Hey RMA crew!
Hope you had a great week! I caught up with everyone at Sunshine Coast which was awesome. Best weather! Best day! Congrats to everyone that ran! Had a lot of people asking about tight calves this week so thought I would go over a few pieces. Tight calves can be so frustrating because it’s hard to work out exactly what is causing them so you have to be aware of a number of different things that could be making them get tight and stay tight.
The first key is to be aware of your running technique. Just be aware of how you are landing. Often we get our heal strikers that are often very upright in their running position. This means you need to use muscle force to push you forward, so you will reach out with your foot in front and then really push off to propel you. This can cause calf tightness over time. If you just think about leaning from the ankles,it will get you off your heals a bit and you can use gravity to propel you forward rather than you leg and calves pushing all the time. Also if you land on your mid foot, just watch you aren’t too far forward towards the front of the foot. A couple of millimeters too far forward and calves will really kick in. We get our runners to be aware of this so if they feel tightness they will shift foot strike back just a touch and see how that feels. Good to be able to sense the body and adjust as runners.
Then it’s also really important to know what’s happening with your shoes as well. Take notice of flex point through the front of the shoe. Just watch they aren’t too stiff so your calf has to push to bend the shoe with each step. Also with different shoes these days be careful of zero drop or low drop shoes that might put pressure on tight calves. We love our minimalistic shoes at RIFREV but NOT for calf tightness. You might want to have a few different drop shoes for different time frames, tight calves…raise them up!
Finally, with calves start to release them yourself. We have a few videos on tackling calf tension. Start to know how to trigger point them(remember a foam roller is not a great calf release tool). Check out the map of trigger points then work from there. Calf tightness is kind of like a whole book in itself (good idea for an ebook!) but the last hint is if it’s been around for a while start thinking of it as a trail of tightness from lower back, down hamstrings and into calves. You can follow that trail with RIFREV stuff. If you need help give me yell and I’ll try to steer you through those videos in the right direction. Remember too with technique it’s very difficult to pick your subtle faults yourself. Get someone to video you and if you need help spotting what is happening just give us a yell.
Have a great week RMA crew! Good luck with all your preparation for Sydney, Melbourne and New York running festivals!!
Happy Running from RIFREV!
Feature image credit from google images