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Stargazer43
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22 Oct 2012, 11:32 pm

I've been running for about 8 months now, but I really haven't been able to make much progress at all. I've basically plateaued around the 2-mile mark. The reason is that my calves get really sore after I run so I can't run very frequently (only like once a week), and they get pretty sore while I'm running also. When I ask I keep getting told that I just need to "build up slowly", but I think that going from a mile to 2 miles over 8 months is pretty darn slow lol. I really don't get very physically tired when I run anymore, it's just that my legs start getting way too sore and I have to stop. I do stretch a lot before and after, but it doesn't seem to be enough.

I'm thinking that it may have something to do with how I run. I can feel when I'm running that I'm putting a lot of stress on my calves pretty much from the start, but I'm not sure how to adjust my form to prevent that. I used to run more on my toes and it was worse then...now I try to land on the middle of my foot instead. I know that when I walk I seem to strain my calves a lot too so maybe it transferred over to running (when I walk at my normal pace my calves start burning after like a quarter mile...if I go at my 'slower pace' I can hike like 20 miles though!) Does anyone have any suggestions for me to try? Running is by far my favorite exercise, but I hate having all of these difficulties with it!



eric76
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23 Oct 2012, 2:18 am

I've always found bicycling to be far more enjoyable than running. For several years, I rode 3,000 to 5,000 miles every year. I could never have done the equivalent of that running.



conan
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23 Oct 2012, 3:38 am

stretching before is fine but preferably you want to do dynamic stretches and you should always warm up before stretching. i doubt that is the cause of your problem tho.

there's probably some range of motion test you can do to determine if your calf is too tight. (look online?) if it is there are exercises and things like myofascial release + stretching that could help



Pondering
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23 Oct 2012, 7:03 am

I don't usually get sore in my calfs when I am maintaining. The burn that occurs while running goes away quickly if I keep running.

Do you warm up before the run? I take about 5-10 minutes to warm up my whole body then I stretch for around the same amount of time. It helps me improve a lot. I have read it's not good to stretch cold muscles, and a lot people need to warm up before a long run and sometimes during to avoid fatigue, excessive doms, and injury anyway. Sometimes I warm up, stretch, and walk or ride an exercise bike for 10 minutes before a run to loosen up and get the blood flowing even more.

Do you think you may be going at too fast of a pace? That was a problem I had once so for a few or so months I had to slow down the speed that I run at a bit and by doing that my endurance increased by two to four minutes every week since then. I was also able to return back to the faster speed I was running at before and I could last nearly as long as I can at the slower pace. So I experienced huge improvements by taking it a bit slower for awhile.

Also, I've read that some supplements like ZMA, BCAA's, and Glutamine can help increase endurance and reduce soreness after working out. Never tried them personally, but they get a lot of good reviews on sites like Bodybuilding.com.


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Stargazer43
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23 Oct 2012, 9:55 am

Pondering wrote:
I don't usually get sore in my calfs when I am maintaining. The burn that occurs while running goes away quickly if I keep running.

Do you warm up before the run? I take about 5-10 minutes to warm up my whole body then I stretch for around the same amount of time. It helps me improve a lot. I have read it's not good to stretch cold muscles, and a lot people need to warm up before a long run and sometimes during to avoid fatigue, excessive doms, and injury anyway. Sometimes I warm up, stretch, and walk or ride an exercise bike for 10 minutes before a run to loosen up and get the blood flowing even more.

Do you think you may be going at too fast of a pace? That was a problem I had once so for a few or so months I had to slow down the speed that I run at a bit and by doing that my endurance increased by two to four minutes every week since then. I was also able to return back to the faster speed I was running at before and I could last nearly as long as I can at the slower pace. So I experienced huge improvements by taking it a bit slower for awhile.

Also, I've read that some supplements like ZMA, BCAA's, and Glutamine can help increase endurance and reduce soreness after working out. Never tried them personally, but they get a lot of good reviews on sites like Bodybuilding.com.


Thanks for the advice so far. I usually stretch then walk for about 5 minutes before I start running. I know it's not a factor of too fast a pace, because even when I go super-slow I still get sore. The other day I ran at like 3.5 miles per hour just to see if it'd help with soreness but I got just as sore as when I do 6-8 mph lol. I typically don't like or trust supplements but I'll look into those and see if it might help.



amboxer21
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01 Nov 2012, 11:45 am

The way I train for a 5k is to run faster further and harder every time I run. I run a set 1 mile when first starting. Once i reach the point where i cant run faster harder and further then the last run. I add some distance to run. So instead of 1 mile, ill do 2. I start off slow in the beginning though because if you start off running everyday, you could over work your calves. The only way for them to heal is to rest but if you rest you risk a chance of losing progress. I started off running everyother day. For a few weeks then add a day every week until your running 6 or 7 days a week. The distance thing I do ensures your not putting to much work on your calves and it eases em in.

That's probably what's happening though. You have exhausted your calf muscles and they need to rest before you can run again. Don't overwork them. If you pull a muscle your going to be set back!

I have ran a ton of 5ks. The lowest place I have came in was 23rd and that was out of 800 people. It was my first race. The highest I have placed was 4th. So I have some good experience.



MrObvious
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03 Nov 2012, 1:22 pm

It sounds like you have lactic acid buildup. Do you hydrate enough? I heard an ounce of water per every two pounts (there are 8 ounces in a cup, 32 in a quart, 128 in a gallon). If you weighed 256 lbs, you need a gallon of water a day.



Stargazer43
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03 Nov 2012, 1:36 pm

MrObvious wrote:
It sounds like you have lactic acid buildup. Do you hydrate enough? I heard an ounce of water per every two pounts (there are 8 ounces in a cup, 32 in a quart, 128 in a gallon). If you weighed 256 lbs, you need a gallon of water a day.


Well I weigh 140 and I drink about a gallon a day, so based on that I'm pretty sure I'm more than hydrated enough lol.



MDD123
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03 Nov 2012, 2:01 pm

1. Motrin or Naproxen (ant- inflammatory)

2. Run with a slower friend and focus on technique

3. Run less frequently and work on other non-impact cardio
a) Swimming
b) eliptical
c) stair master
d) bike

In addition to the rest of the advice being posted.



amboxer21
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03 Nov 2012, 2:54 pm

MrObvious wrote:
It sounds like you have lactic acid buildup. Do you hydrate enough? I heard an ounce of water per every two pounts (there are 8 ounces in a cup, 32 in a quart, 128 in a gallon). If you weighed 256 lbs, you need a gallon of water a day.


Lactic acid buildup has nothing to do with water. Its the break down of sugars(glucose) that have relevence here. Ever notice why runners Carb load? Carbs have a key role in the this process. Read more here -> http://runnersconnect.net/running-train ... ctic-acid/

Water is not good to drink before any aerobic exercise. It will most likely cause cramps! Lack of water with aerobic exercise will also cause diarreah.



Last edited by amboxer21 on 05 Nov 2012, 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

aspiemike
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05 Nov 2012, 5:05 pm

I remember having knee problems after a while from running about 3 years ago. It turned out the issue was shin splints. I took a break, and focused my cardio elsewhere for the time being. I came back and was fine. Is it possible that you may have been running too much without doing any other exercises? I would suggest having a balanced workout routine with weights or core training implemented. This could also help improve distance travelled as well as increased intensity.



06 Nov 2012, 5:51 am

It is bound to happen since you run for only once a week. You need to be regular for avoiding all those pains and sores that is hurting you. I may advice you to replace your activity with either swimming or bicycling. Since these both exercises are very healthy as compared to running and will not lead to any sores or pain.