Hi, I am still in the Transition Program. I know now the answer is to read the book more often and accurately follow the plans. That said the pickle I am in is ever so slight pain in my calves and achilles tendon. I do not want to do damage so am asking for advise at this early stage.

Absolutely no support in home for exercise outside work. Yes we live on a farm. So I do not want to damage myself and not be "fit for work". So far, I know, I did not do strength training and stability regularly enough, but fairly fit, perhaps in wrong muscles. Can almost do initial test of standing on forefoot for 30secs with a good wobble. Now 57, 133lbs/60kg I perhaps have more a memory of being fit than actually fit.

Always a fore foot striker, I did concentrate on form and lifting the knees. Did walking and running for 4 weeks. Having found a training log on line I started playing with this. Alas ego crept in and during week five I wanted to beat my time on 5K. Did this... achieved 44mins.

Woke to stiff calves and never thought much about it. Then under weather for a week and did nothing. Week six I only ran from supermarket to repair garage for my car (0.4mile) in ordinary ankle boots and since then I have stopped. I did push this run, and really focussed on lifting the knee and breathing and small steps. Then next morning my calf muscles and heels felt stuck at 90 degrees when I stepped from bed. Thankfully it slackens quickly.

Now I have learnt on the net about foam roll exercises and drop heel stretches on a step.   Using a tennis ball under my foot. and just a round roller under my calves to smooth them out. 2 days into this I do believe these are helping.Now finishing Week 8. I did a walk/run only 10 mins 0.8 mile last night and no worse or better for it this morning.

As you will gather I am exactly what Eric wanted to achieve. Someone in every household running, but no background knowledge to bring to learning. My running has always been there whenever I wanted to run. This concentrating on form and running on tar for the first time (Fields too sticky) whilst reducing footwear is all my own fault. I did not buy new trainers, but wondered if old pair, were part of the problem so just ran in a pair of firm slippers. These did feel great at the time, but muscle memory is there 'cos when I went out in them to stick shed my feet were not happy.

I hope I have given enough detail to help. New to running I am shocked with the number of posts about injuries in all running forums. I think that is what has given me impetus to write and ask for help. My cool impossible is to finish the training schedule in the book. A real challenge in itself, if not quite what Eric had in mind.  I thoroughly enjoy the feel good after running and have experience 'running flight or effortless flowing running' whilst running for a purpose in the past.  Running a marathon doesn't really do it for me, or running trails, but I would like to get back my healthy glow which I have always enjoyed and old age seems to have removed at the moment.  I know just vain!!

My main question is what do you think would help me now to heal/quieten these aches and allow me to continue to increase my fitness.

Thank you for reading.

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Mari, welcome to this amazing place. From your post I'd say your not doing a whole lot wrong. However be patient we all want success imidiatley but life doesn't work that way. As to your "old" shoes they may indeed be fine, age isn't a prequalification for getting new ones. The sore calves & Achilles you describe are normal when we change our form or away from highly cushioned shoes or both. Listen to your body, be patient, be consistent with your training, & remember sometimes a little goes a long way.
Keep us posted on your progress.


Thank you so much for your kind words.

Wonderfully I woke today and legs much better.   What a relief.

Out in old shoes today and  only ran 10mins amongst 25 mins walking.   After reading older posts I recognised I was not dropping my heels.  

On reading the book again today I had forgotten how 'mindful' I am to be doing all this.

I do appreciate reading what everyone else is achieving.  Such amazing times.  


Ditto what Robert said. Some soreness/tightness will occur, and being aware of your form and factors that play into it. Soreness doesn't always mean you've done somthing wrong, and it doesn't go away immediately once you "get it right". Massaging the calve and feet and really working any sore spits or knots will help...and of course recognizing and correcting possible triggers...not letting heels come down. Be patient, the soreness should gradually settle.

Thank you for replying.  Very good points raised.  I am constantly finding new muscles speaking to me.  Crumbles in front of my shoulders from too much foam rolling. But it was working well.

My Calves and feet are much better.  


Hi MARI. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only "newbie" on this forum where I sometimes get the impression that you are not normal if you can't run 100 miles.
I perfectly understand what you say about your Cool Impossible. For me, just starting the program took guts and I can't believe I'm now in week 15 !!! I'm alreading planning to do it a second time around ! So much fun !
Anyways, I just wanted to share an observation that I have made in my running especially when dealing with soreness. I noticed that my run is much better on a given day if I have had an easy run on the previous day. Oddly, this means that I generally feel better if, rather than taking the day off to rest, I do an easy run. It's like my body recovers better that way. I have made this observation several times. And this restful just-for-fun easy running is pure enjoyment.
Take care.

Hi Carolynn,

Everyday run/walk sounds good to me. I seem to lose momentum when I miss a day.  I have stopped at the moment till things settle down I have a big week ahead which I want to be fully fit.    I am keeping at the slant board and fitball exercises up.

Can I ask which watch etc you went with and what you think of it.   I am planning on buying once I reach the end of the transition section:  My Prize  or just to make sure I continue to walk the walk and not just talk the walk.

