Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Midfoot for 9km - revelations for the plodder

Monday night I ran, which in of itself is a very good thing, and I ended up running the whole 9.3km with new form. The changes away from heel striking makes logical sense to me and to be fair it has done for quite some time now. Foremost in changing is the how, and so I have just started doing it as best I can over sensible distances / times whilst reminding myself to run the 'old' way whenever is prudent. In practice this has come down to which shoes I wear on any given session.

Don't get me wrong I am not wearing zero drops one day and super-stacked motion controllers the next, no I am wearing a less stacked shoe on days when I try to run fore- to mid-foot (almost entirely mid-foot in reality). Rotating two pairs is by conventional wisdom prudent so the shoes 'recover' their shape - though a lot of people might note this may have more benefit for manufacturers than runners. My experiment is a simple one at this point but does seem to be making some differences.

Difference one is that I don't feel the crash of my heel / leg into the ground, and for a plodding jogger / runner that is a revelation. Two, I have the sense of doing something new which has reinvigorated my motivation to go running. Thirdly, I hurt in all new places, which might seem odd but for me shows I am using more of my legs.

Really what I am noticing the most is the switch from fast walking, i.e. jogging over to running. When I run I essentially speed up my walking gait to a point where my speed over the ground counts as 'running', I am still heel landing and rocking over my feet in the same style as my walk. Looking back at marathons where I have had to take walk breaks (ahem, two out of my three thus far) my run gait simply decelerates into a fast walk and then walk with very little change in foot positioning. From the little running I've done on my mid-foot it feels more like a running action, positive, with momentum, lift (my shoes scuff usually the ground a lot), and the feeling the brakes are off.

Basically I want to move like my three year old, walk = heel / flat foot, run = toes / mid-foot... and blimey can he shift gears between walking and running! I want to re-find my childhood gears and move between walk and run in a similar fashion, so that I can discover what speed over the ground I really have and fully 'run' a 10k, half-marathon, or even the full marathon??

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