Friday, October 21, 2011

Hills everywhere

I ran this morning. It was not great. About half a mile in I notice my calf was aching. Not pain aching more like I haven't used those muscles in a while aching. I walked to the top of the hill in my neighbourhood and thought that the run home on relatively flat ground would be ok. The problem is that there are no flat areas at all where we live. When training for the Harvest Half this was a major benefit, the hills in the race seemed like nothing because every training run was a hill run. Now however with my sore calf, being surrounded by hills is not so good. I can run on flat ground with no problems, no pain and all is good. When I start up an incline, no matter how moderate, my calf starts cramping. So today's run was less than stellar. 2 miles done. My calf is sore now and I foresee more time off resting it and icing it.

On a different not I did about half a mile of my run barefoot. I was very interesting. It was about -4C when I left the house and I was surprisingly warm. I had on a pair of leggings, tank top, long sleeve technical shirt and a jacket. I wasn't too warm at all. I was surprised at how good it felt to be outside even in the cold. Even my lungs were doing well. Taking off my shoe felt great although my toes were a bit numb. I decided to put my vibrams back on because the street lights were out where I was running and I couldn't see the ground, too risky for me. Let me tell you trying to get my numb but not yet warmed from running toes back into my vibrams was a hard task. I think it may be time to invest in some toe socks or water shoes. With my vibrams back on I made my way home working hard to keep my form in check and to run as lightly as I could so that there would be the least impact on my calf. It seemed to work although my ninja style running must have looked quite odd. So that's that I think that I am going to rest and try some yoga for the next couple of days and see if my calf heals up. If anyone has any ideas on how to help my calf, specifically my soleus muscle, feel better or something that I may be doing wrong to keep hurting it please let me know. I am open to trying anything.



  1. Balancing exercises such as on the bosu ball are good for balancing strength.


  2. Do you think that would help my calf muscle?

  3. Minimal running is very stressful to the calf muscle, which is obviously under-used in conventional shoes. The more short runs you do, and at a pace where you can feel that your stride is good, the better to help your calf adapt to the regular stress you are putting on it. If it's a pulled muscle, soaking in hot epsom salt baths will help the pain so incredibly you'll think a miracle has been preformed... I think it's better to run every day for 2k, than to do 2x a week 5k. Short frequent runs where you are 'practising' getting your stride right, and helping the calf muscles adapt I think will help you.

    Really cold feet might affect your stride in a negative hopefully you can figure out the best solution to keep them tootsies warm while you run. Your blog is great, and thanks for sharing with us!

  4. I meant to say barefoot running, not Minimal brain is tired lol.

  5. I love epsom salt baths, great reminder. I would love to get a run in every day. My life tends to not allow that unless I run on the treadmill and well that is no fun. I do find myself incorporating short runs now. Run into store from van, run to mailbox, run along back path for a couple minutes. I am amazed at how much fun running is now. It is so free. I bought some water shoes yesterday for winter running. I am going to run in them tonight so I'll post about them soon.

    Thanks for reading, it is so much fun to talk about barefoot running with people who don't roll their eyes.