March 11, 2010

Running wrong


At one point, in elementary school. I started running on my toes. It was very fast, and fun going that fast. In Jr. High a coach pulled me aside and said to knock it off before I injured myself. At 12 years of age a learned authoritative position was not overtly questioned.

Aside from a couple of cross country runs here and there, I never got much further into the sport. I was just too slow to sprint, too clumsy for hurdles and too lazy to work on that. In retrospect maybe I saved my knees...

In the course of picking up my moving around for health and fitness, I started running here and there. I would run up the hills between me and work. Then the next day feel the pain and recover. It would be in my right hip, bottom of my foot and sometimes my ankle.

I was thinking I was still too heavy or too old or too whatever. Guru Jack, my fitness consultant. Had run a marathon and felt the pain, taking a week to recover. He found the afore mentioned Born to Run book (author in above video). At the same time my Nephew Daniel came across the same information and these interesting shoes. So after some investigation I decided to try out the fore-foot running. After my calf muscles strengthened, it became obvious that this put much less stress on the old body.

Yesterday, on my run home from work I was able to make the run without any ill effects. My foot was not bothering me, my knees did not feel tweaked. Also, there is considerably less energy used. That is to say, I did not get the fatigue feeling in my legs. This AM I ran all the way into work (two days running back to back) without any problem.

When I did this a scant few months ago, the bottom of my foot cried out in pain as something was torn or inflamed or both. While it is still way early in trying this out, there are parts that make a lot of sense. If you consider ancient man as a hunter who would have to travel barefoot (or minimal foot coverings) long distances running down wounded prey.

4 comments:

shoo said...

I picked up a book called Chi Running a couple years ago. Turns out, it had nothing to do with Chi, but everything to do with proper skeletal structure in the running. It has totally solved the issues I have had in the past with running: lower back pain and shin splints. Never had problems with knees, but that is also one of the reported benefits. The guy that wrote it is into ultra marathons: the 50-100 mile runs, and was into Tai Chi.

Anyway, running is still hard, but much better than before. Think I'll check out this Born to Run book too...

Lee said...

My knee problem is actually a little muscle that connects to the outside of the top of the knee.

It will be a nice hard spasm that will only unclench over time. I totally forgot about my lower back stiffening with my old running.

shoo said...

I ordered Born to Run...gonna check it out, then maybe buy some of those stylish shoes.

Lee said...

My Nephew Daniel has a pair.