Thursday, May 18, 2017

Feet Picking

Since a couple of months, I have been running between 15 min to 40 min every day focusing only on form. No intensity, No pacing. Just form.
Today, 30 minutes thinking only about foot picking.
Left. Right. Left. Right. Repeat.

One of my favorite play-field, next door,  next town, few baseball fields in the park, mostly because it is (almost) flat.
The loop is short, little bit less than 1 mile.
And as always, on the Haleakala flank, there is the view.

Running at sunset got its perks.

Foot picking or pulling.
While running, instead of pushing forward and lifting your knee, imagine picking back your feet behind, bending the knees. Start like a Heel to Butt, but the foot ends at knee high.
It is a fast circular movement.

Here is the rational:
This is a reflex, low energy, highly efficient.

Chi Running is all about NOT using your muscles when you run.
Therefor you should never be tired and could run for ever.
As enlightenment  in yoga, this is certainly true, ...
... at the end of the path.

See you there.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

All About the form

It seems that finding the perfect form is an ongoing battle for every runner.
Form does matter, specially if you want to run forever (tm).
Studies prove that running with correct form do not damage your joints or knee, it actually reinforce them. But run with poor form and likely past few marathons or few years, you will end up playing golf.
I am now convinced that my recurring single (right) leg injuries directly relate to a chronic hip imbalance, unsurprisingly built over the year of sitting in front of a computer. 

No secret. First you have to run and sit correctly - do not make it worst.
Sitting is a story by itself.
Running correctly. Doh.

People wrote books on the running technique.
I still recommend the 'Chi Running' or 'The Cool Impossible' ones.
Or a running camp. At least, video yourself and compare to one of the hundred YouTube video available.

Nowadays, I really like James Dunne's stuff:

I think I got tired of the All American Run Experience Ad program eventually.

My personal story is : I learned the forefoot strike, but never really got the leaning part. When I started to try to go faster, I actually went back to a heel strike pattern and front leg extension. The faster I was running, the faster I was hurting myself.
I had to step back , and learn it again.
Few tips:

- Running with the core, from the belly button. Leaning lightly, Tall but not that tall
- scoop with the arms, helping for the hip rotation
- Forefoot striking, below the hips
- picking up the feet

No pulling, no pushing. Falling. With grace and effortless.
That last part is still WIP.

Slowly, I am starting to see some improvement. I hurt less. I am able to run between 45 min and one hour every other day. Heel tendonitis is healing. Hip pain is slowly resorbing itself.
Right knee is usually silent.

Running form is not everything though. You need some sort of stability in the body to support it.
The next natural step is to strengthen and rebalance your full kinetic chain. 
Core, more core and even more core.

I setup for a daily (almost) shorter and less painful (but more often) program:
- 3x 1min planks + side.
- 90x Squats, Lunges and SpiderMan pose.
- Bosu squats, single leg balance, Jumps, ...

Overall I can fit it in 30-45min per day, less the day I a trying to run 45-60 min.

I am hoping to be able to run pain free a couple of hours at slow pace in July, and be able to start train for a marathon afterward.
Future will tell.