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Alternatives to running

I have had a very tight right calf for a while now and I have been unable to run. I hope to be ready, but I???m now 5 weeks away from my middle distance tri and I haven???t ran more than 5k in around 2 months. I???m worried I???m not going to recover in time to train. Any idea what can I be doing to replicate running for half marathon distances as well as brick work? I have been doing conditioning leg sessions but need to be ready to last the distance. I originally thought cross trainer but have previously read that it is not worth it.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Which middle distance are you doing?
  • It???s Sundowner (half iron distance) in York.
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Andrew, sorry for the delay but have been off grid for a week:

    Best cross training alternatives to running best first:

    1 Outdoor elliptical cycling (requires an eliptigo bike or similar so not practical)

    2 Indoor elliptical trainer or cross trainer (sadly what you've read is misleading/wrong. Something I use myself and with my athletes )

    3 Uphill treadmill walking

    4 Pool running/cycling

    Tight calves are usually a sign of weak calves. Have you tried weighed calf raises (straight and bent knee) and weighted eccentric calf lowers (do one leg at a time and use the resting leg to raise the body as the working calf should only be used to control the lower)

    To take any strain off your calves you could try putting a small foam wedges under your heels. If you move your cleats as far back to to heel as you can you will work your calves less when cycling. This will save them for the run. The tightness in your calves may also be partly due to tight hamstrings and glutes so stretching may help as they all linked and make up the lower back chain of muscle and fascia. Finally, aggressively roller to soles of your feet (I use a spikey ball) as this will also release tension in the back chain.

    Enjoy Allerthorpe, its fast and flat
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