hi there, I started using barefoot running technique last september and did the same as you! overdid it and got awful calf pain! I use the merrell barefoot shoes. Are you using minimalist shoes or have you gone completely barefoot?
the thing is, barefoot running brings in underused calf muscles and you have to take it easy. When your calf muscles have recovered a bit, start again but slower this time, start with about a half mile 2 or three times in the first week, and add about a half mile each week to each session. (this would mean you will reach your 5k in about 6 weeks) You can run in your old shoes and heel strike in other session while you are doing this but the new technique must be done slowly (sorry thats not very clear but i couldnt work out how to say it - hopefully someone else might!).
I have just run 8 miles in my shoes yesterday with hardly a calf twinge so it will get better honest but give your muscles time to adjust as they re-learn how to run!
Hi I agree Max's Mum
I'm pretty new to all this and I have recently changed my running technique and its made a world of difference. I used to be a heel striker and I used to have all kinds of problems. But literally in the last week I am a mid foot striker. it genuinely only took me a week to sort this out. However as you mentioned my calves are on fire after a run. I started back at 2 milers and slowly slowly, running every other day, raising my mileage. I find that stretching my calves at various points throughout the day helps massively. Even on my days off I still stretch stretch stretch. I have also been doing calf exercises. I'm presuming these are helping. But I cannot say how happy I am with my progress. But I think the main rule is go back to the beginning, change your style (You can found thousands of websites on how to do this, plus the book you mentioned I have seen on the forums a lot so there must be some good stuff in it) and take it slowly and gently. I know I didn't want to but as I said before I'm glad I did
glad you are getting good results!
and although there has been a lot of publicity about this running technique especially since 'born to run' but it is not really a new technique, just been re-visited.
check out this publication by Gordon Pirie, especially the section on running technique and the one about how running shoes should be. Its interesting stuff, like we have come full circle!
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