Contact Us 
  home  |  news  |  contact  |  register  |  search  |  help  | 
Click here to send this page to a friend
Would you like to reprint Dr.Romanov's Training Articles? Click here to find out how >
Click here to return to the front page of Training Section
FREE WEEKLY Expert Advice. Login here every week to read Dr.Romanov's advice on various training related topics. You're welcome to email your questions to and we'll make sure to cover the requested topic. This section is updated every Tuesday.
December 21, 2004

adiPURE Trainer Shoes
Calf soreness very often appears at the beginning of the learning process in the Pose Method and bothers the runner around 2-3 weeks while he is adapting to the new neuro-muscular coordination and to the regime of muscle loading.

Is it possible to avoid these negative consequences? Of course.

The fact of having muscle strain is the first indication of getting DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) syndrome, which appears 12 to 48 hours after exercising and is characterized by tenderness and stiffness of muscles. The pain is caused by micro-tears of muscle tissue from only one reason basically - resisting gravity. The mechanics of the injury cause is very simple. During landing on the support the body moves forward and down towards the ground. The final muscle groups responsible for accepting the body weight are foot muscles, and calves are the strongest ones of them.

The main biomechanical goal of the body movement over the support is to provide redirection from the downward-forward flow to upward-forward one without loosing momentum and horizontal velocity and even try to gain a little there.

So, in the Pose Method this is achieved by landing the foot close to the point of projection of the General Center of Mass (GCM) on the ground, and proceeding with falling forward with minimum or no braking.

The body weight downward movement is supposed to be finished, before the beginning of falling forward. But very often calves resist to this downward movement by getting tense, which is caused by the desire to hold the heel and prevent the foot from touching the ground. Why this is happening? The reasons could be different: wrong understanding and over-doing of the command to keep the body weight on balls of the feet. Another one could be: performing the push off with the foot activity. It could be done on the conscious or subconscious level, but the result is always the same - overloading the calf muscles.

Biomechanical basis of it consists of counteraction of two forces, gravity and muscles activity, resisting the body weight, working simultaneously in the opposite directions. Who wins and who loses is not difficult to guess. The muscles suffer the consequences.

How to avoid this trouble?
  1. do not put too much effort into staying on the ball of the foot.
  2. do not hold the heel too high above the ground. It's OK even to touch the ground with it, as long as the body weight is kept on the ball of the foot.
  3. do not do any active propulsion or push off with the leg and the foot. Keep your perception of the foot as being not loaded, but on the opposite, as getting unloaded, when you start running.
  4. concentrate only on the pulling action of the foot from the ground.
The body weight movement downward is finished when the body's general center of mass is passing over the ball of the foot on support. The logical consequence of it is the following: the faster the body passes through the vertical line over the ball of the foot, the faster the calf muscles are released from the body weight load. If during the downward movement of the body the calf muscles are not active, holding or pushing the body weight, then they receive less loading.

It is very useful to run barefoot to learn the proper neuro-muscular coordination and to feel relaxation and looseness of the support foot and ankle. Jumps with the rope on one or both legs reproducing the Pose stance are good as well. These exercises teach you to synchronize the body weight moving down with relaxation of your calves. Start from these exercises and move on to faster and longer running without calf soreness.



I'll follow up on my comment from a month ago. I've continued with the POSE method, and my calf soreness is completely gone. I was able to purchase 3 pair of Puma H Streets from the Puma Outlet at an average price of about $15.00 per pair. I do continue to have achilles discomfort between runs in my left leg. I'm working that out via adjusting my strike point and working on not holding my heel off the ground too much.

Posted by: Brad at October 14, 2006 07:35 PM

that's a funny story, sorry about the calves. But we keep telling everyone, and keep writting about it - don't just dive into it, you'll experience set backs, you have to be prepared and you have to practice first, build strength where it's lacking, etc... trust me the calf pain will disappear in no time but the achilles problem won't come back and that's the whole point of this exercise so to say. Your calves were not used to working this much. Remember how your body felt the first coulpe of days when you first started running or working out or whatever? You just needed an adjustment period. It goes away quickly.

