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Sore calf muscles, good or bad?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I got new skis, Atomic 10.20's, and boy do I love 'em! It seems my skiing instantly jumped from intermediate to advanced, probably because I'm concentrating more on my form to keep on top of these babies. However, after skiing for my first two days this season (oh when will we get snow in Tahoe!), I noticed that my calf muscles were sore, something I haven't noticed in past seasons. Is this an indication of poor form, or good form?
post #2 of 15
Congrats on the epiphany.
Did the soreness feel more like muscles over worked or like a charlie horse.
If your boots are high backs and you bang them a bit, they will hurt.
if you are standing on the balls of your feet they will also be a bit sore. If it is muscle soreness then it might be a case of correct form but over tense feet. If you get your body positioned over the skis correctly, and have orthotics or custom foot beds locking your feet place, you may be still pushing down too hard with your toes/ball of foot. If this is the case, you will find that as you get more confident, you will be able to relax your feet and still maintain control. this will relax your calf and soreness should stop. First days out will do this too unless you are working the calfs during the off season.
Sounds like you are on the right path. Keep it up. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited January 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 15
Could be your boots are too loose and you're trying to grip with your toes.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Jim O'D
I'm sure I did not stretch enough beforehand, but I will be sure to do so in the future. This is also the first year I stayed off the greens entirely, going straight to blues and blacks. Now all I need is snow so I can work on powder and moguls!

It was definitely a "good" soreness, as after a good workout, not muscle cramping. I do have custom footbeds in ladies' boots (hence lower backs, though I usally disdain anything not unisex).
In retrospect, I was almost certainly pushing down too hard on the balls of my feet/big toes--I'm sure that will ease with more skiing in February. It's snowing in Tahoe even as I type this!

I usually start with my boots fairly loose and tighten them after a few runs, and again later in the day as needed. I was having so much fun even in the minimal snow that I forgot to tighten them up significantly 'til after lunch. D'oh!

Thanks for the quick replies--I just wanted to nip any bad habits in the bud, taking advantage of others' experience.
post #5 of 15
This past weekend I skied three days in a row. The coverage wasn't great except on the groomed runs and some moguls runs. I skied the mogul runs until I got a little tired then worked on technique on the groomed runs the rest of the day. I was on some Dynastar SFs which are a shaped GS ski. Towards the end of the day I noticed my thighs burning, which is normal, but my calves were burning, also. It definitely was muscle fatigue, not any other soreness. Considering I was concentrating on using the shape of the ski to turn and working on carving with both skis I hope the fatigue was because of good form.
post #6 of 15
rio and leilaz
It sounds like you are both pushing down with your toes and balls of your feet almost like trying to stand on your toes when reaching for something. Try this,
When you are actually skiing, wiggle your toes. this will force you to relax your feet because you will be unable to curl your does when you do this. Do it first on groomers then actually try it while skiing in some bumps or steeper stuff. It really works if you have orthotics. your feet should not move left or right in the boot.
After a while you won't have to think about it, it will just happen and it's easier on your calf muscles as well as your arches

The up side of the soreness is you are not in the back seat and if you are not finding brusing or pain in the shins you are not too far forward. Guess that means you are pretty well centered <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited January 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 15

How long have you had the boots, and what model are they?

post #8 of 15
Jim O'd,
I have to disagree with you. Sore muscles are not a sign of good form. Precision skiing is very clean and relaxed. It doesn't usually strain you much at all. When I am skiing at my best, I'm not tired, nor do my legs burn the least bit.
post #9 of 15
I was up a Bridger today. Same conditions as this weekend, hard moguls and rough icy groomers. I paid attention to when my calves felt the most pressed this time. It definitely was towards the end of the day when I was taking cruiser runs. The snow was an icy hard pack with lots of ripples, bumps, ruts, etc. in it. The runs I was on were pretty wicked and I was practicing holding a turn on the rough, hard surface. During these runs I could wiggle my toes. I was definitely putting more weight on my outside ski and rolling it over more on its side than on the groomed runs with softer, flatter snow. To tell you the truth, I am not concerned my calves were tired after a day of skiing moguls and junky hardpack.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I got the boots with custom footbeds last year at Sturtevant's in Sun Valley, Idaho. They are Nordica Trend 06's (front entry, 4 buckles) which I believe are a decent but not performance boot. I have only skied in them for about 10 days. I got a really great discount on them because they were the last pair in the shop. When these wear out I will certainly replace them with higher end boots.
post #11 of 15

do you tend to bend at the waist as a bad habit when things get steep?
post #12 of 15
good point.

You may be able to lessen the first day discomfort by wearing your boots for ten minutes or more a few evenings before you begin skiing. I stand in mine flexing in front of the TV for about an hour. I have found that this helps my feet and ankles aclimatize and reduces first day soreness.

post #13 of 15
I get sore calves my first day or two as well, but I attribute this to the fact that no dryland exercise truly gets all of the skiing muscles. A good one, though, is a rockerboard. Take a 14" circle of plywood and a wood ball (cut 1/2 of the ball off a decorative newell post- get it from Home Depot, not the one at the bottom of your stairs). Screw the 1/2 ball to the bottom of your circle, stand on it, and roll around left, right, try to balance, etc.

Footbeds are key, too...(Tecnica Icon X, custom footbeds make my toes happy. My shells are a large fit for comfort in coaching but I have not felt any loss of control).
post #14 of 15
I normally get a bit of calf and thigh soreness the 1st couple days of the season. However, Friday I skiied the hardpack at Copper Mountain after a 2 week layoff and woke up on Saturday morning with my calves feeling like the 2nd day of the season, (I actually have about 25 days in so far).
In my own warped way, I conclude the following:

1. Don't take 2 weeks off from skiing, even if your folks come to visit.

2. My X-15's don't carve very well on icy hardpack and I really had to work at keeping an edge.

Saturday and Sunday were no problem with fresh snow on the ground and although the soreness is still there, it got no worse.

Just my $.02 worth.
post #15 of 15

I think your comfort and control come from your balance and experience. Not everyone can ski as well as you do in comfy boots.


I am a bachelor, whose girlfriend is not live-in. There lies the key difference.

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