Monday, October 5, 2009

My Calfs are Killing Me - YES!

One thing that has been a constant ever since I started running is that there's always a noagging pain somewhere below my waist. I had pain in my knee, my feet, my calfs, my hamstrings, my butt... Usually, the pain lasts for a few days or weeks and eventually goes away. As soon as that happens, I guess we just go a bit harder or longer and then something else hurts. That's fine.

What is not fine is when something hurts for more than a few weeks. As you may or may not know, I've been plagued with a pain at the insertion of the right Achilles since February. I've tried many things but I could never get rid of the pain.

I've always suspected that improving my stride might help. During my post-Haliburton two week break, I re-read "Born to Run". After my break, since I would have to start running slowly, I decided to insert small amounts of VibramFF running and to be really carefull to strike with the forefoot. The sole of my running shoes show that I'm more of a mid-foot striker and I want to try to move forward a bit.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my last two runs have been Achilles-pain free. I've had a few semi-pain-free runs this summer, but my last two runs were truly pain free. On the other hand, my calfs are killing me, but that's a welcome change that was to be expected with moving to a forefoot strike. My running on those runs was really comfortable, at a reasonably fast pace (marathon pace).

Now I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm hoping that this is behind me. I will definitely keep running short distances in the Vibrams to keep me honest. For example, yesterday I did a quick km around the block before going for a 10km run in my Adizeros. I'll keep going that until the weather gets too cold.

6 comments:

Derrick said...

Good stuff! Great to hear that you're achilles aren't barking. Calves = good!

David said...

Want to land more forefoot? Get a stress fracture in your heel. Worked for me.....

Seriously I have to get back in my Vibrams - tomorrow I promise.

Charisa said...

Good luck with the achilles - I hope it is A-OK soon!!

Nature Girl said...

It's amazing what running barefoot (or almost baefoot) can tell you about your body.
Nice work.

EJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EJ said...

JD,
How are the calves? I am now a forfoot runner and went through alot of tight calf issues in the beginning. Just one suggestion, make sure you are not trying to hold youself up on the ball of your foot on landing. Land on the ball or forfoot but allow the ankle to relax and to break and not remain stiff. This will allow the heel to drop and may or may not touch after this but what ever is natural. Good Luck!