I've been adjusting to forefoot/barefoot running for a couple months now. I keep extending my distance or increasing my speed or improving my form. Consequently, my calves have been staying sore for most of the last couple months. A week ago I decided to take a break and let my calves get completely recovered.
During this week of rest I did light activity. For example, yesterday I went for a 4 mile walk and during the walk I practised a few running drills (what Ryan Hall calls "dribbles") and I ran a few blocks focusing on technique a few different times during my walk.
But light activity can helped recovery, so I think I've done a pretty good job of backing off my training intensity for a week. I have also done some icing, compression and had two calf massages this week, etc.
Even after all that, my calves (soleus) are still slightly sore today, one more than the other. I can only notice this soreness if I flex them a certain way, so it is very slight soreness.
My question is this: should I take another day (or two) off and let the soreness go away 100%? Or can I go ahead and resume training before the soreness is completely gone?
What are the pros and cons of either approach?
I think this is a generic question that could apply to resuming training of many different types. My past experience is that people generally recommend training again even if there is a small amount of soreness from a prior workout in a case where the rest period for the muscle has been appropriate and most of the soreness is gone. This may be the general answer to my question: Is it healthy to exercise a muscle when it's still sore?
I'm excited to get out and run. I feel ready to go. That psychological state means something too.
What does Physical Fitness Stack Exchange think about this topic in the context of transitioning to a new running technique? Does the generic answer apply?
BTW, this running has done more for the appearance of my calf muscles than weight lifting ever did. I could never get my calves to grow before. Now I don't even care about that, but they do look better than I recall them ever looking in the past, no matter how much I worked them.