Progressive Running

Running Form Correction

Month: October 2017

Read this before buying running shoes

Thanks for stopping by to read this. Sometimes I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crazy highway yelling at fast passing cars: “stop using fossil fuel, switch to solar!”

What I am going to share with you here is exactly the story of sustainable energy versus unsustainable one resembled in the context of running.  We all know solar panels are expensive (it is quite an investment). We know hybrid cars like Toyota Prius or electric cars like Tesla’s are expensive, but they help building a better future. The benefits of using sustainable energy come in a long run, same as correct/efficient/sustainable running that I am discussing here.

There is a different way of running that can save you a lot of energy while being at the most optimum form to avoid injuries. It is like learning a new dance move but scientifically removes physical pressure from your body to some good extent.

It all starts with one simple fact: we do not have to generate energy for propulsion.  So how to move forward? Only fall like a timber tree and catch yourself at the end. Can you do it in form of a smooth and fast running? The answer is yes, and that is what I teach. If you want to know more, google “Pose Method of Running” or watch this:

 

I observe outdoor recreational runners and usually find one runner per week running correctly – or very close to Pose – out of hundreds iterating the same ubiquitous inefficient technique: pushing off the ground + landing ahead of the body (usually landing on heels first).

The shoe industry does something that looks divine in the first glance. They truly try to protect your feet. Putting aside the relatively small minimalist shoes production, the rest of the industry manufactures shoes that mainly:

  • Mitigate the harmful impact of landing ahead of the body
  • Help with effective push-off the ground

I do not blame the shoe industry for not telling you how to run correctly and instead monetising what people prefer to do (would not you do that too if you could?! or what is wrong with you?!) What I am to blame is runners for naive thinking that running is their second nature persuming there is not much to learn.

Our ancestor cavemen went through an experience since their childhood that we do not: they ran barefoot all the time, telling from the sensations (mostly pain) in the bottom of their feet how to tread to have the least impact to their body (lasting long chasing preys) while being able to run as fast as possible. 

At our age, the situation is terrible. We learn walking and running in shoes. There are even shoes for new borns! Parents out of pure honest love for their toddlers buy shoes with elevated heels and arch support too. All of these deter us from naturally learning how to run efficiently. Well, we no longer run for survival but if you pick running seriously you better spend time to learn its basics properly to make the right choices including what type of shoes suit you.

If you choose to learn Pose, prepare yourself to get humble, but trust me, your running will feel like flying once  you start running in Pose. Private Sessions for total amount of $150. 

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Does footstrike matter?

Watched a video in which a successful running coach answered questions by one of his clients and one question was on footstrike if it matters how to land, as in forefoot or mid-foot or rear-foot. He said it does not matter and he repeated that over and over moving his head implying if it is an overrated topic and he is simply washing away all the fuss to enlighten his dear clients. Once he was done with the phrase “it does not matter” he continued “as long as you land under you hips, it does not matter how you land”. That was true but the way he approached it initially reminded me of those tricky visually-concealed lines in terms and conditions of a contract, maybe even in small font, that would work against customers! If he clearly highlighted the importance of landing underneath hips first, then yes, I would totally agree with him that footstrike does not matter much thereafter.

Landing under hips is what all physios – those with medical degrees and those without any! – would have consensus over it that is the best way of landing at running. There would be less pressure on knees and it would not generate any force against the direction of running. The question is how to achieve it? Can it be enforced?

The answer by me, based on Pose method of running, is it is the outcome of other things that happen before landing and it should not be enforced. Landing under hips happen if:

  • There is no propulsion generated by muscular effort (no paw-back or push-off)
  • There is no reaching forward to elongate stride length (no over-striding)

In an ideal case when everything is done correctly prior to landing, mid to front foot strike is expected to happen. It is actually hard to land on heels when landing underneath the hips; it would take moving hips a little bit backward, bending over waist which causes its own problems.

Is forefoot strike better than the others? Not necessarily. I have seen runners enforcing it while landing ahead of their bodies. That is still bad and exerts extra pressure on some parts, like Achilles tendon.

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