PDA

View Full Version : New shoes straining my ankles/calves


PaulEwing
08-09-2012, 12:51 PM
Last week I ordered my first pair of minimalist shoes ( The Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0). I really like the way they fit and feel for most exercises with the exception of running. I was back home this past weekend and didn't have any equipment so I did a bodyweight workout on Friday and a 2 mile run on Saturday. After the run on Saturday, the tendons between my calves and my achilles were so tight it hurt to walk.

The shoes I had prior to these were Asics and I had gel insoles in them, so in retrospect, diving into a run wasn't the best idea. We always start with a 400m run on my programming and I toughed it out on Monday and Tuesday, but after a second 400m on Tuesday, the same spot was killing me. Yesterday I subbed the run with a 500m row and I'm going to do the same today.

My coaches showed me several stretches that I have been doing daily but my question is this, will it take a long time to get used to these shoes? I realize they are not meant for long distance running but I feel like I should be able to do 3-4 400m runs in a workout without cramping and soreness.

Eric Montgomery
08-09-2012, 01:03 PM
Think about the number of steps you take in a 4x400m workout. Now think about doing that same number of squats, KB swings, thrusters, pullups, box jumps, or anything else if you're not adapted to that kind of volume.

It's really no different than anything else....when you start doing a new movement you need to ease yourself into increased volume gradually if you want to avoid constant soreness or overuse injuries. And running in minimalist shoes is a new movement in terms of the demands it places on certain muscles and joints relative to the way you're used to running.

Justin Goudreau
08-09-2012, 02:16 PM
Also, have you just started running with a forefoot strike? or Pose Method running style? That takes a lot of time to adapt to and you must slowly graduate to longer distances. Even 2 miles is pretty long if you are new to minimalist style shoes and pose method running.

Now that my legs and feet are conditioned to the forefoot strike I never have the knee pain I use to get after long runs as a heal striker. My calves are still sore after a good run the next day but knock on wood no injuries like I use to get all the time.

Wait until you feel better but keep moving your legs and feet and do short distances and build up the endurance in your legs. It's totally different muscles than you're use to using.

For years and years you have ran one way and now you're telling your body to run differently and the mechanics adapted.

PS. If you are still running as a typical heal striker in Nanos then that is your problem.. They don't have cushioning for heel strikers and you're eventually going to hurt yourself if you continue to heel strike and wear minimalist shoes.

One other thing..If you're just going for a run and not doing any heavy weight work consider getting a pair of minimalist running shoes. Save your Crossfit Nano 2 for multi dimensional workouts that require the shoe to cover more jobs. I would personally start with some cushiony minimal shoes like Brooks Pure line or Nike Free or Inov8 (are on the harder side) eventually going down to a more minimal Bare Inov8 or New Balance.

The Nanos are cool cross fit shoes but running long distance in them are kind of like running in Vans or Converse.

PaulEwing
08-09-2012, 11:40 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. Actually I think that's exactly the reason Justin. I used to be a heel striker but the outsoles (And insoles) are so much thinner now that I'm striking with my forefeet in these shoes. I did some searches on proper forefoot running technique and since I'm just starting to run this way, I'm going to try to learn it right the first time. Sure enough, the area below the calves is mentioned in a few of the articles and videos I've looked at. I'll definitely take your advice Eric and start off with little volume. Would you say limiting my running to the single 400m daily warmup for a couple weeks and then gradually adding more would be a good approach?

Justin Goudreau
08-10-2012, 06:08 AM
I think a 400 in am and 400 in pm is fine when you feel better then double it in a couple weeks.

Maybe save the 2 mile runs after a couple months of conditioning. In the end what's the hurry right? As long as you are moving around comfortably and healthy. Do some burpees or pullups to burn that excess energy. Oh and skip some rope will help with you running too. Don't over do that either.

Scott Kraatz
08-10-2012, 09:42 AM
There are also a lot of POSE exercises (Brian MacKenzie CrossFit Journal WFS http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/06/bmackrun1.tpl Part 1 is free, the others require a subscription) that will really help strengthen your ankles and feet and make learning a bit easier. They're working for me.

Doug Owen
08-10-2012, 01:18 PM
I had the same problem with my left calf/ankle area. It locked up on me while running one day and had to walk it in. Couldn't run for awhile and even jumpping rope was a challenge. Eventually made it to a massage therapist. She found a big knot in my calf and worked it out. It took two sessions to get it out. It about killed me but the afternoon afterthe second session I ran like I was in college again. No problems since. I had previoulsly been stretching my calves a lot but it just got overworked for the reasons mentioned above it seems. I had just gotten some Nano 2s but had been wearing Nanos for awhile. What ever the cause, the MT did the trick.

Gravel Brown
08-10-2012, 05:31 PM
Similar problem here. I changed over to Inov8 230s a few months ago and I've since developed achillies tendonitis. I've never run in my Inov8s but movements such as farmers carries, double unders etc in these new shoes have caused me issues.