Posted by: Lana at September 7, 2006 12:40 AM

I'm new to the Pose method...having found the website via a friend. I've had achilles tendonitis issues in my left leg from time to time, so I found the claims intriguing. I gleaned what I could from about 1/2 hour's time on the website...lean forward, land on ball of foot, under the body, rapid turnover, quick pull-off, and I was off for my morning 4 mile run with my Pointsetter (Pointer/Setter mix). I could feel some strain in my calves, but completed the run. The calves became more sore as the day progressed. I figured I needed to run again the next morning to work out the aches. Another 4mile run using what I knew of the Pose method. That day I flew to London. When I left the plan, I almost couldn't walk!!! I found a computer in my hotel, went to the Posetech website, and what was the top article...Calf Soreness!!! The soreness has died down...still aches, but I ran again yesterday. I did order the video, so I'll be able to see how I should have worked up to greater distances with drills! One achilles pain...but that may be because it's hidden by the calf pain!!!

Posted by: Brad Meeder at September 5, 2006 09:47 AM

Approximately, how much running (in hours or miles) using the Pose Method does it require for calf soreness to go away entirely through the course of 2-3 weeks mentioned in this article? Will calf strengthening exercises, such as weighted calf raises, 2-3 times a week during the first few weeks of Pose Method running accelerate the elimination of calf soreness? Thanks.

Posted by: Zeem at September 1, 2006 08:48 PM

Yes Brandon, this is the best thing for your development as a sprinter. I trained sprinters in my University team in Russia. My best students run 100m 10.3 in men's field and 11.6 in women’s with no injuries through entire career.

Posted by: DrRomanov at July 23, 2006 01:21 PM

I was wandering if the pose method would help me with my sprinting technique and if it will help me run faster consistantly.

Posted by: Brandon K. at July 22, 2006 01:36 PM

Yes you have hope with Pose Method. But you need to learn Pose and it will take your time, energy and focus on what you are doing with each step in your run.
I Recommened you to attend a Pose clinic to get an idea what is Pose Method about.

Posted by: drromanov at June 7, 2006 02:28 AM

I've been diagonsed with compartment syndome in my anterior and bilateral shins muscles. The doc cure was a fasciotomy on both compartments. I got this procedure about 4 years ago and ever since i started to run again i get horrible calve pain usually when i run faster they just go dead and very painful and my shins (after a race or workout) they get so sore even to the touch. I've tried everything massage, orthodics. etc. The last two years i run in a very light shoe with no support and run barefoot. attempting to strengthen my calves and shins but i still get horrible calve pain. I'm a pretty good runner with the pain but i would be even better without. It's just became part of my life calf pain!!!! I've been to numerous doc's and realize they are pointless. So been trying and researching anything that may help. It seems that the POSE method will help. I think my perception and neuro-muscular pattern are really messed from the 4 years of pain. I need alot of help. I've been trying to do POSE but still have the wonderful calf pain. Maybe its hopeless.

Posted by: Mark Hryvniak at June 4, 2006 08:42 PM

Jenny Dew,
Your description of technique you running with indicates some misunderstanding of the role of muscles and their use. This would obviously lead you to the wrong movement and consequently to the injury development. The advices you are using to ice and lift your legs are mostly not so helpful how it looks like. Your problem is technique and you need to reconsider the way how you run and particularly long distances. It is a disproportion between what you want and what you can.

Posted by: DrRomanov at April 13, 2006 12:31 PM

hi. I've been a runner for 10 years. Mostly sprints/short-distance. I've recently decided to train for a marathon.
I have always encountered some kind of shin or calf pain. However, the pain is worse than before. My calves feel extremely tight (as if I just need to stretch them out except that doesn't help) this pain shoots all the way down to my achiles/ankles. Then on top of my ankles (on the top part of my foot) it's very tight there as well. I have always been aware of making sure i lift my knees higher when i run in order to put the majority of use from my hamstring and quads, but is there any other way to avoid this injury? I've always been coached to also ice and lay with my legs in the air (which usually feels nice) but I'm looking for something to prevent this pain. Any ideas? thank you!

