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.


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.


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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