How are my troublesome calves doing now? Let’s check the calf-ometer:
I’ve done 60km of running in 10 days. There are a few sore spots that’ve been getting a lot of thumb-work, but they actually feel pretty good! No intensity on the run is working! Surprisingly, they have been tightest after hard rides.
Tomorrow will be another test for them. I head out for a 100 min long run. I’m building by 10 mins per week to a 2hr+ run. On my long runs I use the run-walk protocol: 9 min 15 sec running followed by 45 sec fast walking. This worked well for me at the GC Half Ironman with a 1:40 half marathon split. There was a great interview on the IMTalk podcast (Episode 170) around this.
I find that the run-walk has a few benefits:
- it breaks the long run up into 10min intervals, making it more bearable
- I recover faster afterwards, and with less pain!
- I can run the run portion at a faster pace, which means better run form (knees up, heels kicking back – not a slow clomping plod!), which means less pain and strain at the time
Only two weeks ago I was lamenting that after 12 months my calves are still not right. And now I’m pretty happy with them!?! How does that work?
For starters, one visit to the needle-man cleared up all of the sore spots. He also showed me how hard to massage them – I had been going a little too easy on myself! Using self-massage over these two weeks, I have been able to stop the small twinges turning into big twinges. This has really given me confidence that these (damned) calves might be able to hold up to a marathon.
I’m also considering a regular sports massage (maybe fortnightly), and perhaps a monthly showdown with the pin-doctor. Good times!