Thursday, June 6, 2013

Restraint & Running Style

I have signed up for three races (I know that doesn't sound like restraint):
Woohoo!

It's so New England!
And ...
Wish me luck!
I don't know what to expect. I'm still not 100%, but that's how tendon healing is. It takes time. I remember reading that it takes something like 100 days to rebuild collagen fibers (Collagen makes up tendons). 

When I'm running, and feel discomfort, I back it off. Yesterday, at the track I was crying. I was the slowest female, out of the four of us. I felt winded at times, but most times I just backed it off because my hammies felt tight. I don't want to push so hard that I wind up getting re-injured. 
There is strength in this weakness, 
and that's what I have to focus on. 
This strength is called:
RESTRAINT!
It is hard being a super A-type person, and pulling back. It's painful. My focus is my goal: Fifty Half Marathons, in 50 States. This will take me, at least, another 8 years. It has never been a race to hurry up and complete them. My goal has always been to run the best I could, but to keep running. I can't reach that goal as an injured runner. So, I must spell restraint with a capital "R".

Anyway, did you see that article in the NY Times about Barefoot/Minimalist running versus Heel Strike? I love it because I cannot get my feet into those Vibram 5-finger toe shoes. My little hammer toes on my right foot refuse entry! Looks like the University of Massachusettes Amherst showed that "heel-striking was the more physiologically economical running form, by a considerable margin." Looks like heel-strikers use less oxygen, to run the same pace as the forefoot strikers. The heel strikers also burned less carbohydrates and more fat. Forefoot strikers saved oxygen when they switched to land with a heel strike. The report also indicated that runners suffered more injuries when they switched to barefoot-style running. Overall, the report states that runners should run in a way that is most comfortable to them, because of their own personal physiology. 
Bottom line: 
Unless there are repetitive injuries, 
don't mess with your style.
Have you tried the Vibram 5-fingers or minimalist sneakers?
Did they help?
Have you obsessed about your foot strike,
but feel better now that there is an article 
that gives you permission to run as you did when you were a kid?
(I must admit, I do!)
Train Smart Today!
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