How do I build my muscles for running?

Hi all

I'm facing a long time out with a snapped achilles. One of the factors that caused it was apparently my calf muscles being too strong for the tendon so that, when the tendon developed a slight tear, a bit of extra stress made it snap - rather like a rubber band with a nick in it.

When I eventually get back to running, I want to avoid that sort of localised muscle build up. I don't think I was engaging my glutes - or indeed many of the muscles above my knees. Of course, that phrase "engaging my glutes" doesn't actually mean that much to me - I don't know how to engage my glutes or use the hamstrings or quads or whatever. I just went out and ran, feet low to the ground, not much knee raise at all.

So, how do I "engage my glutes"? How do I strengthen the quads and hamstrings? I never had these problems when I was younger (I'm 49 will be nearly 50 by the time I can run again), I just went out and ran.

I'm going to be visiting my local Sweatshop to get my gait analysed but I think I might need to re-build my entire running style. That being so, how?


  • I had "hypertrophy" of the calf muscles, and was not using glutes, or quads effectively, I went to the sports and spinal injuries injuries clinic at Bolton Uni with repeat calf strains, where it was diagnosed,

    I didn't run for three weeks and they did absolutely nothing about the calf strains, they just gave me excercises to build the upper leg muscles in the period I couldn't run, it went fine afterwards, made me run differently and cured the calf pulls. I feel a lot better for it. 

  • If your muscles (any group) are too tight/ tense it might be worth considering investing in a "the stick" or foam roller in order to massage and loosen off the affected muscle groupes.

    Many instructional vids can be found on you tube and you never know, for the price of £3 from Wilkinsons you might be able to invest in a rolling pin that will at least help if not solve your problems.

    Do some online research and see what you think!


  • I was also told that I wasn't engaging my glutes and was having problems with my knees. After doing a lot of squats, lunges, clams and other glute strengthening exercises, none of these problems re-occurred. I keep doing the glute exercises to try and keep everything in line. 

    Hope you get better soon!



  • Circuit training, yoga and pilates may all help and are a great way to mix things up a bit.

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