In the French Foreign Legion, new recruits are expected to learn French. More to the point, when disassembling and reassembling a rifle, they are expected to know the French names of all the components. Recruits who cannot instantly recall the correct term, are hit with that part.

I was thinking of this today as I reflected on how much my knowledge of human leg anatomy has advanced in recent years. mainly as a result of particular muscles getting sore or hurt. A lazy gluteus medius took me out of running for half a year - more recently, in an over-enthusiastic attempt to get it firing (and alleviate IT band soreness ), I managed to tear it. And I'd always assumed glute muscles were just too big and powerful to ever get injured. The transition to forefoot running took me through all the muscles of the calf, as my soleusgastrocnemius, entensor digitorum longus and peroneus longus all took the strain. And the pain. Thanks to the slant board, these are now all now bull-calf strong, but there's plenty more relevant muscles and plenty more anatomy for me to learn. Latest is the tibialis anterior, the muscle at the front of the shin. Pulls the foot up and helps flex it inwards. I've no idea what it's suddenly complaining about - it's not like it has to do a whole lot - but yikes it hurts on downhill stretches, my left leg almost buckling under me. Needless to say, it's stopping me running. Massage, ice, rest, the usual.

Any suggestions on how to strengthen this one gratefully received...

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Comment by Eric Orton on February 18, 2014 at 8:58am

Hey Paul - great post here.

You might inspect your ankle flexion while running, as you might be getting too much, which could be stressing your tibialis from this repetitive motion.

We want to keep the ankle neutral and relaxed. So be aware of this on the next run and see if you are pulling your toes toward your shin (too much) at some point during your gait.

OR, pushing off with your ankle too much, therefore, pointing your toes at take off.

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