Couch to 5K
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Man Versus Broken Calf Muscle

Under Doctors orders I have been off for 2 or 3 weeks. How can not running seem so difficult? Wifey dropped a bright yellow running top in my lap recently saying "purchased in the sale for next to nothing" but suspiciously absent of sale tags. Methinks the subtle hinting has worked!

Chatting to the doc he advised that my calf was not a happy bunny and he ordered me to not run for a while and run with a shorter stride length when I go back. Today marks the first day back so I chose to run W6R1, a 5 min run, 8 min run, 5 min run with 3 min walks in the middle. The change between paces previously was causing my calf to stiffen up so I just wanted to do something middling and see how I was.

Putting on a fluorescent yellow running top meant there would be no hiding but I wanted to try it out. In a pleasant 8 Celsius I was a bit chilly on the walking bit but great on the running bits. Definitely less sweat on my forehead which is good! Also a hair cut has helped but I miss the bouncy locks that made me think I was going quickly. But I digress.

I struggled stiffly through the first 2 minutes and wondered if I would ever get back to it. But at the 5 minute mark my leg had eased off and I thought I could keep going and run the 8 minute bit first. Laura was her usual cheery self and before I knew it I had managed 16 minutes and wondered if I could do another 8? I decided not to push it and slowed for my 3 minute walk. Going down to the walk is the killer currently, my leg was quickly tight and going back into a run gave me another couple of minutes of discomfort. I managed through the 5 minutes and felt I had the breath for longer but not the legs.

It wasn't overly bad all round and the new top was a great success. I am so glad to be back out there and even saw a newbie runner whom I wished to give the knowing runner nod to but lacked the time as I ambled passed. If you are a determined looking lady and you saw a numpty in a yellow running top with an odd gait then that was probably me and I hope you stick with it!

3 Replies

Great blog.. And sounds like you are doing the right thing to build up and treat your body right ??good luck... And what a wonderful wife to get you a new top :)


Had to smile at your blog :) I hope your calf muscle is up to the job again - is it difficult to deliberately run with a shorter stride? I knackered my ankle by trying to run with a longer stride on the Speed podcast, rather than run 'harder' with my short steps. I hope the comeback goes well - in your lovely new top :)


It is surprisingly difficult to shorten your stride after getting used to running at the length it was. It gives me a slight shuffle but after loosening up 2 or 3 minutes in I tend to revert to the old stride length naturally. Looking forward to the run tomorrow and not feeling too many ill effects today thankfully.


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