The books I recommended explain the heal strike/running on the balls of your feet difference. The 'Art of Running Faster' book is the best for explaining how to run. The 'Born to Run' book starts with the author fed up because he has injured himself, again, and wants to find out why; his solution is not to heal strike. By using shoes with less padding and landing on the balls (sort of tip toe) of your feet you use the natural shock absorbing properties of your feet. It takes a little while to master and, as above, kills your calves. The fact that you are a 'noisy' runner suggests that you are are being hard on your body, possibly bobbing up and down, this also wastes energy. I recommended those books for a reason! You will get there!
Sideburn's book suggestions are an excellent starting point.
One of the key things I used when trying to improve my form is to listen to how you run - if you are making a lot of noise (e.g. foot slapping on the floor) then you are not running efficiently. I tried to consciously run quieter, trying to land gently rather than hitting the ground and this helped improve my pace and I'm also rarely (touch wood!) injured through running.
The other thing with pain coming on after a few miles, one of the causes of this can be weak core muscles. As you get tired your core muscles weaken, and your running form suffers. Have a google of "core strength exercises" to get some idea of the type of things that can help improve this.
Another good book on running form is "Chi Running" and one of the key lessons in that book is to think about a solid core with flexible limbs - keeping your torso straight & under control whilst letting your legs relax and swing through the running motion. (I probably haven't explained that as eloquently as the book's author!)
heel striking is when the heel of your foot hits the floor first. you'll pretty much see it in the vast majority of photos in running mags etc. when your foot hits the floor with the heel first, it does at least 2 things.
1 - slows forward motion as it acts as a brake
2 - sends shock waves up the leg and through the knee and hip
i was a heel striker until i tried running in the vibram's. heel striking in five fingers isn't comfortable, so you automatically adapt. thick cushioned soles however on 'regular' running shoes mask the effects of heel striking, with the result being you actually pound the ground harder than in minimalist shoes - there's a great iapp called myStride (69p) that measures the g force of the leg during running / jumping etc.
you don't need to go to the expense of vibrams etc as a simple pair of gym plimsols do the same job for a few quid. it is vitally important to make sure your feet are hitting the ground below your hips. over striding leads to injury (got that t-shirt). cadence should be about 180 steps per minute and distances are very short to begin with (¼ mile tops). your calves will hate you as they may well be doing something they've never done before, but if your knees are anything like mine, they'll love you!
shona - what i find is that my feet aren't directly uner my hips, maybe a few inches in front, but as i'm running on the balls of the feet (fore foot striking) then forward motion is natural. if i need to up the pace, i lean forward, from the hips, very slightly and let gravity do its job - running & walking are controlled falling afterall
i hadn't got the cadence sorted properly until last night when i ran a mile on the dreadmill, counting the number of steps taken by the left foot over 10 secs and multiplying by 6 then doubling. getting 15 steps on the 1 foot in during 10 secs showed how quick the footfall needs to be. the pace of the footfall means that all of the shock of landing was taken by the calves and other leg muscles, making for a very comfortable, springy feeling. it also means that you have very little vertical travel, measured by how much your head bobs about, so aren't wasting energy with un-necessary movement.
i'm far from an expert in this, but the above is my experience of running in minimalist shoes and how i no longer get knee pain whilst (or after) running.
dave_s wrote (see)
i hadn't got the cadence sorted properly until last night when i ran a mile on the dreadmill, counting the number of steps taken by the left foot over 10 secs and multiplying by 6 then doubling. getting 15 steps on the 1 foot in during 10 secs showed how quick the footfall needs to be. the pace of the footfall means that all of the shock of landing was taken by the calves and other leg muscles, making for a very comfortable, springy feeling. it also means that you have very little vertical travel, measured by how much your head bobs about, so aren't wasting energy with un-necessary movement. i'm far from an expert in this, but the above is my experience of running in minimalist shoes and how i no longer get knee pain whilst (or after) running.
It is all in the arms Dave... the faster you move your arms the faster you move your feet, simple (I wish).
LUCY Mason 3 wrote (see)
Books have arrived today
Great please let me (us) know how you get on!
before giving up running, try forefoot running. do NOT do too much to begin with. literally 400 metres. maximum.
walk for 5 mins beforehand to get the legs warmed up. do some gentle calf raises and some light hamstring & calf stretches, then start a slow jog running forefoot. concentrate on having your foot land just in front of your body so that you don't over-stride. whether you put your heel down or not, doesn't make much difference - i noiced last week that it's the same as walking down a flight of steps. you automatically put the ball of the foot down first, and not too far in front of the body. you may or may not put your heel down. it doesn't make much difference as you still go down the stairs without falling over.
if you still get knee pain with forefoot running, then i'd begin to agree with the doctor, but a carte blanche "stop running" is a very lazy conveyor belt approach to doctoring. what i do know is that forefoot running, for me, resulted in instant pain free knees.
1st thing i'd suggest is stretching. The most common tight culprit for knee pain (especially for new runners) is 'Rectus Femoris' muscle - try stretching 3 - 4 times p/day for 1 min at a time, and also after exercise.
I'd ignore your doctor, sounds like he just couldn't be bothered. Have you considered making an appointment with a sports physio - it is costly, but worth a go if your doctor won't refer you.
I never see my gp any more regarding running injuries, just go straight to the physio and cut out the middle man.
How are you getting on with them?
Sorry for dragging up an old thread but I had to come back and tell you this, even if just one person reads this and it helps, my work will be done.
so, I went back to another doctor who was surprised at how 'mobile' both my knees were, she put me at the top of the waiting list for physio which I since have Had. He too could see what he thought was the problem which is hyper mobility in both my knees. Ok I don't really understand but I have followed all the exercises and I have successfully ran 4 5ks in the last 2 weeks, with no pain!
if anyone is struggling please go to the doctor and seek physio therapy!
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