Are you a seasoned running veteran and/or a new runner prone to injury? Have you recently read Born to Run and inspired to run barefoot, buy Vibrams or finally take on that ultra out west?
Do you want to keep running in your 70's or 80's?
If so, read on.
We are born to run, but at a certain point, injuries like stress fractures, IT band, knee, hip pain, and plantar fasciitis hamper our progress as well as increase medical expenditures and stress. I think we all know how it feels when you want to exercise but are sidelined due to to injury!
As a soccer player and runner, I was always injured at some time or another. By age 30, I experienced “the boot”, pain in my metatarsals, IT band pain, super tight hamstrings and a lovely ganglion cyst f on my right ankle. Despite a number of visits to doctors, x-rays, orthotics, massage and pain medication, the injuries eventually came back - just in a different form. I assumed it was a rite of passage as part of "being a runner" but I was oh so wrong.
Seven years ago I learned about ChiRunning. My running life (and therefore my life) drastically changed. I learned how to run more efficiently and with less pain and injury. I have not been injured running since - and have only fallen once (that is another blog)! Clearly, this is no fad!
Here is the scoop. If you want to prevent injury, you must focus on your form. Good posture and proper body alignment are the foundation of good walking, running and life in general.
Stand up right now and look down at your feet. Are they splayed? Hmm. That might explain some knee and hip issues. Now take a look at your running shoes. Are the heels built up? Are they worn on certain sides? Are your shoes heavy, tight and laces constricting?
If you are wearing Vibrams do your calves or toes hurt?
When running are you hunched over or super upright? Do you have a side-to-side (lateral) sway with your hips or arms? Do you have knee pain when you run? Or do you ruminate about your job, the kids, competitors, and your to-do list?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it is time to make a change. Yep, pull back on the endorphin rush for a moment . Running does not have to hurt! I would not be running now in my 42 year if I had stayed on the "running injuries are a rite of passage" path.
As a "Chi Runner" I have avoided injury, increased my cadence and have significantly reduced stress (ask my friends and family!). I also wear very light racing flats (that actually wear out less frequently) and have have more fun running then ever. I even run barefoot at times.
Being mindful of your form at any age and stage is a small price to pay if it will enable you to run, walk and move comfortably in the years ahead.