I've gone back to my Reebok Zigs for the time being whilst things are healing.

Steven Low
08-11-2012, 04:19 PM
In the grass for 100m a day... build up about 50-100m or so per day or every other day as you improve.

You need to build up gradually.

PaulEwing
03-02-2013, 06:46 PM
I hate to revive such an old thread but I want to get some advice. I've now had these shoes for 7 months and I'm still getting shin splints when I run more than 400 meters or do a few sprints. I read up on what the main causes of shin splints are and I don't think it's because I'm rushing into running too far because I've been consistently starting my workouts with 400-800 meters as a warm-up. I also don't think it's because I'm not used to toe striking because I've now been doing this for quite some time.

I read that shoes that cause you to have flat feet can be a culprit and I'm thinking maybe there isn't enough arc in the sole. I'm going to try getting some insoles to see if it fixes the problem but has anyone else ever experienced this? It's getting really irritating because I love the shoes, but I hate having to have specific shoes for any wod that requires running. Thanks in advance!

Edit: I should probably clarify, the pain in my Achilles/ankles went away after a couple weeks of getting used to running in them; however, the shin splints which I thought were pretty normal still haven't gone away.

Jeff Kwiecien
03-02-2013, 07:23 PM
Paul,

How is your technique?
Don't get rid of your shoes....this is a mobility issue, yes I said mobility. Remember, there are key differences between flexibility and mobility. Most people who were chronic heal strikers (me included) run a large possibility of chronic issues when switching to a mid foot strike running style. Going back to your style shoe might feel better at first, but the lack of mobility would just become an injury in the end.

Besides stretches, you need to roll out you legs and and calves, to include your achilles.

Chances are this is an ankle or hip issue. The main culprit it th IT band. As a reminder it starts at the lower back runs down the leg in the lateral side (outside) of the leg. At the knee it traverses over across the front of the lower leg and attaches to the medial (inside) of the ankle. Running right over the spot where you would get shin splints...

I would concentrate on mobility work using a roller (pvc or foam) and hit the sore spots with a tennis or lacrosse ball.

PaulEwing
03-02-2013, 07:34 PM
Paul,

How is your technique?
Don't get rid of your shoes....this is a mobility issue, yes I said mobility. Remember, there are key differences between flexibility and mobility. Most people who were chronic heal strikers (me included) run a large possibility of chronic issues when switching to a mid foot strike running style. Going back to your style shoe might feel better at first, but the lack of mobility would just become an injury in the end.

Besides stretches, you need to roll out you legs and and calves, to include your achilles.

Chances are this is an ankle or hip issue. The main culprit it th IT band. As a reminder it starts at the lower back runs down the leg in the lateral side (outside) of the leg. At the knee it traverses over across the front of the lower leg and attaches to the medial (inside) of the ankle. Running right over the spot where you would get shin splints...

I would concentrate on mobility work using a roller (pvc or foam) and hit the sore spots with a tennis or lacrosse ball.

Just curious Jeff, are you replying to my original post or the one I just made? I don't have pain in my Achilles or ankles anymore and I've been a toe/forefoot striker for about 7 months now.

PaulEwing
03-03-2013, 02:17 AM
I honestly can't say I know how my technique is. I've never had a coach comment on my running and I don't know how well versed the CF trainers at my gym are on running form. I had a friend of mine watch me run on a treadmill earlier and his main observation is that I'm not striking the ground under my body weight. He said my foot is coming down in front of me which could be putting stress on my shins. The only other thing he noticed is I tend to over-pronate slightly but I've done this for as long as I can remember and I've never found it to be a problem.

I wish I could post a video but unfortunately I don't have a nice phone so it would be terrible quality.

Eric Montgomery
03-03-2013, 10:56 AM
Post some video, it's hard to guess without seeing something specific. But (aside from too much volume) shin splints are usually caused by heel striking, which results in a quick ankle extension as your forefoot slaps forward then snaps back into dorsiflexion very rapidly. A few thousand of them in quick succession (i.e. a 3 mile run) and you're likely looking at damage and inflammation to the muscles on the front of your shin, which is known as shin splints. Have you tried running barefoot on grass or firm sand for 100-200m at a time? That tends to help people fix their form quite a bit.

Hoku Kinzie
03-03-2013, 12:09 PM
The transition from traditional running shoes with high heel-to-toe offsets to minimalists shoes varies from person to person. I've worn a wide range minimalist shoes and I still suffer from soreness in my calves and achilles once I go over a certain mileage. However I'm capable of wearing them throughout the day as a casual/work shoe with no problem. Rolling out your calves, stretching your achilles against a wall, and training barefoot are all good places to start. Reebok is also coming out with CF Endurance shoe in the summer. It should feature a 4mm heel-to-offset which would make it very similar the Saucony Kinvara or many of the Brooks Pure Project shoes.

PaulEwing
03-03-2013, 01:01 PM
I appreciate the responses. I'll try to have a friend take a video sometime this week and post it.