For most people, running is synonymous with running injuries, those nagging aches and pains that crop up and threaten to take away your ability to run altogether. My personal issue is tight hip flexors that cause hip pain, but it seems that everyone has at least one hot spot they have to watch for.
It never made sense to me that so many people should get injured from what is a very natural activity‘after all, we’re just animals, and you never see a squirrel at physio. I always thought pavement was too blame, along with lazy bodies that sit too much, but a book I just finished (and highly recommend), Born to Run, tells the story of how poor biomechanics is the true problem. In fact, it says that most people’s bad running form occurs because of highly cushioned shoes’that by depending on the shoes, we’re not letting our feet and legs do the work they should.
The question is, of course, how to test out the theory. It’s all very well if you’ve got a budget behind you, but though I’d like to try running barefoot to see how it alters my form, I’m not sure where to go. I’m a little too paranoid about dog droppings and broken glass to go outdoors, and I’m not sure about doing it on the treadmill.
What I am going to do is try out my Nike Frees this weekend and see how they feel. Maybe they’ll give my feet a better workout and make them stronger. And I promised my physiotherapist that I’d get out the exercise ball and Pilates DVDs this weekend, too’extra core strength never hurt anyone. So we’ll see how it goes.
What do you do to improve your running form? Have you tried running without shoes? Do you have any tips on how I can prevent more pain as I increase my mileage?
View all of Kat’s running posts on the Half-marathon diaries home page.