Just fishing for free advice on the following issue(s):
I do a great deal of running, usually in minimal drop shoes (approx 4mm). I've struggled with Achilles tendonitis since 2011, and used the slant board exercises for help. I made the transition to the B2R shoes in July/August time frame. This was done in conjunction with training for and participating in 2 x Olympic Distance Triathlons. Since late September I've been dealing with pulled/torn gastrocnemius in both legs. I take time off to rehab: 5 days for first pull, 2 weeks for second pull (same leg), and recently pulled it in the other leg. Pull feels like a kick in the leg followed by a dull pain before turning into a tight feeling in the back of the leg.
Things I've done: do a mix of run/walk to ease back in; deep tissue massage; static stretching of the calves; yoga focused on lengthing/stretching the lower back, legs, and achilles; biking; and paddle boarding. I wear minimalist hiking shoes or flip flops for leisure walking and B2R shoes for more aggressive walking.
Any thoughts on a better approach?
Hey Jacob - few things here.
1) I followed the 6 week transition program offer on TrainingPeaks that came with the shoes. I only wore the B2R shoes for the events specified. I wore Brooks Pure Cadence (4mm drop) for training runs and would do B2R run drills on my swim and bike days. Regardless, I agree that I'm probably suffering from overuse injuries.
2) I didn't start physical therapy for the achilles issue until 2012. The only stretch I've been doing for a long period is ankle drops (hang heels off end of a stair). Otherwise I've been all over the map trying to resolve the issue: focus on lower back pain to ease leg tightness.
3) I know I still heel strike. My wife's photos of me in the transition area/on the course showed as much. I wonder if this is due to over striding or a slow pace cadence (160-164 a minute). Seems to be an issue I've been unable to resolve.
I have read your book and watched your run form videos, incorporating some aspects of what you discussed into my training regimen. I appreciate you taking the time to respond and if you have any suggestions for a long term fix I'm more than willing to try.