I love when someone offers a different perspective on something fundamental. Take this morning after we ran around the perimeter of Coronado, when we got a lesson in running mechanics and gait from a chiropractor and acupuncturist who is part of our training group.
Dawn explained how it is the Kenyans run so differently, and maybe why. Running is often their only form of transportation between villages, so it makes sense that they would instinctively focus on fuel and form efficiency to not only continue, but to do so quickly.
She told us that to prevent injuries, most of us likely need to change the way we run to take better advantage of gravity and to ensure we are using major muscles most effectively. This involves running at a slight angle (but not bending forward) to free up movement in the hips and hamstrings. We should also rotate our upper body slightly, rather than keep our shoulders rigid as many of us do.
Now here’s the part that really stuck with me: If you find you are continually suffering from problems with your knees, calves, ankles or feet (like plantar fasciatis), it likely is because your running form is not allowing you to use your major muscles – glutes, quads and part of your hamstrings – in the best manner. If these muscles aren’t accurately engaged, it puts unnecessary stress on the minor muscles and that, dear friends, results in pushback in the form of pain.
So simple, isn't it?
And, while I’m on the subject of our running group, I want to note another member who is heading to the All-Stars Baseball Game next week as an "All Star Among Us." Congratulations, Richard! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer – and more deserving – guy.