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Old 09-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
Carl Amolat
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Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

I've been integrating POSE Running (bought Dr. Romanov's book) into my training program of late (w/f/s). I've been starting slowly, with shorter than average distances (especially due to my first uses of my New Balance Minimus Trail Running shoes).

I know calves feeling sore is just a natural consequence of POSE Running and I do the drills. I'm wondering are there other drills I can do to strengthen my calves? My strength training (twice weekly Greyskull Linear Progression) already has a good bit of squat and deadlift volume in it, so obviously I'm not trying to bash the heck out of my legs. I figure a quick 3 x 5 of calf raises with dumbbells or something similar would help.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

i don't think calf raises are going to help with running very much.

when i switched to pose i had the same issue. i jumped rope, alot. it helped, alot, and quickly.

even just doing calf raises all day - like while you stand around or sit in a chair at work - would help. also, start walking everywhere you go on your toes, or at least the places you can do it without embarrassing yourself.

just my two cents.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
Eric R Cohen
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

Try tabata calf raises.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
David Meverden
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

First make sure your form is right. Can you video tape yourself maybe? While you may just need to build calf muscle endurance, you may also not be letting your heel "kiss" the ground. When I first started running on my midfoot my calves would get sore as hell. It was because my heels never touched the ground, causing my calves to have to work harder than they should. Once I learned to land more correctly my calves stopped getting sore.

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Old 09-18-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
Joe Sargeant
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

Like what David said, if you have sore calves from doing POSE, you are doing it wrong.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
Carl Amolat
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

Thanks Joe, I appreciate the input.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #7
Peter Queen
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

Just to chime in with my 2 cents I would have to agree with David also. At first I would get sore calves as well but as I became more familiar with the proper body mechanics of the POSE technique the soreness went away fairly quickly. By just touching the ground ever so slightly with my heel (“kiss” the ground as David put it) I was able to rock up with more than enough momentum to not disrupt the overall rhythm of my stride. I also found that leaning forward ever so slightly also helped in keeping me from rocking back on my heels too much. I’m 6’5” and am still around 260lbs so I have a lot of body mass to move. So being efficient and proficient in every ROM I undertake pays off in big dividends for me. Good luck but keep it up because being former marathoner but still an avid runner, POSE running is by far much more efficient, beneficial and a heck of lot less painful than the old heel striking method. I also found my overall stamina increasing because the exchange of energy from leg to leg was being utilized in a much more efficient manner which also helped me to better regulate and control my breathing as well.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
Carl Amolat
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

I've started to remember to lightly kiss the ground with my heel and it does reduce any calf soreness. When I started POSE I noticed a pronounced calf soreness as running that way was totally new to me. But I love how POSE feels so much more efficient and nearly effortless.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
Ivan Baez
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

I totally agree with ensuring proper form and letting the heels "kiss" the ground. I've been trying to make the transition wearing the NB Trail shoes and experienced a lot of calf pain and even cramps after the first few short runs. I've been doing a lot more rope jumping and short runs/sprints before increasing distance/speed.

A few days ago I ran 2 Miles in the NB Trail shoes in under 15 Minutes, in very poor cold and wet conditions. I focused hard on kissing the ground with my heels and a slight bend at the knees as the feet struck the ground. I was amazed at how efficiently I was running compared to regular shoes. This was the first time I ran further than a mile in over two months. The best part was that aside from some minor calf soreness, I did not get any pain or stiffness on my lower legs. I did get some slight discomfort on my shins as I started to run but I'm sure it was due to an abbreviated warmup and not the shoes.

I did notice that the NB shoes are unforgiving if you strike the ground heel-first. The shoe gives me instant feedback that I can use to correct my form.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:38 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Strengthening Calves for POSE Running

If you're going to do calf raises you will want to:

Focus solely on the eccentric phase and let the heel drop off an edge to it's greatest length.

That's where the soreness and damage are going to come from -- receiving the ground in a long eccentric.

This is similar to the huge amount of soreness and swelling you can get from GHD situps which people are not used to as well. But, since the abs are not as resistant as the calves to lengthening, that can give you rhabdo. Unfortunately, since the calves are in fascia if you do it bad enough it can give you compartment syndrome.

So in reality you will want to start off slow with POSE or any natural or barefoot running technique.

Focus on eccentric strength. And work into it VERY VERY VERY VERY slowly. Like 100-200m per day slowly and maybe 100-200m per every session as your body gets used to it.

Hope that helps.
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