Posted by: Jenny Dew at April 9, 2006 05:40 PM

Dr. Romanov,

I have been running/training for marathons for several years without any major injury and recently started to have very sore calves after about 40 to 50 minutes of run time. The pain reappears each run and most recently after a 12 miler. After which I had to stop my next run at 3 miles due to the pain. I am not very fast (8:30/mi) and weigh about 175. I have not changed shoes in the past three months but have been training on treadmills about four times per week (its cold in the Midwest and I prefer to run indoors at night rather than chance the traffic). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I am very perpplexed by this. I average about 35 mi/week but recently had to reduce my running due to the pain.

Posted by: Norm Campbell at April 7, 2006 09:08 PM

You memorized your injury (wrong neuro-muscular pattern) and run just triggered it. You need first get rid off this memory by relearning run properly; otherwise it will be back again whenever you run.

Posted by: DrRomanov at February 24, 2006 03:37 PM

I just began running to get in shape. I was running about 3 miles a week. I went running with a friend who does alot of running and we pushed it for about 3 1/2 miles when i began to notice a pain in my calf muscle. It seems to be located in the center of my calf a little lower than mid calf. it also seems to more of a cramping feel. I have no bruising or discolor. I gave it about a week to heal, and when i tried to run the next time i got the same pain in the same spot after about a 1/2 mile.. Did i run too soon? I have been icing it every night.. It doesent seem to bother me unless im running. Is this a cramping soreness? Please let me know what you think may help!

Posted by: jim wisner at February 23, 2006 05:55 PM

Kiri and Jim,
You both have a similar problem - overloading calf muscles by sudden increase volume and intensity of running without having a proper technique. Explanation of this cause in an article above and how to avoid it as well. Generally it's about learning running technique, interaction with the ground and using your muscles.

Posted by: DrRomanov at February 21, 2006 04:56 PM

Hi, please help.
I used to love running and did it all the time- especailly fast! I had exams this spring, so cut down my running. When They finished, I got back into running, but after a few runs my calfs were really soar, Now whenever I run my calfs hurt, and I end up running only about 50 meters before having to stop, walk and then set off again. It feels really tight in my calfs, and it feels like I'm permenatly going uphill. What can I do? Bearing in mind I really dont want to loose fitness......should i stop running for a bit? I am so frustrated with this , its making me really unhappy. Please help, running is no longer fun.

Posted by: kiri at February 20, 2006 05:28 AM

I have just started running, I would run for about a mile or a little farther. I recently ran about 3 miles when my left calf muscle gave me severe pain and I limped back. What causes this?

Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2006 02:54 PM

Your pain is related with tears in your muscle's tissues probably and you need mostly to give them rest and then start from light running and running technique drills to recover your technique. Dorso-flexion strength exercise (resistance from a partner and rubber bends) would be beneficial. Frank,
I think you have a problem, which I call high heel position on a support. Why you are doing this is unknown for me of course, but it is an artificial activity of your left foot with big toe together to keep your heel above the ground and may be even with some activity to put it on a ground. So, you need to get rid it off this activity.

Posted by: DrRomanov at January 18, 2006 12:02 PM

Dear Dr. Romanov, I am 30yrs young and have been running for most of my life. I competed in HS and college as a 1/2 miler. Since then I gained more muscle mass and went from 145lbs to 175lbs. Now when I run, after 20-25minutes I get a major cramp and tightning on the outside of my right calf (i guess it's the lateral gstrocnemius). This cramping has been happeing for about 2 years now. When I feel it beginning to cramp, I stop, stretch and massage then start running again. The pain goes away for a minute or 2 and then comes back. I have tried even to slide more when running so as to use my hip flexors. I also have been massaging in tiger balm before running to relax it and taking advil after, but that doesn't help. Also tried doing calf raises once or twice a week to build up strength. I never had this problem when I raced 10yrs ago and I was running a lot more back then. What could it be?? Why isn't this happeing to my left calf? i read it could be a lack of potassium. but i'm very healthy and stay very hydrated. I will do anything to get rid of this pain. Thanks for your help in advance...

