05 January 2008

Sore Resolution

Happy New Year to everyone!! May all of you have wonderful runs, injury-free year, and running PBs in 2008...

In my last post, I mentioned that 2007 was a forgettable year in terms of running. In order to get out of the rut, I plan to make the following changes to my running:

1) Becoming a MINIMALIST (ouuch....see below)

I love running in light-weight shoes like Nike Frees or racing flats (Adizero, Saucony Fastwitch). I wear them for most of my workouts including tempo, intervals, and recovery runs. For long runs, I normally use Asics Kayano for added protection. But frankly, I never enjoy the Kayanos. On the contrary, the minimalist shoes always feel so good and my training paces are typically a tad faster in them.

However, lately I've been experiencing soreness in the right calves. It felt so bad after the run that I had to limp for the rest of the day. After 1-2 days of rest plus Voltaren/Deep Heat gel application, the pain then disappeared. But the problem is that after a few days of running, the pain re-appears out of the blue again. It is really ANNOYING!

My guess is that the sore calves might be attributed to the running terrain in Singapore where it is virtually a concrete jungle (back in Australia, 40% of my mileage was on grass terrain). It seems my muscles are not strong enough to handle the surface. There is a small cricket field (Padang) about 2k away from my apartment. One loop is only 800m, so running around and around will be a bit boring but perhaps better than nothing. Also, since I've been here, my mileage has effectively halved from my old levels in Australia, and this leads to unwanted weight gain and in turn, added stress on the calves.
Ouchh...I'm limping right now, how long before the soreness goes away?
Any thoughts on the calf soreness issue? Is this a typical result from the switch to minimalism? Should I do calf raises?

2) Run more on TREADMILL

I've decided to become a member at Planet Finess, a gym near my office. I need to fork out around $65 pe rmonth but this will allow me to run during lunch time. Since I plan to do a marathon this year, running on daily basis will be a necessity. I also hope that by switching some of my training runs from concrete to treadmill, it will lessen the stress on my muscles and legs. In addtion, the gym has swiss ball/yoga classes and I plan to occasionally do them in order to strengthen my core.

Other 'smaller' changes for 2008 include:

3) Move my daily running log from cool running to runningahead.com

4) Try to join some of the local running group runs to make friends...

Ok..gotta go. Still in Hong Kong right now for holiday, will post more next week. Cheers for now.

1 comment:

by7 said...


You are/were in HK and did not take part in any of the several races of this period ???? Yesterday was the "top race" of the year ... HM championship

about your question on marathon training, it will take me a little to prepare an articulate answer and I will make it as a post on the blog, so I can be used also for others.

About calves soreness, I also suffer a lot of it.
In 2006, I had to stop almost a month.
You must check if the soreness is at the level of the gastrocnemius/soleus muscles or closer to the achille's tendom.
In my case, the pain was at level of the muscles and it was related to excessive pronation of the feet, that was badly matching for my passion for light and neutral shoes.
I had to use only Kayano and also for flats, I select those with pronation control systems (eg: New Balance RC600).
I found a lot of relief using also othotics that control the motion of the feet.
For pain relief, I use those "heel lifter" and it really helps a lot.

Now I am suffering from calves pain closer to the Achille's tendon, and it comes out every time I use flats/lightweight trainers.
I will try to make much more stretching of the calves because I guess it is really related to the tight mobility of the muscle.
I also hate wearing "heavy" shoes: the feeling is like moving a "dead" feet and the gait is not really natural.