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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone answer this:

Why is it that it's vertually always my calves that hurt after every run ?

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I know what you mean. No matter how much I stretch my calves pre/post run they still ache. But I was amazed at how much a recovery run - in the true sense of the term and not as I'd understood it - helped. It was a bit like waving a magic wand, my calves and shins felt completely fresh again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
? This is the sort of question you usually answer.
cheers :lol:...

seeing as you said that i found the answer...

"Landing hard on the midfoot or ball of the foot places more stress on the achilles tendon (which will contract to counterbalance the force of the strike). This is seen often in sprinters. For these runners, stretching the calves and achillies regularly is recommended to reduce injuries."

Foot Strike running jogging

so, i guess the answer is stretching...

i don't do much stretching - all i've recently been doing is a 'saigon squat' as the running fox suggested...
 

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That might explain why running uphill seems to help my calf pain. I thought it was because I was accidently stretching but it might be as I a striking nearer the forefoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hrun, it's saying that landing midfoot causes more stress on the calves than landing heel strike...

toe landing, which mainly sprinters do, is supposed to be the worst on the calves...

maybe you overstride and are not overstriding when you run uphill ?

i don't really do recovery runs roadrunner - not entirely sure what they are but i don't think i need them...

most my runs at a slow pace as doing lots of miles - i do the odd tempo when i feel stronger but this is all...
 

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I was going to say it's probably because you're a midfoot striker... though you beat me to it anyway :p

You'd think/expect that over time the muscles would adapt and they would cope better - which I'm sure they will, and have done to some extent - though of course if you're constantly testing the body it will inevitably ache a bit ;)

Recovery runs are just easy paced runs, where the aim of the run is little more than to run with little strain on the body - it's surprising just how effective it can be in alleviating any aches and pains in the legs!
 

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Must admit, I've suffered on and off from calf muscle pulls and tears ever since I started running twenty one years ago. It's the only injury I've ever consulted a Physio about, and it cost me quite a lot of money! Even when I was stretching on a regular basis (thirty minutes a day) and doing all the relevant exercises recommended by the physio, it still came back. If truth be known that's one of the reasons I've stopped racing because, at my end of the age scale, it takes longer and longer to return to racing fitness after injury.
As Revenged says in his post, mid to forefoot strikers are more prone to this sort of injury, and I'm definitely a forefoot striker. However, since I stopped racing last January I've had no recurrence of the problem. It may be because, when I go out now, I'm only out for enjoyable runs as opposed to hard training - such as intervals, hill reps, cruise sessions, etc.. Or it may be because I've started wearing orthotics - which supposedly re-align the ankle, knee and pelvic joints to make one more 'balanced' - but can't see how they could affect my calf muscles.
Anyhow, such is my level of fitness at the moment I've started doing a few reps to quicken up again. Hope it's not inviting disaster!
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Discussion Starter #11
good to hear that i'm not the only one :)

i did a slow recovery run today and should be ok to go a bit faster on monday...
 

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Must admit, I've suffered on and off from calf muscle pulls and tears ever since I started running twenty one years ago. It's the only injury I've ever consulted a Physio about, and it cost me quite a lot of money! Even when I was stretching on a regular basis (thirty minutes a day) and doing all the relevant exercises recommended by the physio, it still came back. !

I am sure i have mentioned this once or twice;) but repeative strsains like this normally come from another area, look towards the pelvis, a weakness [not even a severe one] can cause a roll in the pelvis whcih will shock load the calves and cause them to tighten up more than normal
 

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I'm not aware of any pelvic weakness. How can I tell? And what can I do about it? Or have I already done something about it by putting orthotics in my shoes? As I mentioned, when I was racing seriously I went through a daily half hour routine of exercises that included core stability and low weight repetitions for upper body strength. However, I did suffer back problems as well, so there could be something in what you say.
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best way to see the weakness is a video of you running shot from behind you, look what happens to your pelvis when you are at terminal stance [just before your heel comes off the ground] if it tilts, the lower side being the free non weight bearing leg then there is probabal gluteal weakness, combined with the knee dropping inwards which can be a combination of abductors and glutes/piriformis...... streghtening exercises shoulb be carried out to stabilize..... for one specific exercise and a load more try this page on our site Solutions 4 Feet,Stretching And Strengthening Exercises

BTW the orthotics were a good first step, they are the foundation of your body whilst running...if doing the exercises [if there uis a weakness] isn't enough then a very small heel lift in both shoes may also help...but it should be checked out before you do this
 

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Thanks for the info Footman - and list of strengthening exercises. I'd a gait analysis in Bradford just over a week ago - wearing a pair of Saucony Grid Jazz 7000's I'd bought and fitted with my orthotics. The video only showed my foot turnover, which was 'faultless', so I've no idea what my pelvis was doing! The only comment he made was my heel never touches the ground, though it's exactly parallel to the ground at take-off. I was told any motion control was totally unnecessary for my style of running. In ordinary running, off the treadmill, my heel does touch the ground, but only kisses it lightly - except when running downhill. Most of the time I'm running on the ball of my foot.
From the beginning of this year I suffered a nasty bout of Plantar Fascitis, (thought at first it was Gout!) but a Cortisone injection at the beginning of July appears to have cured it. At the moment, touch wood, I'm running totally pain-free over distances up to eleven miles. However, I'm only running 'for fun' and not sure whether I dare risk the added stresses of 'training' that racing requires. Think I'll stick to my guns and tell myself most definitely "No more racing!" :((
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
it is not common to run like that so no wonder the guy was surprised when he did gait analysis... i don't think pain free running exists so if you can run up to eleven miles pain free then good for you... i have yet to run more than eleven miles, i only have worked up to just over eleven miles and that's my limit too, i can't face any more running than that... at eleven miles i'm dead... i get tired and sometimes my calves ache bad and this is with midfoot landing so i can imagine that with forefoot landing it would be worse... i think there are problems with all sorts of running but i am surprised you got heel pain as a forefoot runner... i thought you would be immune to this injury as you barely use your heels when running!... glad to hear you are keeping up running... i keep thinking that i won't keep running but something keeps me going :)...
 

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I am surprised you got heel pain as a forefoot runner... i thought you would be immune to this injury as you barely use your heels when running!... glad to hear you are keeping up running... i keep thinking that I won't keep running but something keeps me going :)...
I wasn't a forefoot runner when hurtling down the likes of Ben Nevis (in snow), Scafell Pike (down the rocky Corridor Route), or even the softer hills of the Yorkshire Dales where I do most of my running. Bear in mind, for fell running we wear studs with very little cushioning so there's quite a lot of impact to the heels.
However, since the Plantar Fascitis episode I've taken to wearing off-road shoes with more cushioning, as advised by my doctor. They're not as positive, I don't feel as safe in them, I have to take it steadier now and be more careful where I plant my feet while traversing rough country. Which of course slows me down.
Maybe it's because I've slowed down, not stressing the muscles so much, running for fun rather than training, that I've not had calf problems of late. Or maybe it's the orthotics. I don't know. All I know is I'm currently running pain free and haven't taken any Ibuprofen since goodness knows when.
I hope the 'something' that keeps you going continues to do so. Running has given me some of the best years of my life and taken me to some wonderful places. Combined with Munro-bagging in Scotland or Trail running in the Alps I can think of no better sporting pastime on earth.
Cheers!
 
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