Posted by: Frank at January 17, 2006 01:52 PM

Hi, I began training 3 - 4 weeks ago and have been doing between 2 and 5 miles three times a week since. This evening, i went for a run and my calf was sore but i kept going. After a while i got a serious sharp pain and had to limp back home. It's been sore since. Is there something i can do to help the recovery and how long before i can start jogging again.

Posted by: Bren at January 16, 2006 07:43 PM

If you are pointed right about the soleus muscles, then possible cause of the pain is your toes tension, which you are used to keep your support. Probably you run in one day on a slippery surface and your toes were tense in order to provide a stable support. After that it becomes just a chain reaction with memorizing the problem. For beginning you need to pull your toes up while landing. It's a bit artificial thing, but you need to reduce to use your toes on support. Do hops on place and then do short runs keeping toes up. Please give me info about your progress.

Posted by: DrRomanov at December 14, 2005 05:22 PM

Dr. Romanov,

My nightmare of a problem is not the posterior part of my shanks, or the calf, rather it is the anterior portion. I believe it to be my soleus muscle and it is absolutely debilitating any efforts I put towards advancing myself in the Pose Method. The pain is excruciating and I cannot even practice to try and correct my problem. Where am I going wrong and have you heard of this before? Please point me in the right direction. I have had only sporadic success in the Method, but I believe in it because when it has worked it really has amazed me beyond anything I have ever felt before. Please help me overcome this hurdle that just doesn't allow me to even practice the simplest of pose drills. The pain is horrible and I am at a complete loss.

Posted by: chico at December 11, 2005 10:51 PM

I need to have more info about the location and type of the pain, when it appears, description of muscles condition (temperature, color, density, stiffness) etc. Thank you.

Posted by: Dr.Romanov at November 15, 2005 02:20 AM

My husband has been having these shocking like pain in his calves and it wakes him and also happens on and off during the day. He is not a runner and doesn't really do any type of exercising except walking around the school he works at. Had it xrayed and nothing showed up. We are just wondering if there is something we can do to stop the pain. It almost makes him fall. He describes the feeling of it being deep in the muscle...
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
Patty Brown

Posted by: Patty Brown at November 14, 2005 05:50 PM

You have a usual case with calves muscles. You miss the point when they were involved in active work in landing and during support. Instead being involved only in eccentric work, they start produce concentric efforts and got overload by two forces working against each other: gravity and muscles contraction. Please be aware about these while you running and you'll forget about this problem. Calves are doing no active efforts, they are just supporters. They are powerful, skillful muscles but their function is support.
You can get rid off your pain just running right. Keep your awareness about this during run; focus on pulling and your treatment will start.

Posted by: DrRomanov at November 6, 2005 10:02 PM

I have been running for about 2 years now, pretty steadily. I run at least 4 miles two to three times a week. About a month ago my left calve felt really tight and I continued running, about a mile and a half in I had a sharp pain and my calve cramped up and had to limp home. My calve was sore for a couple of days whenever I walked. I rested about a week and tried to go again, but my calve cramped up again and walked home and it once again hurt for a couple of days. I have rested for 2 weeks and I ran a couple of days ago, even though I didn't cramp up, my leg is still sore 2 days later. I always stretch before and after running, what can I do to get back to running with no problems.
Thank You,
Travis Cowell

Posted by: Travis Cowell at October 19, 2005 04:23 PM

Dear Sarah,
Please post your running video clip on the PoseTech web site running forum. I would like to see your run to make some assumption about your problem. You need to film your running from the lateral, front and back side.
What you developed, it seems to me, has a big psychological and mental part. In layman term it's called a fear. Any loading of calves now are triggering their spasms. So there is a necessity to do psycho-emotional and physiological treatment together.

