Running is not easy for me. Never has been. I can't run for more than a mile without a walking break. I have been doing run/walk intervals when I run. For the longest time, I have been stuck at running for three minutes and walking for two. Part of it is mental, I think. Going up to that four minutes of running just seemed so hard - and my calves burned a lot.
My husband (who is a trainer and soon-to-be marathoner) suggested I change my gait. I had him watch me run and we talked about the running shuffle. Basically, not making my stride so long...it is apparently more efficient and more of the strain is on bigger muscles like the quads and hamstrings.
So far, I would say it has worked great! Although it has initially slowed my running down a little, I can run for a lot longer distance. My first "shuffling" run I ran for 10 minutes straight!! That may not seem like much to some natural runners, but it was a huge milestone for me!!.
I think I will keep shuffling along!! ;)