Don’t Neglect Your Stretching With Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

don't neglect your stretching
You might think this is a slow mile pace, but with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) it was quite an achievement. A critical milestone. Hey! I ran Boston in 2009, but I didn’t have PAD then. I was really happy with this result, as I head for 13:40, my goal for 26.2.

I awoke in the night, last night, with pain in my right calf. “That’s odd,” I thought. I reached down, to find my right soleus muscle was really tight. “That’s odd,” I thought. “But then, I did change my running style, using that toe thing, and any change takes time. Was it that? I don’t think so, because it feels good, like I’m using my feet to pump blood down through my calves, through my feet, and back to my heart, using muscle pumps and improved venous return.”

By the way, people tend to think the heart is a pump (which is really two pumps) that pushes blood through a bunch of inert pipes. Nothing could be further from the truth. The entire vascular system is one massive pumping machine, driven by muscle action, energy dissipation (loss as heat) and storage (elastic storage and recoil), body movement, and a range of osmotic pressure gradients.


I thought, “I don’t think it’s that.” Then I thought, “Sh*t, I’ve been neglecting my stretching (muscle lengthening),” so I stretched my hamstrings gently, which helped, and decided to fix it in the morning. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into a busy, happy life.

ZZZZ zzzz!

In the gym, in the morning, after warming up, I went through my calf relaxing exercises. How? By gently lengthening/stretching my hamstrings and hips. Stretching my calves just makes them tighter. They don’t like that!

Soleus muscle nicely relaxed. Let’s see how relaxed it is after the White Lake Half Ironman, next Saturday, assuming I make the bike cutoff time.

don't neglect your stretching
From the White Lake Half Ironman 2022 participant list. Had to check I’d signed up.

Keep moving,

-kev aka FitOldDog

PS You can sign up for my weekly newsletter, here, if you so desire.

don't neglect your stretching
MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.


  1. Kevin this is amazing.
    Congratulations and thank you!

    • Hi Masa, good to hear from you. Next year I’ll be in the 80-84 year age group. I’m turning into an old fart. A happy old fart. I still remember that beautiful picture of you.
      Hope you are happy, too.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.