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CAYCESMOM Posts: 381
8/6/13 2:06 P

I don't know if it will work for you, but I agree with SIMONEKP. When I first starting walking/jogging, my calves would burn like you describe - it was AWFUL! Then I read an article (I believe it was on Sparkpeople) about walking and it advised taking shorter steps and using your arms in a bent position even when you are just walking. It made a tremendous difference to me. I hope you find the answer quickly. emoticon

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,617
8/5/13 5:14 P

It could also just be that your stride is too wide. Try taking short steps and see if it eases the discomfort.

BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,412
8/5/13 3:58 P

Thanks! Hopefully that's it. I guess then, the only solution would be to just keep at it and hopefully my legs will catch up?! The fatigue in them is just killing the joy to jog!

It's going to be hard, but I suppose I can start wearing shoes again too, lol!
All of my shoes are basically flats too.. so if that is the problem, I am doomed!!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,463)
Fitness Minutes: (289,813)
Posts: 26,843
8/5/13 3:53 P


You might have just explained your burning/tight calves. You mentioned that you've been wearing sandals for the last few weeks. Since your running shoes have a "heel", that would explain the tightness.

I've seen this in women before. Many women tend to wear heels at work, so when they start running, they have tight calves. it's because they are going from flat to heel to flat to heel.

Because you were basicallty barefoot for close to three months and now running in shoes, that might be the cause. I'm wondering if you might be a good candidate for barefoot running.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 8/5/2013 (15:57)
BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,412
8/5/13 3:48 P

Thanks Archimedes.
Like I said, I've only been at this for a week, so maybe the lactic acid is the problem?

The shoes only felt weird on my first run the very first day. They have been perfect since. I think they just felt strange to me since I had been barefoot/sandals for the last 3 months straight! Not even a sock in sight since May!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,463)
Fitness Minutes: (289,813)
Posts: 26,843
8/5/13 2:57 P


The toe shouldn't be a little snug on running shoes. the minute you put on running shoes, they should feel comfortable immediately. there is no breaking in period for running shoes. So, your shoes (even though they are new) could be the problem. I've had shoes that seemed to fit okay when I was in the store, but felt awful when I started running in them. because I couldn't return them, I donated them to the Goodwill because I didn't want to toss them.

Also, when did you start the C25K program ? If you're still new to running, it could be your body just needs more time to adapt to the new routine. the thing that concerns me is the burning sensation you're feeling. Burning could be lactic acid build up. But I've run off/on for years and haven't had problems with a burning sensation. lots of other issues, but not that.

Depending on how long you've been feeling this, it wouldn't hurt to call your doctor and see what they think. Doesn't hurt to get a professional opinion. But, one thing I would look at is a different pair of shoes.

BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,412
8/5/13 2:43 P

Thanks for the question on the shoes.

Before I started the couch to 5k program I went and got fitted for shoes.
I came away with the Brooks Pure Cadence 2.
Lightweight shoes for over-pronators. So, they are not old shoes by any means. Good cusion in the heel and i don't slip out of them, so that's a bonus! And they only took about a mile to break them in (the toe box was a little snug).

TRAXINA Posts: 78
8/5/13 2:33 P

Get some good shoes! They don't have to be totally expensive, but they should support your feet. If you have the resources, go to a running store where they will identify your gait and recommend specific types of shoes to help. This is a really good idea for when you're just starting out, rather than fighting injuries along the way.

Seems silly, but shoes make a huge difference. I have been running for a long time ... but I went for a run a few weeks ago in some old shoes that I love because they feel like bedroom slippers! Well, frankly your running shoes are not supposed to feel like slippers. I ended up pulling a muscle in my calf (ha -- there's your connection) and have had to lay off it for more than two weeks. And yes, I threw out the slipper-shoes.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
8/5/13 2:29 P

Since no one else mentioned it, how old are your shoes? If they're not giving you the right support anymore, that could be part of the problem.

The other strength move for legs would be deadlifts.

BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,412
8/5/13 2:22 P

I stretch after the workout for a few moments, and I do an easy yoga video on my off days. I have just started adding in some squats and lunges on yoga days as well.
Any other ideas for leg strength?

I walk a 17 minute mile and "run" about an 18 minute mile! I don't know if I can actually go slower, since I am already slower than I walk? I am definitely not pushing myself to go fast at this time. In 30 minutes, I general do intervals adding up to 1.7 miles!

I will see if I can go slower.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,917)
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
Posts: 9,709
8/5/13 2:21 P

Strength training, and dialing it back a notch. If they hurt a lot, and feel overly fatigued, you may be doing too much, too soon.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (189,251)
Fitness Minutes: (184,133)
Posts: 15,735
8/5/13 2:17 P

Try slowing down. When I run faster than "easy" pace, my calves burn. They are like my built in GPS.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
8/5/13 2:14 P

Do you do any strength training that could help strengthen your calves?

BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,412
8/5/13 1:06 P

I am only on week one of the Couch to 5K program, but the first thing I have noticed is that my feet and calves get so tired before anything else.
My heart-rate is staying up, but not like heart attack high! And my breathing is good, deep but not shallow or huffing and puffing. So it seems like my heart and lung endurance is faring much better than my legs! I guess I can chalk that up to the elliptical and Leslie Sansone videos, lol!!

Any advice for the calf weakness? My calves feel like they are on fire by the third run interval, and I am only on week one, day 3. I usually have to stop more than once during the workout to just rest my calves and stretch a little. My feet get tired too, but that might just be the shoes?!

I stretch after the workout for a few moments, and I do an easy yoga video on my off days. I have just started adding in some squats and lunges on yoga days as well.

Maybe I should do one long walk day too? Like a couple miles, just walking?
(my schedule is c25k on mon/wed/fri with yoga/strength on tue/thur/sat... so maybe something else on sundays?)

Just thinking out loud.. but if anyone has had a similar experience.. I am all ears!

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