Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is my calf okay yet?!

The 15K trail run is under 1 month away. At this point I have not even hit the trails in the Vibrams. This calf strain has hurt my training routine! I am now reevaluating my plans to run the 15K in the Vibrams. I may bring my running shoes with me and change into them if I feel any problems.
I had to travel last week so my running was off. I tried to use the tread mills at the hotels with poor results. I ran the first night for about 1 mile and felt like my right calf was pulling (not the one that was hurt). I decided to take it easy and quit for that night. Two days later I tried it again. Maybe it is just me or the speed was off on the tread mill but a 10 minute mile felt like a 9 minute mile, 9 felt like 8, and 8 felt like 7. I started off at 10 minutes per mile, sped up to 9, after about 1 mile I sped up to 8. The last mile I tried a seven minute mile and it really beat me down. I suppose I have not run much in the last month but do you lose that much ability so quickly! I finished 3 miles with no calf pain. The next night I did another 3 miles again with no calf pain. My calf feels tight and tingly sometimes but no pain. I have been stretching and exercising both calves. Running on tread mills takes some getting used to. I ran all times in my Nikes.
I ran on Sunday on the road in my Nikes and made it 4 miles with no calf problems. I went relatively slowly and I am just trying to build up my mileage again. I need to get back to 8-10 miles on my longer runs.
I have added a new exercise to my routine. I bought a trampoline for my daughter and we get out there about every other day or so. Bouncing on that thing is a blast and seems to be a good work out. Due to the fact that I am 46 and probably break easier now than I did when I was in my teens I don’t get too wild. I have been trying some flips but with some apprehension. I hope bouncing like that doesn’t hurt my calf again. Meanwhile my daughter is doing flips and front hand springs.
I went for a run Tuesday (April 27th) with the Vibrams. I ran mostly in the grass with some excursions on the street. I felt great until about 2-3/4 miles then all of a sudden I felt like my left calf was going to tear again. I was maintaining an 8:30 minute mile so I was not going too fast, although I was heading up a slight hill. All of sudden it felt like a cramp was getting ready to kick in. I immediately stopped and walked back. There is no pain whatsoever right now. I am just not sure what is going on. I will give it another try on Thursday. I can’t hurt it now because I have the mud run coming up on Saturday. I don’t want to let my team down.

Have a great day!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tabata and week 4 of calf strain!

I am still not 100% yet. The pain is almost gone. I can play racquetball and bounce on the trampoline with my daughter with no pain. However, once I start jogging (not running) I feel some “twitches” in my calf and occasional pain. My jogging route includes some long downhill stretches and it feels great to jog on those. However, the uphill stretches put much more strain on my calf so I tend to walk on the uphill.

I went out Sunday to attempt a 3 mile jog in my Nikes. As mentioned above I jogged on the downhill and level stretches and walked on the uphill stretches. I did make it 3 miles with a slight amount of pain. I just don’t want to aggravate my calf again so I am being extra cautious.

I went out Tuesday to attempt a 4 mile jog in my Vibrams. The first two miles felt great. After mile one I stopped and stretched my calves. I then continued on. The first two miles of the run are mostly down hill. On the way back I could feel my calf pulling. By mile 2.75 I was started to feel pain. I stopped jogging and walked back the remainder. It felt like my calf was on the edge of tearing again.

I have continued doing seated and standing calf raises as well as stretches. I just hope this problem goes away soon! I am going to do another test jog again Thursday.

On another item, I am thinking of adding the Tabata training to my normal routine. I have been reading about it and it is very interesting and sounds fun. I cut and pasted this from the following site: in the section named “The Fabulous 4 (Minutes)”.

“Tabata training is downright simple. As previously mentioned, you perform eight 20-second interval sets, with 10 seconds of rest in between each set.
What's an interval? It a short burst of intense activity, in our case, a sprint. Warm up for five to 10 minutes at an easy pace. Then, hold on tight, because the next four minutes will be brutal.
Take off in a full-blown sprint, like someone is chasing you, for 20 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds, then sprint again for 20 seconds. Do eight sets. Perform the routine over relatively flat terrain, or even a treadmill, because the key is speed.”

There is more to the article. Go to the website and read up on it. I like the idea. I have heard from many sources that adding some intense training into your running regimen helps to improve your performance dramatically. Has anyone out there tried the Tabata? I believe they also have a similar idea named HIIT (high intensity interval training). You can apply the method to running, rowing, weight lifting, swimming, etc. You don’t just have to do running. So getting some high intensity cross training may help.

Please comments with ideas on the Tabata or HIIT training. I would like to hear what others are doing.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Week 2 and I am still out of action.

My calf has not healed enough to run much. I have continued playing racquetball because I can take a few quick steps without much pain. The pain tends to occur after a few hundred feet of running. I tend to favor my sore calf a little during play but it has not taken much away from my game. I took a break from most exercise last week on my vacation at the beach. I did go out in a kayak a few times to get some exercise. It is my brother-in-law’s kayak and has both peddle power and paddle power. It is sort of like riding a bike in the water. You can switch back in forth from peddling to paddling so it has great exercise potential. I have continued to do toe raises and calf stretches. I can do both without much pain and I feel like they are strengthening my calf.
I went out Tuesday for a trial jog. I went about 1-1/2 miles doing both walking and running. The pain is there but not severe. I will try again Thursday. I need to get back in shape by May 1st as some friends and I are doing the St. Frances Mud Run. I have never tried it before and it looks fun. Also I need to continue my training for the Paris Mountain 15K. That run is only a month and ½ away. This calf injury is hindering my training!
Have a great day.