Thanks for getting touch.

I bought the Garmin 220. Absolutely no regrets even if a bit expensive. I really appreciate being able to monitor my cadence in real time (and therefore avoiding the tedious counting Eric describes in TCI). When I first started, my cadence was around 156 and getting it up to 165 felt fast. Now on my HRZ2 (slow) runs, I can really concentrate on how increasing my cadence in the 170-180 range affects my heart rate. It's still pretty tough for me to maintain 180 while remaining in HRZ2 since my heart tends to quicken whenever I increase effort. It's a nice challenge: working on getting those knees up real quick while trying to convince my heart that I'm sitting in a long chair by the pool !! This is why I appreciate the watch so much since I can monitor both at the same time.

Haha, I also use buying a piece of running gear as a "reward", or when I need a pick-me-up. I've also become a minimalist shoe geek !! I think it's important that newbies have the courage to post their questions on this forum since our difficulties are probably not the same as those who have more experience.
For example, one of my major difficulties is that I constantly belittle my accomplishments. If the day's workout looks really scary beforehand, afterwards, rather than simply being proud of myself for completing it, I think : Well that wasn't so hard afterall, no big deal. And I feel rather ashamed for my initial fear. Another one of my difficulties is that shame for my poor level of fitness is ever present. And no amount of trying to convince myself that I have no reason to feel that way changes anything about that. So I decided to let my fears and my shame accompany me on my runs and let them stride along beside me. Maybe one day I'll tire them out ? Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for info on using the watch.  This is interesting.  I have enough to do running without counting and calculating.  I hope I don't cheap out at the last minute.

Sorry to hear your 'gremlins' are belittling you.  This remind me where Eric has a discussion with man about doing Scorpions on the fitball.  He was to dig down and ask why he was feeling/thinking the way he was.  I can't find it at the moment.  But the answer was inside him. You are one step ahead and prepared to do the challenge. Well done.  I assume you have already tried this.

 I am currently working through this book at the moment.    Dr Steve Peters  The Mind Management.  I like his explanations on how to settle your mind. Life is not Fair: was a major breakthrough for me.  Accept (unfairness)and move on. 

Your level of fitness is  of course no cause for shame as you must know.  Remember how Eric had to let go of the race with the Tarahumaras and others.  He was never going to be in the league of the winners.  That is also why earlier in his life he had to accept he was destined to be a coach, a very good one as it turns out, and not a race record breaker.  So yes we have to accept we will never be the fittest.  

I wonder if you concentrate on being in the present might help.  You must be so much fitter than you were 15 weeks ago.  I know even with my muddling I am much fitter that 9 weeks ago.  Stronger and controlling my breath so I can keep going longer - even when I should stop Ha Ha.

I read Desirderata  on the wall at my first  job.   It made a very big impression on me.  Straight out of Uni with a rather poor result.   Be honest a poor result. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata

I hadn't realised this running was such a mind game but does tie in nicely with the mindfulness I had been reading about and trying to learn in my other readings.  So my guess is you are ready to work through these thoughts and that is part of why you are running.  

 "Everything seems to work better since I started running" was the quote from woman a wee bit younger than myself that got me started.  Guess that might include the mind.

Does this ramble help in anyway?

I like that expression, my shame-gremlins ! I actually wonder if it's a female thing, never feeling good enough... But no worries, it is not going to keep me from running. I observe these emotions, that's all.
Yes I am much fitter than 15 weeks ago. My feet have also grown by one shoe size from all of this forefoot striking. I had to buy new winter boots. Note that over the same period where my feet were "growing", I lost about 7 kilos so this has nothing to do with weight gain. I wonder if others have observed this?
Thank tou for the poem and the quote which are both beautiful.

A few months back, I was speaking to some friends about our type of running and was asked for a demonstration. So I ran for about two minutes to show them the foot strike and form etc. Yesterday, one person that had attended my "demo" told me that I had inspired her to start running because I had given her the impression of a child running free. Needless to say, I was very moved.
I bope your running is going well.

Mari, if you are feeling anything but a valued and respected part of this place then I want to assure you that in my experience EVERYONE here is valued, EVERYONE. The miles you run, the times you record are secondary here, this place is about Living Beyond Fear, Beyond What You Thought Possible, what ever that maybe or looks like to you.

The bravest of us all are the ones who decide to take a stand and start, whether that be walking around the block or running Badwater. It's about measuring yourself against yourself and being the best you can be at any given time. You are a winner, a major winner by simply being here and sharing you journey with us all and your opinions and experiences are valued by everyone.

You have many things to teach us and we are eager to learn. 


Robert,  Thanks for the encouragement.  I was just hesitant to write 'cos everyday my body is responding differently to the  new things I am asking from it.

 I do feel I have a long way to go, since I how now lost the ability to just run.  ha ha !! Always Darkest just before Dawn they say.  So I will really focus on getting the motions correct before I move on.  This time no stop watch and no planning races that I  may not be ready for when I am not sure why I would want to do them.    Just focus on fun of getting fitter.

Many thanks for your words.



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