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Thread: Barefoot running, calves hurting, bad technique? page

  1. #1
    rockstareddy's Avatar
    rockstareddy is offline Senior Member
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    Barefoot running, calves hurting, bad technique?

    Primal Fuel
    Hey, been BF running for a lil while,

    thought I had the technique down, but on extended runs i get some soreness in my calves?

    Any suggestions? Cheers.

  2. #2
    MightyAl's Avatar
    MightyAl is offline Senior Member
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    I used to get the same thing. You have never run for this long on the midfoot so your calves are going to get a heck of a workout. Your technique is probably just fine but your body is still adapting.

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    doghead's Avatar
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    Agree with MightyAl. Your calves are going to be sore for a while - they are just getting used to being used properly again. Just take it easy, have a day or two of recovery, and go back at it. Eventually they will adapt.

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    I agree that it's an adjustment thing. I ran a 5-K in VFF this weekend, and though I've run substantially longer distances in them with no problems, I hadn't run that much distance at that level of intensity. My calves were feeling it Sunday and even yesterday. As long as it's just typical muscle soreness (and not sharp pain from strain or tearing) you should be fine.

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    Anyone have more detailed advice on how to gradually make the switch. I started out with wearing my VFF around the house, then did 20 min. on the treadmill, then 12 min. outside on pavement. Thought that I'd gradually increase by an additional 6 - 10 min. each time. Is this overly cautious? Im tempted to just go out and do a regular run in them, but I've heard that I may pay for that approach. So far no blisters. Also, calves have been ok. The only area where I've noticed some discomfort is my left lateral ankle which I sprained over this past winter.

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    I say just get out there and run. It takes months of consistent barefoot running before your calves completely adapt. In the meantime you'll have soreness, it's inevitable. It's a good burn anyway.

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    Total adjustment takes some time. People don't understand how their shoes, and foot strike, affect you all the way up to your neck. Just keep the good form up and you'll be fine.

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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    Timothy's Avatar
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    Barefoot or VFF running is seriously calf-intensive. Your calves become shock absorbers for your entire body, as they were meant to be. Trouble is, most of our calves are atrophied from walking around in foot-coffins all the time. My calves were on fire the first few weeks of my barefoot transition, but now the limiting factor is how far I can run on concrete and asphalt without blisters.

    If you were running with shoes, your calves would be spared, but the shock would go into your ankles, knees and hips instead. I'll take burning calves over shattered joints any day.

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    rockstareddy's Avatar
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    Wow fairly clear advice advice cheers guys, Im gonna stick with it, glad to have people who have been thru the same things on hand!

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    Even after wearing VFF for the last 2 years (I actually wore out my first pair this week and now working on my second pair) for all my running and workouts (Crossfit) if I go for a longer run over 10 km, my calves are sore. If you plan on going a long distance runs, work up to it like you would for the run itself. My years of shoe wearing and running in them still has an impact on me even after switching to VFF for workouts. Just keep at it and take the time off when you need it so as not to get hurt.

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