Painful Calves

If you have painful calves, here are some things to watch for:

  • Have someone videotape you to see if you can spot any form discrepancies. Compare what you see to images on the ChiRunning DVD. A good camera shot of your running will reveal tons of great information.
  • Check to see if your shoes are too stiff. They should be very flexible in the forefoot. If they’re not, it will cause you to engage your calf muscles needlessly.
  • Check to see if you are holding any tension in your ankles when you run. Go to your nearest track (or beach if you live near one) and run in the sand (long jump pit). Look to see if your toes make a small dish as you run over the sand. If there’s a divot at the toe of your footprint, it means that you’re either still pushing off with your toes, or you’re holding tension in your ankles.  Run across the sand until you can leave absolutely clean, undisturbed footprints with both feet.You can see this exercise in the DVD.
  • Check to see if your stride is too long. If it is, it will make you use more of your calf muscles as your foot leaves the ground.
  • Look at the bottoms of your shoes to see the wear patterns. If your shoes are worn at the toe, you’re pushing off. If they’re worn at the heal, you’re heel striking, which means that your stride is too long and that you’re reaching with your forward leg.
  • Practice relaxing your calves at all times. Not just when you run, but whenever you’re walking around.


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Posted in Technique

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