was from the rope conditioning to road work. My feet/legs were used to the newer shoes by then.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kansas-klx View Post
    I bought some NB minimalist type shoes last winter and used jump rope sessions to prepare myself over the course of several weeks. I think it worked well. When it got warm enough that I wanted to run outside in them, the only transition needed overall was from the rope conditioning to road work. My feet/legs were used to the newer shoes by then.
    Thanks! I may try the jump roping. I'm back to normal today, thankfully, so it's time to start back but slow...

  8. #8
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    Be sure that your heel touches the ground - don't just run on the forefront of your foot. Land on the forefront, let the heel TOUCH the ground, then spring off again.

    And, start slow - it is a different muscle pattern, and your body will adjust.

  9. #9
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    AFAIK this is normal. It took me about 3 weeks for my legs to adapt, haven't had the problem since.

  10. #10
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    It can take a long time to get used to it. I have found that so long as I don't think about what my feet are doing, everything works a lot better. Trying consciously to run forefoot or midfoot only makes everything worse.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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