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Calf muscles

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Alright, need advice before the lifts open tomorrow.

Bonni and I are in Colorado for the week, been out twice to Copper and can't walk to well tonight. Calves are killing me---that is all---quads are tired, but ok.

Need miracle cure for complete lack of conditioning -- before the lifts open tomorrow.

I'm going to try the Brekenridge Brewery treatment this evening, Avalanche Amber at the moment.

Help!

SJ

Alright, now I expect 10 or 12 remedies by the time I return from chinese in an hour or so

Lets get crackin!:
post #2 of 24
Lay off the booze. Flush system with water. Stretch. Ibuprofen. Stretch more. Eat bananas. Drink more water.

Fitz
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz
Lay off the booze. Flush system with water. Stretch. Ibuprofen. Stretch more. Eat bananas. Drink more water.

Fitz
What he said...and stay out of the hot tub!
post #4 of 24
I usually have the same experience at the beginning of the season; first couple of days out my calves will kill me. I've speculated to myself that it has more to do with rusty technique than rusty muscles. Something to do with trying to drive your tips with your legs instead of balancing properly, perhaps.

Once I get my groove back, the pain settles in at my quads - where god intended
post #5 of 24
Light massage can also help. If it's just the calves, then you can wrap them with towels dampened with medium-hot (not burning) water to loosen the muscles.

But the best thing is to send me in your place. My legs feel fine. Really.
post #6 of 24
Your muscles are complaining about too much lactic acid from overuse. Drain them by keeping them above your heart as you massage out all of the nasty waste products. Alcohol will slow your recovery but a glass or two of red wine is not going to do that much damage. Especially if you chase it with water/gatorade for the rest of the night. While nsaid's will dull the pain I would wait until morning to use them.
It goes without saying that without some pre-season exercise regimine you are not going to get your body to suddenly adapt.

Try not to get hurt.
post #7 of 24

Ya, alcohol

I've never talked to anyone who got
altitude sickness after drinking only
moderately on the first two nights.
People who drank too much, of course.
People who drank nothing, more than a few.
People who drank moderately-- never.

The reason your calves are sore (assuming
it's the back side, not the shins) is you
are trying to push with your toes. Dorsiflexion
is when your toes get closer to your shins.
Plantarflexion is when you stand on your
tip-toes.

You're having trouble getting forward. Reach
out in front of you with your hands (I hate
talking about hands, but this is what you need).
Get forward. Relax. Let your ankles dorsiflex.
Flex forward in your boots. I tell my four-year
old, "Push your knees down toward your toes."
Attack!!!!

Once you stop trying to stabilize with your calves
and get forward, I think you'll be fine.

Don't let anyone tell you not to drink if you like
it. Alcohol at altitude is wonderful. "Sweet liquor
eases the pain." And if you're a lowlander, you'll
need about half as much to feel nice. Then when
you wake up, there's no hangover.

I like hot tubs too. Pina coladas and gettin' caught in the rain.
post #8 of 24
skierj if the calf muscles are killing you chances are you have a tight Achillies tendon. Through in a set of heel lifts or put some trail maps under your heels to see if you can get some relief. If your binding will move forward easily do it. Good luck.
post #9 of 24
Be careful not to stretch TOO much. I have a tendency to sometimes overdo it, which fatigues the muscle and makes things worse. I've actually turned a minor injury into something worse by overstretching.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, this was sort of tongue in cheek, with the beer cure and all, but I did get some good stuff. TommyK, good point about stabilizing with my calves and Pierre, yes achilles and hamstrings are tight---always have been. I have railflex bindings, really easy to move them forward I'll give it a try.
post #11 of 24
This is my biggie after a few hours real skiing followed by 6 hours teaching! argh. Everything's fine, except my stupid achilles and calves. achilles were pinging and arcing all night. Skins didn't help with this.

So my cure tonight is: Naprosyn SR 1000. Not much help to you, as it seems very hard to come by in America (it's prescription, but even your online pharmacies seem reluctant to stock it).
by tomorrow, my lower legs will be happy campers.
post #12 of 24
Also a swim as a cool down after skiing may help
post #13 of 24
Hey J,

Stop trying to stand on your toes! Being forward does NOT mean standing with all the weight on the balls of your feet. It'll just make you tip too far forward, then have to use your calves even more to try to push back. Lots of ungood things result, but I won't get into those.

