No, I’m not talking about being really patriotic.  Pronation is what happens when the foot absorbs the shock of each step by flexing and rolling.  The foot rolls a bit inward with each step, and with the correct gait should begin to roll outward with the toe-off.

Since last week I’ve been having some pain in the front of my left calf.  I thought it had something to do with all the running without a rest day – I was partly correct.  The result of my overdoing it has given me a slight case of Shin Splints.  This can be caused by running to much too soon and a condition known as underpronation or overpronation.  I have somewhat flat feet and after watching the video below from the Runner’s World site and checking my old running shoes I’ve deduced that I’m an overpronator.

From what I’ve read so far, it’s a condition that happens to a lot of runners particularly those training for a marathon.  Remedies for the pain include, elevating, icing, massage, ibuprofen (Motrin for me) and rest.  Yesterday, I picked up one of those super modern gel filled hot/cold bags from the drug store.  Sometimes its really amazing to be alive in 2009 – this thick plastic bag filled with some kind of polymer can either be frozen (yet still be flexible) or heated in the micowave.  I don’t know why, but I think that’s really cool.  NERD alert!  The  thing comes with a cloth pouch that has a strap for easy attachment to the sore limb.  I basically froze the front of my left calf for about 4 hours (total) yesterday and spent about 15 minutes working it with the Stick and massaging it before bed.  This morning I was able to run 3 miles and the pain is about half what it was on Tuesday.

This is a condition that can get worse.  I’ve been reading more today and a lot of doctors recommend shoe inserts to support flat arches in an effort to realign my gate and stop the  overpronation.  I have a down day tomorrow then three miles on Saturday and to start week 9 of the training, a 7 mile run scheduled for Sunday.  I’m hoping the inserts and icy gel solve this problem.

Oh, I’ve also left Scott Browning, trainer, a message to see if he has any suggestions.


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406


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