In my recent endeavor to be as fast as a robot or the wind when it comes to running, I have not only started running with a stronger runner (which has been hugely eye opening) I have started rummaging around the internet looking for various articles on different types of running and the mechanics behind them.
I am not new to running nor am I new to running with knee issues, I am however new to caring about them and doing what I can to minimize the pain.
Fed up with the pain, the stiff joints and the inability to walk down the stairs without grasping a railing to be able to take some of the pressure off my knees, I decided it was time to get serious. Signing up with a physio therapist (this bombed but that is another story), going to a sports doctor and eventually finding trust and help in an Orthopedic doctor who helped to fit me for some orthotics, gave me some exercises to do to strength my weak hip and ankle muscles, ligaments, tendons you name it.
Now I do admit I am probably one of the worst at making sure I do my physio exercises twice a day every day (I am so far from consistent it isn’t funny) but I am getting much better at incorporating the moves into my gym routines, and I am definitely starting to feel a substantial difference when my foot strikes the ground, with the help of my orthotics too of course.
All of this has made me more and more curious about running types, forms, strategies everything. The more I read the more I think “oh my goodness how has it taken me so long to care?”. I think perhaps like most I just assumed running was running, it was natural, everyone who chooses to can run and your body will adjust to the proper form (right now typing that down it sounds like I believed in magic a little). Although it is very true that running is natural, and that humans have done it forever, and were built for endurance running, some circumstances have changed which may require us to modify how we run.
One of the main changes is the environment in which we run, we are rarely running through forests, or on naturally cushioned ground, we are running on sidewalks and paved trails for the most part. Over time we had also changed the way people learnt to run by developing bigger, better, more cushiony shoes. I for one know I was taught to run heel-toe, all of the track and cross country running I did growing up was heel-toe, heel-toe. Now I am not saying this did me a disservice, as I am sure heel-toe running for some is the most comfortable, but the more reading I do on the subject the more interested I am in mid-strike or fore foot running, I mean it really seems to make sense.
Now I am definitely no expert on any of this, I just enjoy running, and if I can do anything to minimize the pain it causes me so that I can run just that much longer you can bet your butt I will try it out.
How do you run? Anyone out there using those toe shoes?
Here are some of the articles I found interesting: