Iron Distance Iron Distance Training Talk » Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains. Rss Feed  
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2013-08-15 8:01 PM

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Subject: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
I've got under 100 days until IMAZ, and I've hit a bump in the road. It will be my first IM distance, I've done a few sprints & a HIM (Timberman 70.3 in 2012). My training has been going well until recently.
I'm comfortable with my swim ability. I did the HIM swim in 34:10, and I can swim the 2.4 in around 1:15 during training. I routinely swim 1.3-1.7 miles in a pond, without my wetsuit, and I'm under a pace of 1:45/100 yd. With the wetsuit, I'm under 1:35/100 yd.
I've ridden my bike over 3000 miles this year, with 1/2 dozen centuries included. Last week, I did a 5hr ride on my tri-bike, covering 93 miles, averaging 18.5 MPH, and I felt fine after the ride. I ran 13.1 the next morning in 2:06. I've always been a slow runner, and I don't expect to be better than 5:15 - 5:45 on the run. My HIM time was 5:58:56, with a 2:12 run. I was very happy with that. I haven't run as much as I should have, but I have been able to run 13.1 miles twice, bith times at just over 2:00 hours. Recently, I've developed sharp pains in my calves, which at times is near-debilitating on the run. The pain is there even when I walk or at rest. It hasn't affected my cycling or swimming, but it has left me unable to run without pain. I'm taking a few days off from running, in the hope that the pain goes away.
Due to my work schedule, I have long-training days of Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday. The other four days allow me time for a one hour run or possibly a swim. I'm hoping to be under 15 hours at IMAZ. I can safely plan on 1:15-1:30 for the swim, 6:00-6:30 for the bike, 20 minutes for transitions, and the rest for the run. I'm sure that I'll have to walk a fair amount, especially if this pain persists.

I think that at this point, I could finish an IM, but I'm concerned about my calves.

Any thoughts?


2013-08-15 11:19 PM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
First make sure its not an acute calf injury, like you pulled it or something like that.

Then, where in the calf is it? You can do exercises to strengthen your Achilles which may help if that is where the pain is. Rolling the calf may help too. One of the things about IM training is the volume can really take a toll on the body. Stretching, massage, rolling etc can help the machine stay together.

For me, holding my Achilles together was one of the big challenges in getting ready for Arizona last year.
2013-08-16 7:17 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
I have never done an IM before but i have done Centuries and Marathons. "Theres absolutey no way I will do a century and run a half marathon the following day", At 18mph in a Century and 2:15 in a half mary, not only did you pull it off but you hammered both of them. Seems to be you got some recovery and regeneration issues, but hell who am i. I am just a concerned fellow.
2013-08-16 7:19 AM
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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.

1. What does your typical week of run training look like?

2. Don't run for a week, rest the calves and see if it comes back.

3. Go see an orthopedist if it does comeback.

4. Read this article: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Running_Footwear_by_brand/Hoka_One_One/What_Hoka_Means_3376.html and pay particular attention to where Dan Empfield writes about Mad Calf Disease (he also wrote this one a few years ago - http://www.slowtwitch.com/Training/Running/Mad_calf_disease_926.html .  If it sounds like your issues, go buy a pair of Hoka Bondi B2's.  I'm dead serious about this part (both myself and many, many others).  Those shoes literally solved my calf/achilles/foot problems that had plagued me for about 18 months from later 2011 to early 2013.



Edited by GMAN 19030 2013-08-16 7:20 AM
2013-08-18 1:27 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
I would cut out the running for a week and rest them. You won't lose anything from not running a week. Plenty of time left for AZ.
2013-08-18 10:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
See a physical therapist. You've invested a ton of money getting to where you are today, you can't really afford a few weeks of pain. "Stop running for a few days and hope it goes away" isn't a great strategy, nor is "keep running and hope it goes away".

Whenever I've had unexplained pain that's getting in the way of training, I go straight to a physical therapist. He/she ask a series of questions, manipulate your leg etc. into various contortions, and diagnose the problem and a solution. This isn't always "come back every 3 days for treatment", but sometimes it has been. Mostly it's been at-home exercises and stretches to fix things.

Good luck!

edit: BTW, how are your running shoes? I've had pain before and then realized my running shoes had 400+ miles, bought replacements, voila problem solved.

Edited by brucemorgan 2013-08-18 10:26 AM


2013-08-18 4:10 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.

Hopefully you've built a trusted team of at least a sports med/physical therapist and massage therapist.  I would start with them before any self-treatment but in general rolling your calves and stretching them should help.  Rule outs include simple calf strains/tears, tightness (gastroc/soleus), cramping to more serious stuff like compartment syndrome.  It's a little odd that it's both calves.

I've had good luck with the Hokas as well and have also used compression socks for my on again, off again lower calf pain I get.  I wear them while I work out as they seem to support the calf muscles, especially while running.  You can substitute pool running if you need to take a break from running.

2013-08-18 4:47 PM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
I'd see a PT. they will be able to figure out what is wrong and help you get better.

FWIW, I had a grade 2 tear about 80 days out from Wisconsin last year and was able to recover fine before race day with the help of PT.
2013-08-25 12:04 PM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
I may have had a similar pain while I trained for my IM. It would consistently start around mile 9 on the run. It felt like a fist jammed deep into my calf. If I cut back on my pace and struggled to mile 11 it would usually go away. I'm sure it was low grade compartment syndrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartment_syndrome As soon as I would finish my run I would ice and elevate my legs or do an ice bath. Recovery from long work-outs is as important as the work-out
2013-08-25 12:17 PM
in reply to: Daffodil

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Subject: RE: Training for IMAZ, my first 140.6, and I have calf pains.
Originally posted by Daffodil

I'd see a PT. they will be able to figure out what is wrong and help you get better.

FWIW, I had a grade 2 tear about 80 days out from Wisconsin last year and was able to recover fine before race day with the help of PT.


X2 on a PT. Also regular massage therapist visits. I had the same kind of issues over time. Regular visits to my Massage Therapist worked wonders. Prevention.
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