Saturday, March 20, 2010

Your Own Natural Form

I noticed it last Fall, as I was watching my son Jake run.  He was out running around the yard, in his skater-boy shoes, and landing on the balls of his feet as he ran.  I thought to myself, "i used to run like that when I was younger, but now that I am older, I have learned the proper heal-strike, let-your-shoes-do-the-work-for-you technique".  Ironically, I was thinking this as I was takiong some time off from running to let my Achilles tendon heal.

I was one of them.  One of the dumb masses who believed what I heard and tried to correct my natural running form.  I had read shoe reviews that emphasized how the support in this model will help your foot go through the "full, natural motion" of your foot strike.  I was further influenced by a person at my Chiropractor's who insisted that custom-fitted or orthotics.  I had flat feet, and she commented on how developed and strong the inside muscles had become because of there having to deal with this flaw.  I had gone there because 13 miles into a 15 mile run, the inside of my right knee gave out and I could not put any pressure on it.  Knowing what I know now, I should have worked on strenghtening my legs, not adjusting the mechanics of the whole thing.  But, I digress.

As I was running the 3rd workout of the 1st week of the C25k plan, I realized it was easier to focus on and maintain my natural mid-foot /strike form if I picked up the pace a little bit.  Last Summer, when I thought I would just run through the little pain in my Achilles, I focused on heel-striking, to let the shoe and orthotics work their magic together and ran at a slower 11:20 pace to make it easier to maintain the heel-first form. 

In the 2nd running segment of today's run, I noticed that it was easier to maintain the mid-foot/front-foot strike if I ran a little faster pace than before, around a 10:15 to 10:30 pace.  I will try to maintain this as I progress thru the C25k pace.  Since I am not starting from square 1, like I did in January, 2007, whne I became a runner again, I should be able to do that.

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