Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wrong... All This Time?

Oh noooooes.....

I read something today about the proper way for a runner's foot to hit he ground:

"The most natural foot strike when running distance is to land first on the outer rear portion of the heel and then let the foot roll forward and inward until push off from the forefoot."

Well... I've been trying to land midfoot, because I read that was recommended. And no matter how I plant my midfoot, it winds up hurting. Shin splints!

I get pigeon-toed, according to my brother. My nephew watched me run (after I tried to correct my tiptoe running that a friend had already noted), and he said I'm still running on my toes. Actually, it's more like the balls of my feet, but I can understand why it looks like I'm on my toes to him.

Still, my way ain't working for me.

When I was a kid, I was a fairly fast runner, and I did it by running on my toes. Nobody ever told me the right way to run -- they just said GO! and I took off running, eventually learning not to waste time by letting my whole foot hit the ground. Lol.

And this was wrong, but being a very flexible child, I never felt any foot or leg pain. As an adult, I tried to run again, on my tiptoes (old habits die hard, even after 30 years have passed), and I quickly developed shin splints. Again. It also happened when I tried to run at age 25. *sigh* I'm just not as flexible as I was at the age of 12.

Tonight I decided to test two things. First, I wanted to do a very short amount of running up and down my street and see if it made my shins hurt even worse tomorrow. Second, I bought I'd try that "natural" heel strike and see how it felt.

Well, it didn't take much of an effort to jog a little bit that way. I mean, I didn't really have to think about it and it didn't hurt my shins as I was doing it. It was just a little test.

All I could think was, "That took less effort than trying to correctly plant my feet in mid striking. Oh no... Have I been stupidly running the wrong way all this time, injuring myself unnecessarily, when it could have been less torture?"

Tomorrow will tell me, I hope. I hope I'm onto a better way for me to run. Because if it hurts this much all the time, I've gotta be doing something wrong!

I've never had anyone coach me on how to run. They never did more with us in running at school than make us run a mile once a year for the President's Physical Fitness awards, which I never got. Lol I was in good shape back then. Just not elite shape. I was fit for a kid that played manhunt with my neighbors in the summertime, but I was not in athletic shape. I wasn't allowed to become an athlete, but I wanted to be on the track team. :)

Nobody teaches kids how to run unless they are athletes or the kids of coaches. :). Just the way it is, and too darn bad that it doesn't come naturally.

So it's up to me (unless I can find a running coach) to figure it out on my own. And I intend to. :). Wish me luck?

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