Friday, May 28, 2010

One Potential Way to Reduce Calf Soreness

You can read about it, you can tell yourself to do it, but sometimes you just have to have a conversation about it to make it resonate, to make it stick. This happened to me on Monday when I went running with Ben.

I was wearing compression sleeves on my calves and he asked me if I ran in them during the race. I told him no and that I was just working out some soreness in my legs. He then asked me if I ever train in my racing sneakers. I hadn't and he suggested the stiffness might be from the heel height differential between trainers and racers. I had read a magazine article about the topic but have never done anything about it. Now I think I might. Seems as though the post race soreness might not be from the race effort itself but from the difference in the sneakers I wear. It's a muscles-trained issue. Sure, the heel height difference between trainers and racers isn't huge but those few millimeters are enough to trigger a slightly variant muscle group in the calf muscles. If you only race in a certain pair of sneakers once or twice a month and those one or two times are your hardest efforts, it makes sense that your calves may be a little sorer than normal, especially if they're not accustomed to sitting a certain way or at a certain height in a shoe.

Doing some training in racing sneakers might be beneficial b/c when doing so the same exact muscles are being recruited, cultivated, and trained. Previously, I've always been of the school of thought that preaches one should train in the worst possible conditions and race in the best possible ones. When training you run in your heavy sneakers and clothes; when you race you run in your lightweight stuff. Well, that might not be the smartest way to go about things. Training in racing sneakers may be the right thing to do as it eliminates the difference between various heel heights and allows for the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments to have the same exact experience whether that experience be a race or a workout.

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