Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Runner's Foot Strike

First and foremost, please no judging about my inadequate knowledge of running and terms. I'm not a professional runner, nor am I an armature runner, I am just a very strong willed wannabee runner when I have time. A hobbyist if you will.

Over the course of the last year, I'm amazed at a runner's foot strike and that different strike's work for different people, not simply "a strike" and that's it. 

I was always under the impression that running was running, striking was striking, you just got out there and ran. Period. But every time I just got out there and ran, I had MAJOR pain and knots in my shin the next day. A week or so later, it would get better. I'd do the same thing again. Another knot, another week, another start, another knot. Hey, I never said I was smart or a quick learner. 

So I Googled this of course. Learning about foot strike's. But not that one was wrong or right, just that it was about what was comfortable and natural for that person. Heel striking was natural for me, that's how it felt like I should run. But I was not doing well with my Couch to 5K with that week break in between each knot. 

Deciding to educate myself further, since I did enjoy the little running I was doing. I learned the 3 main foot strike's. 

running strikes (1)

Also learned that heel striking maybe was not the greatest for me. Let me tell you, I watch how everyone runs. There are a lot of heel strikers out there. That apparently do not get pain or knots. 

So I gave midfoot and forefoot a try. No pain but boy was it awkward. It didn't feel natural or right. Kind of gimpy. So I repeatedly kept going back to heel strike, and repeatedly got pain and knots. 
running strikes (2)

I began discussing this with a seasoned runner. I explained the above to them and basically got a picture drawn similar to this and a have a nice day and they said "don't go back to a heel strike if it hurts".  Hmm go figure. Told you....slow learner.
running strikes (3)

So I have since forced myself to forefoot or midfoot run to the point that it's actually comfortable now. Still doesn't feel natural, but it is comfortable. No easy quick task but I got there. It's amazing how enjoyable running is.
running strikes (5)

I do sort of keep track of distance so I know how far I've worked up to, but I don't keep track of time or anything else. A friend and I were going to try our very first mini-triathlon this fall but it got cancelled. That involved running, biking and canoeing. 
running strikes (4)

It's funny how running at 20 is simply running. Running at 40 is a major learning curve and process. 

Tell me about your running misconceptions? Or advice for slow learners like me.

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