Clarkey’s Columns #2

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In this Article:

What are you waiting for?

Enter a race, before it’s too late!

What is your body telling you about your training?

As the count down continues for the City-Bay many people may be slowly increasing their training. Whether that be squeezing a few more miles into the week or ramping up the pace in training sessions. Runners out there are nearly guaranteed to run into a rough patch of soreness here or there. So, if we may be getting sore calves, or potentially achy knees, what are some strategies to combat them and keep training?

Shifting your pace can shift the load.

Sore calves are not only one of the most common barriers I help treat as a podiatrist, but also my own personal reoccurring niggle. What increases the risk of sore calves? As we start to run faster, the main mechanism is the push our forefoot into the ground more – activating our calf muscles and bouncing though our Achilles tendon.

My advice if you are struggling with some calf or Achilles soreness is to back off the pace. Pull the jog pace back by 10 to 20 seconds per kilometre and consider substituting some faster work with a slower tempo run. You may be able to keep the training stimulus the same by staying out there longer but at a lower intensity.

The opposite strategy may be more suited if you are getting sore knees or quads. As knee loading does not increase nearly as much as in our lower legs when we increase the pace, you can try running a bit faster – but cut back on how long you are out there for. An example to try could be trying to run a bit faster in your sessions, keep the same number of repetitions but make the distance for each less and take longer recovery. This will allow you to still float your heartrate around the same zone but may reduce the cumulative load in your knees or quadriceps.

With less than two months to go until the gun goes, it is important to keep training so when you are planning your next week, listen to your body: if you can hear your calves more, think slow distance goals… if your knees or quads are telling you something, think quality over quantity. Most importantly though, stick at it and enjoy the ride!

What are you waiting for?

Enter a race, before it’s too late!

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