Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Final weeks before school starts (part 3)

The Correct Way to Run


People do not often think of running correctly because it should be like walking, but most people have learned an odd philosophy about running. Running should be painlessly natural as walking, and it is. In middle school I remember writing an essay about how running is bad, and swimming is better. although, I am a big advocate of running for exercise now after running all throughout high school. I have learned how to explain the correct way to run simply, but the understanding only came from my experience on my running teams and a dear friend, researching it. He found a book explaining the pose method of running. I do not have any crazy name for the method because it is natural. The United States at least is getting this messed up.
There is a phase in the history of running that we are departing from. Over the past several years, 'more natural' running shoes has been coming out of the running shoe market. There is a philosophy with a few parts to it, which is not logistical. One of which is that our bodies are too weak to run without external support such as the following: ankle braces, stable shoes, and knee braces. The world often underestimates the human body. The human body can strong enough to handle running on any surface without these supports. Running shoes have little to do with running bad; however, it shows another part of the philosophy of running that is we are to land on the heel of our foot.
The simple explanation to how to show how to run correctly is comparing it to doing jump rope. I would encourage you to get up and 'jump rope-less.' I use to do that when I could not run outside. Jump as if you would do jump rope without the rope. You see and feel how you land on your feet. It is definitely not on your heel. It is springing. There is a spring all throughout our beautiful legs that absorbs the forces from the calf, to the quads and the hamstring, the largest combinations of muscles. It is natural and there is a natural momentum; however, if you purposely land on your heel.
Everything natural about the 'jump rope-less' is gone. You hit the ground and the momentum hit straight into the feet and is absorbed unnaturally. The forces cause pain. This is how shin splints are formed. Do 'jump rope-less' on your heels for a hour for a couple weeks or so and your shins will feel like it is being ripped of the bone because it is. This is the same thing with running. When you run and land on your heels, your momentum is not natural.
Another thing that one needs to learn is that, when the earth is to go backward, so the main thrust of your legs should be pushing us forward and the earth backward. Many people have an odd idea that we need to lengthen our stride by putting our feet further ahead of us. The way we are to push ourselves forward and the earth backward is by using our butt muscles. This make more sense as a mean to lengthen our stride. The hip flexor, the muscle that pulls up our leg for the top, is not that big compared to the butt. The thrust should be backward from the butt and not forward from the hip flexor.
One may wonder how this makes sense how can my feet push me forward from my butt, if my foot is landing in front of me. Well you need to realize that is not natural. The feet will soon naturally land beneath you or behind you. Do you see how that momentum will be better? Running is a controlled fall. Can you imagine how your momentum will be pushed if your feet pushes your forward from behind you? The momentum is much more efficient. The habit of having your feet land behind you is really difficult to obtain, but having your feet land closely below your torso. It allows looks funny to me when someone is running, and the butt is not pulling the leg back very far. The further back the leg and the more force behind you the longer the stride.
This is the way to run naturally and more easily. You don't need fancy supportive shoes with a big thing on your heel. I recommend running for twenty minutes a day until you strengthened your leg muscles sufficiently. Be warn. If you run this way, the correct way, your muscles will be extremely sore for the first week or so. It may be painful walking down stairs. You may feel like your grandparents walking down the stairs. That is why I recommend only twenty minutes a day at first week until you feel comfortable running longer. Consistency is important. I had a roommate that would workout a different part of his body each day of the week, and he was sore like the very beginning each week. Consistency will get the body to get over being sore, and build stronger muscles. You may be extremely sore because the average person at least in the United States has extremely weak legs. After my first season of cross country my legs like doubled the size. My calves, my thighs, and my butt were bigger. Don't be afraid of being sore. Think of it as a feeling of growing, becoming stronger, progressing. I promise you that it will only last for a week or so; then, you can run pain free. No shin splints.
Don't get frustrated if you get injuries. Just relax if you get a injury. Take a week or two off of running. Do something different. Often times the reason that we get injured is because of the shoes that we have. You may need new shoes.
I will review the simple steps that will lead you to run more naturally. Run by pushing yourself forward from your leg with the thrust going backward from your butt, landing of the part of the foot that you feel when you do the 'jump rope-less'. You can practice this by standing on one foot and see how it is to pull your leg back with your butt, seeing the form of running come naturally.


I could write more, but this is probably enough. Good Night. :)

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