Stand on a flat foot, or even think about pushing your heel down while also pushing your shin tinto the cuff of the boot. It forces you to close your ankle joint. Standing on the balls of your feet opens the ankle joint and pushes you back.

If you can't push down on thor heel and into the cuff of the boot at the same time, you need to see a good boot fitter because your dorsi flexion is too limited for your boot setup.
post #14 of 24
I second JohnH's point about standing on your whole foot.

I have something called "The Stick," it's a flexible rod with rollers on it that costs about $25. I use it after running and it really helps work my muscles out.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz
Lay off the booze. Flush system with water. Stretch. Ibuprofen. Stretch more. Eat bananas. Drink more water.

Fitz
Fitz gave the best advice!

Tonic water "with quinine" helps too!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Hey J,

Stop trying to stand on your toes! Being forward does NOT mean standing with all the weight on the balls of your feet. It'll just make you tip too far forward, then have to use your calves even more to try to push back. Lots of ungood things result, but I won't get into those.

Stand on a flat foot, or even think about pushing your heel down while also pushing your shin tinto the cuff of the boot. It forces you to close your ankle joint. Standing on the balls of your feet opens the ankle joint and pushes you back.

If you can't push down on thor heel and into the cuff of the boot at the same time, you need to see a good boot fitter because your dorsi flexion is too limited for your boot setup.
I run into this problem. I tend to lean too far forward and want to ski on the balls of my feet. I have to consciously think about pushing my heels down. But my calves get sore sometimes. It makes me wonder if it isn't a habit crossed over from mountain biking to want to balance on the ball of my foot only.

I've been working with my bootfitter to take up more room in my ankle because they do lift a good bit. It's definitely not a dorsiflexion problem - my ankles flex more than average anyway, but I feel like there's always too much room in my ankle. We've added padding behind my heel and a heel cup, and these are already narrow heeled women's boots that are supposed to solve this type of thing, but I'd say it's just better than it was with the previous pair, but not enough to really keep my heels/ankles in place. I'm wondering if I can't add foam to the tongue around my ankle to take up some space too. It sucks when no one makes a boot that fits your foot.
post #17 of 24

Ski on it

Walk on it, ski on it and move it. You can try to stretch it - stand w/ feet 2 and 1/2 feet from wall and lower body to the wall keeping body straight - easy does it. I wouldn't necessarily do that. I would use the muscle.

Never stretch a cold muscle!

I take asprin.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by altagirl
I run into this problem. I tend to lean too far forward and want to ski on the balls of my feet. I have to consciously think about pushing my heels down. But my calves get sore sometimes. It makes me wonder if it isn't a habit crossed over from mountain biking to want to balance on the ball of my foot only.

I've been working with my bootfitter to take up more room in my ankle because they do lift a good bit. It's definitely not a dorsiflexion problem - my ankles flex more than average anyway, but I feel like there's always too much room in my ankle. We've added padding behind my heel and a heel cup, and these are already narrow heeled women's boots that are supposed to solve this type of thing, but I'd say it's just better than it was with the previous pair, but not enough to really keep my heels/ankles in place. I'm wondering if I can't add foam to the tongue around my ankle to take up some space too. It sucks when no one makes a boot that fits your foot.
It sounds like you may be in a booth that is just too high volume for your foot. You shouldn't have to add all that stuff to keep your foot in place.

Other things to look at: Forward learn - does it have too much? Ramp angle - does the inside of the boot have too much ramp? Binding delta - similar to ramp angle, a lot of bindings have heel pieces that raise your heel up more than your toe. When you combine these things - too much delta + ramp angle + forward lean, it can really compund a problem.

Like you, I have narrow heels and a lot of dorsi flexion. I have a farily snadard width foot, but I ski a Lange WC 140 Low (low volume) boot. I ski on Look binding, which have a fair amount of delta. I used to put larger lifters under the toe bidings, but they don't seem to make those any more. Instead, the toe and heel DINs (I think that's what the toe and heel pieces of the boot are called) on the boots are removable, so I replaced the toe DINs with thicker ones. I'm considering pulling the boot cuff more upright and riveting it up. Because that will make the boot stiffer, I'd need to then soften the shell by cutting it.

