Monday, September 7, 2015

Cow-leg running science explained

Leg stomach-ache
Today's run (street): 3.8 miles

Happy Labor Day. It's always nice to have a three day weekend, although I keep thinking today is Sunday. It sure felt like a Sunday when I went out this morning, and I appreciated the car-free roads. I almost skipped my run in favor an elliptical session, but my wife encouraged me to get outside and I listened to her. I'm glad I did.

The reason I'd considered forgoing my run was because I woke up with an acute pain in my right calf. According to Dr. Google, this pain was emanating from the Medial Gastrocnemius. I always thought gastro meant stomach, but apparently there's also a gastro in our leg muscles. It sort of makes sense because cows have multiple stomachs and they also have calves. Science is very logical.

I was a little concerned that the calf pain resulted from wearing my new Kinvaras that are lower and flatter than the Triumphs. I've never had trouble transitioning to zero and near-zero drop running shoes, but I was concerned that they might be the culprit. I decided to keep it under four miles today, and if the pain got worse, I'd work them in with even shorter distances.

My first steps off my driveway were pain-free and that was the case throughout the entire run. I continue to like the feel of the shoe. Compared to both the original and the K3, the K5 is equally comfortable. But the K5s are more responsive and have a smoother toe-off.

Hours after the run, my calf feels fine. I don't know what caused this morning's soreness, but at least I know it wasn't the shoes.


  1. You are lucky your calf problem was temporary. I want to get a new pair of running shoes but I'm afraid they will cause a problem. I've only had one pair but I've run hundreds of miles with them. How do you know when they are worn out?.

    1. You should stop using your shoes after about 400-500 miles. I know ER likes to run in his ballet slippers, but I have to say my Hokas have been fabulous, especially considering I had hip pain before going into my training cycle.

    2. I prefer not to wear running shoes that require a step ladder to put them on. I honestly can't imagine running in Hokas. Is it weird to switch between them and your Adrenalines?

      I don't buy into the 400-500 mile lifespan. I've got 700 to 1,000 miles out of some pairs. My decision to switch is usually based on whether the out sole has worn down enough to affect my stride.

    3. 1,000 is definitely too many. I can feel when they need to be retired and it's usually at the 500 mark. I do feel a huge difference when I switch my shoes. I go faster easier with the Brooks, but I'm not looking for speed with the Hokas.


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