Back to Basics – Learning to Run Again

“There’s no right or wrong way to run, just do what comes naturally!”

“It doesn’t matter if you heel strike or forefoot strike, your shoes will protect your feet!”

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You all have probably heard those same things. And have probably heard the opposite as well! In a world where so much information is so readily available, how do you know what to trust?

Well, I don’t have the answer for that. And to be honest, I don’t know if there’s one right way of running that works for everyone…but I think I’ve found my solution.

I’ve been dealing with plantar fasciitis for quite some time now, and after (finally) going to a physical therapist, I have a good understanding of the root cause. My problem? I don’t use my glutes and it’s caused a chain reaction all the way down my leg into my heel. And not just while I run.

Picture a pregnant woman (or remember what it felt like!). As the baby grows, the woman’s center of gravity changes, and she begins to leaning back to compensate. That’s what I do. All the time. Even just standing still, all of my weight is on my heels. Imagine the stress that puts on the hips and quads! When that translates to running? Recipe for disaster.

I spent several weeks working on correcting my muscle imbalances, but when it came time to run again, I knew I had to do things differently. I had recently heard of The Pose Method and decided to look into it. I picked up the book and started reading. You guys, that book was for me. It answered every single problem I had!

The basic idea, is that there are three phases a runner goes through while running. Master these three phases and you’ll be running more efficiently and with fewer injuries. It also addressed the heel strike and explained how it’s not only inefficient, but a huge cause of injuries. Well, in order to change my foot strike I needed a new pair of running shoes. I ordered the Prios from Xero Shoes, and got to work.

The first couple of weeks of training from the book were full of drills. At first they seemed silly. Basic. But as they began to build up, it was easy to see how they fit together. Then actual running started getting worked in. It felt like the lady from the prancercize videos. But soon it started to “click”, to become more intuitive as I did more of the drills.

I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited to see my progress. I’m landing on my forefoot pretty consistently, my stride has shortened, my rear foot is lifting a lot more. Plus, I’m leaning slightly forward rather than back. That alone should help!

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