A calf injury derailed this previous racing season. I’m taking steps to avoid a repeat. Primarily I’m making my calves and feet stronger, not just the muscles but the connective tissue as well. My process is detailed in an article for Competitor Running. Every week, twice a week I spend time working on the lower legs. I treat it like religion. The work isn’t especially exciting but if I don’t do it then I can expect more problems. Thus, I don’t give myself the option to avoid the work. Here are the main features of my lower-leg workouts:
- I choose two of the following:
- Bent-knee or straight-knee depending on the part of the calf I want to target
- High-weight/low-reps (< 6) to strengthen and stiffen tendons to improve running efficiency, and increase force production of the muscles
- Lower-weight/higher reps (>8) for muscle hypertrophy which should also help with strength and durability.
- I jump rope 6 x 1 min or I do various two- and one-legged hops once or twice per week.