Run Like Monkey

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Sore Calves and the Treadmill

Posted by scott on February 14, 2009

I have been a fair-weather winter runner and have only been going outside when the temp is in the balmy 20s and up.  So that means a lot of treadmill time, and I hate the treadmill.

normanack

photo credit: normanack

One thing that I particularly don’t like is that my calves get really sore.  I have been a sort-of Chi runner since I started running in 2007, when Jeremy threw the idea at me as kind of a gag.  And I’m now reading the POSE book and trying to mix some of that in.  But the bottom line is that trying to do any kind of “falling” or forward-leaning style on a treadmill is a challenge.

I also love running in my Vibram FiveFingers, but again the treadmill is not ideal.  I find that my calves get a lot more sore when I’m on the treadmill, even when I run with 0 incline and at the same pace as I run outdoors.  I haven’t analyzed why, but it’s odd.  I also find that the balls of my feet get more sore on the treadmill – I’m guessing this is because you can’t naturally lean or spring off your feet as easily – you are too focused on trying to keep up with the machine rather than running naturally.  Oh well.

It feels great to be running again, even if only a little and on the treadmill.  I’m up to 3 miles per run, 3-4 times per week.  It’s a far cry from the the plan I had for this week when I made my 2009 training plan last fall:

M – 6
T – 5
W – 8
Th – 6
Sat – 20

for a weekly total of 45.  I’m going to stay at about 3 miles per run this week, do stairs or the parking ramp (the office is in total flatland) on Thursday and see how it goes.

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One Response to “Sore Calves and the Treadmill”

  1. FootracerJ said

    I’ve noticed the treadmill calf soreness myself in the past, and I believe it has something to do with the fact that your body is only moving up and down, instead of forward and up/down.

    I always find it interesting that physical therapy folks use a treadmill for gait analysis, when the forces involved are much different.

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