Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Calf pain

So why at 16 miles do I suddenly get a pain in the base of my foot? Plantar Fasciitis? Bad shoes?

I posted this on Twitter on Sunday:

"24 mile run in the snow and fog this morning, 3 carb gels, 500ml flat Coke and 500ml Nuun, feel great"

I got a wise response from my buddy UltraFlynn (a.k.a. Matt)

I'd still say that you're underdoing to the liquid though mate. I'm looking at carb intake at the moment. Difficult to get right.

This got me thinking and Matt may have cracked the problem or at least part of the problem. I reckon that whilst approaching the 14 mile mark during runs and after the sudden stop from White Van Man I noted that I was beginning to get the sharp pain in the base of my foot again. Concentrating on my foot strike I realised that I was pointing my toes slightly outwards! Because I was pointing my toe out, it causes me to run on the side of my foot and in turn put undue pressure on my outer foot...this pain moves up an increasing sharp pain in the calf.

So what causes the pain in the calf to make me compenstate?

Tonight I read this from runrescue.com:

Excessive hill work and a sudden increase in mileage can cause a calf strain. Many runners carry on running even after the initial signs of a calf strain. They adjust their running stride to increase the forefoot foot slap and decrease heel strike. This further exacerbates the condition.

Calf strains can be caused by dehydration. Many runners don’t adequately hydrate. Deficiencies in calcium, trace minerals and magnesium can also lead calf strains. Therefore we would recommend to ensure adequate water intake and multi minerals.

One of the most common causes is a condition called over pronation. Over pronation basically means that your feet are rolling over too much as you run which causes excessive pressure on the calf muscle and achilles tendon.

The highlighted in red text was by me, I think I need to look at this more seriously. All I can say is thank you to UltraFlynn...

1 comment:

  1. I work on the theory that I should be drinking 700ml per hour of liquid/electrolyte. Which means Nuun for me. Your 24 mile run using 1000ml sounds very low. I ran 30km last Wednesday night and used 2200ml during that 3 hour night-time run.

    Another thing I'm challenging myself with at the moment is my foot-strike. I'm concentrating on mid-to-fore foot landing. This is causing much grief to my calves but they are getting better and the bonus is that the linger left knee pain I get has completely gone. As you rightly point out, over-pronation is not a good thing.

    I'm very happy to have helped Jerry.