As you all know from the podcast, I had some problems with my calf muscle. It prevented me from running since it felt like my leg was ripping apart. So, being a fan of Brandon from Iron Brandon, I knew that he used a coach from PRS-Fit to help him with his running for triathlons. I contacted Coach Jeff on Twitter first, asking him about my problem. He had me email him the events leading up to the injury to get a better diagnosis. Here was his response, hope it helps everyone as much as it helped me!
Yep sounds like you have what is a very typical calf strain for runners that are new to forefoot running. It also sounds to me like you may be toeing off too hard and that caused the first strain. Remember forefoot is not toe. A lot of people make that mistake initially and push off the toe as well.
When you begin forefoot or better, natural running form you begin to engage more muscles in the lower part of the leg, calf and Achilles especially. Therefore the transition should be a slow one. Have you watched the forefoot drills video on our website www.prsfitlive.com. These drills should be practiced everyday until natural running is second nature again like when you were a child. I should say I am not a barefoot advocate. But I am a big believer in the advantages of natural/forefoot running and of course a big Newton fan/
The motion is one of popping your foot off hot coals when you run. The forward lean is from the ankles much like a ski jumper, not the waist. Push you elbows back lean from the ankles and keep your feet below your center of gravity. Make your focus light fast feet, with fast turnover much like a cyclist. Strive to achieve 22-25 left foot strikes per 15 seconds in order to develop foot speed. All theses things help you become more efficient and faster.
Do you have a foam roller? If so use it daily on the calf, quad IT band. You may also want to try some compression sleeves on the lower leg. I use them and swear by them as do most who have tried them. You can go to our site www.prsfit.com and click on Zensah logo. If you use this code prs50 it will get you a 50% discount.
I hope this is of some help?
Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun
Everyone is different, but like I said, hopefully this may help some of you out there trying fore-foot running to keep from getting injured in the first place. Injuries suck.