Posted by: DrRomanov at August 22, 2005 08:32 PM

I have been running for several years. Last year at the end of the summer I started experiencing pain in my calf muscles. I stopped running. This spring I decided to train for the Chicago Marathon. I have been running for months and I am again starting to experience the same pain. My muscles feel tight and sore. That soreness is worse in the morning and seems to last throughout the day. At first I could run through the problem. I would be sore for about the first mile and then I would be able to run for endless miles. Lately that first mile has become a real problem. I started out with a visit to my doctor. He prescribed an anti-infamitory medication and regular visits with a physical therapist. At first those visits were incredible painful, but as time went on it seemed that my physical therapist felt that the claf muscles were not so "notty". Last Sat. I sat out to run and could not get four steps in to run. I am very frustrated. I met with a chiropractor today and she suggested I might be in need of mag. and minerals, so I started taking them today. I meet with my physician again on Thurs. morning. I could use any imput that you could offer. Thank you, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at August 22, 2005 07:34 PM

Dear Martin Dutton, I am sorry for your pain. I had close friends in Russia from classical ballet field and your appearance on our forum is a very pleasant reminder of them for me. As to my advice, the most simple thing you can do now (I have no knowledge about your injury in terms of how long you have it and how bad it is) is to do a dorso-flexion (pulling foot/toes towards you) strength exercises (with resistance or free weights) in the sitting position. Pulling should be done from the most plantar flexed position to the end of dorso-flexion position, first. Then, the starting position of plantar flexion is reduced (less plantar flexion) and dorso-flexion should be repeated again. Reduction of plantar flexion continues through the beginning of dorso-flexion to its end, with continued efforts to pull your foot further than your limits allow. This sequence should help you release your calf muscles pain.

Posted by: DrRomanov at August 5, 2005 11:00 PM

Dear Dr Romanov,I'm a proffessional Classical Dancer and have got really tender calfs at the moment and it is really affecting my dance also it is really pulling on my shinbone giving me alot of agony.Could you please advise me on any help ,i would be extremely grateful

Posted by: Martin Dutton at August 3, 2005 01:51 PM

Dear Ken,
it is a remarkable achievement.

The problems you have with your calves are related to the tension of your ankles, which you couldn't control on a second half. It means that you kept your heels above the ground on the support and didn't allow them to move down. It happened because of fatigue and as consequence of losing perception of muscles tension.

You don't need more mileage to build your calves strength, do jumping with rope exercises preferrably barefoot and work on developmment of your perception and your technique.

My best wishes,

Posted by: Dr.Romanov at January 19, 2005 04:12 PM

I just completed my second Pose marathon in Houston and have extermely sore calves. I ran my first in early December in 3:27:50 and recovered quick enough to run a 1:34 half a week later. I really tried to race this latest marathon and did a 3:21:15 but slowed in the second half to 8:00 minute miles from 7:20 average for the first half. Training was 35 miles/week with good quality. My question is - do I just need more miles to overcome what I think is a weak link (calves). I think my form held up reasonably well since I ran in NB RC240 shoes on mostly concrete and have no other problems except very sore calves. I did win the 60-64 age group so I'm doing something right, but I just want some guidance on where to go from here - what should I emphasize to increase calf endurance.

Posted by: Ken Ruane at January 18, 2005 08:42 AM

Dear Rob, these problems are in joint certainly as you saw yourself, but I do not recall any reports on this kind of interrelation between two injuries. Let me get through some references and may be we can pull something about it. Thank you.

Posted by: Dr.Romanov at January 11, 2005 12:03 AM

Have there been any reported cases of overloading the calf muscles to the point where one suffers from plantar facsiitis. I think that this is what has happened to me? I can certainly relate to the information in your article on "Calf Soreness". Rob

Posted by: Rob Jackson at January 3, 2005 08:37 PM
Pose Method®
Pose Techniques
Pose Clinics
Coaches' Corner
Video Blog
Online Library
Pose Forums
Click here to follow us on tweeter! Click here to join us on Facebook! Click here to watch our FREE educational videos on YouTube! Check out our photos on Picasa
Click here to find out more
home  |  search  |  register  |  contact  |  company  |  legal  |  © 2012 Pose Tech Corp.

© Copyright 1997-2012. All rights reserved. The contents of POSE TECH may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, or published, in whole or in part, without the express prior written consent of Pose Tech Corporation. Some material reprinted with permission. For copyright information, please visit our legal info pages. To unsubscribe from our opt-in email lists, please visit our Unsubscribe page.