Basically, I like to have a flat foot and an upright shin. I'm tall (6'2") so I get a lot of leverage on a boot and this pulls my hips too far forward, which I then offset by bending at the knees and waist to compensate. It makes for a not very good skiing position and makes my calves and quads have to work too much (can't use my skeleton for support).

So what I'm trying to say with this long post, is you need a good boot fitter to assess that the boot is the right one for your foot, and the combination of anatomy, boot (ramp and forward lean) and binding, to make sure you are in the right position.
post #19 of 24
I encountered sore calf issue for the first time. I recently had a total refitting of my boots where the overal ramp-delta-whachacallit angle was lowered significantly. The immediate on the slope result was that I could feel the front of my skis a whole lot better, and hence my turn initiation became a lot more natural. However, the immediate problem was that I found myself being too far forward, and often ended up with weight on the balls of my feet rather than more evenly distributed. It took me a couple of days to re-educate my muscles and propioreceptors to readjust my stance. In the meanwhile, my calfs killed me the first couple of days.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
It sounds like you may be in a booth that is just too high volume for your foot. You shouldn't have to add all that stuff to keep your foot in place.

Other things to look at: Forward learn - does it have too much? Ramp angle - does the inside of the boot have too much ramp? Binding delta - similar to ramp angle, a lot of bindings have heel pieces that raise your heel up more than your toe. When you combine these things - too much delta + ramp angle + forward lean, it can really compund a problem.

Like you, I have narrow heels and a lot of dorsi flexion. I have a farily snadard width foot, but I ski a Lange WC 140 Low (low volume) boot. I ski on Look binding, which have a fair amount of delta. I used to put larger lifters under the toe bidings, but they don't seem to make those any more. Instead, the toe and heel DINs (I think that's what the toe and heel pieces of the boot are called) on the boots are removable, so I replaced the toe DINs with thicker ones. I'm considering pulling the boot cuff more upright and riveting it up. Because that will make the boot stiffer, I'd need to then soften the shell by cutting it.

Basically, I like to have a flat foot and an upright shin. I'm tall (6'2") so I get a lot of leverage on a boot and this pulls my hips too far forward, which I then offset by bending at the knees and waist to compensate. It makes for a not very good skiing position and makes my calves and quads have to work too much (can't use my skeleton for support).

So what I'm trying to say with this long post, is you need a good boot fitter to assess that the boot is the right one for your foot, and the combination of anatomy, boot (ramp and forward lean) and binding, to make sure you are in the right position.
I might see what I can do about the forward lean. I'm on Looks too. But the funny thing is that I remember when I was using Freerides for a while, that toe-high ramp angle made me nuts. Though maybe that was just too extreme of a change. I do remember that in my last pair of alpine boots (Tecnica Icons), I had heel lifts in (again to take up space in the heel/ankle) and my instructor at a steeps camp had me take them out. It made the boot wiggle around more, but my posture is better without them. Anyway, my bootfitter selected my current boots because they were the narrowest heel/ankle thing we could find that would still accommodate my wide forefoot. Which mean that Lange's are an exercise in misery. Maybe I need to try them again and just have them massively blown out - but I think last time I was shell fit, my forefoot is too big for even just the shell. I don't know how much they can modify that. Maybe it's time to try another, more specialized bootfitter. What a pain in the butt.
post #21 of 24

Listen to Fitz

skierj:

Most of the above advice is IMO good stuff, but when the smoke clears, listen to Fitz--he addresses 75% of your problem.

This is from a recent convert to the H2O cure.
JoeB
post #22 of 24

Listen to Fitz

skierj:

Most of the above advice is IMO good stuff, but when the smoke clears, listen to Fitz--he addresses 75% of your problem.

This is from a recent convert to the H2O cure.
JoeB
post #23 of 24

....

...in agreement with JohnH & everyone else.... Check your balance, relax & ski with your whole foot ...w/relaxed ankles tipping into your turns..instead of any clenching of toes..(for stability..)
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
Alright, now I expect 10 or 12 remedies by the time I return from chinese in an hour or so
:
booze and sex with a stranger
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