Page 1 of 1

Need help/tips about running

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:07 am
by 24fps
Hi all,

Well first off, I HATE running. I mean I use to hate it with a passion. I've been steadily training for a year now and I am progressing beyond my expectations.

Thing is though is that the more I train the more I feel like I need to raise the body heat prior to lifting, otherwise I'll always feel like I will break something. I am an avid bike rider so a stationary bike doesn't cut it for me.

One day I was looking at the treadmill and told myself: "What the hey", so I jumped on it and started running. It actually grew on me since then and now I enjoy it. I don't go all out on it though, I keep it to a 10-15 minutes prior to lifting. I found that it is enough to get the body heat going while doing the heart a good workout. My family has a history of going out before 65 so I need to keep strong.

Ever since I started running/sprinting I found that lungs can now hold more air and my heart feels like it is working out and not bursting out out of my chest, so I guess I am doing something right.

For the last month or so things have been strange. I occasionally have a sharp pain in my right leg, right under the tibialis. This will occur at non regular interval whether I am exercising, sitting or plain walking. Also it now feels like my legs are going to give up even after just 5 minutes of running. I found it very strange because my legs are stronger than they were 6 months and even then they could carry me through a 10-15 minutes of running without a problem but now it feels like an overwhelming sense of fatigue will take over my entire legs just after 5 minutes of running.

This leads me to believe that I maybe running wrong, hence the help/tips in my subject title.

What should initially drive the legs when it is running, is it the hip, the quads, the knees or the feet? This might sound stupid but I found that I can actually make the feet be the primary force of propelling my legs forward and the next instant I can switch the originating force very close to the hips.

Also I tend to land flat on my feet, not on the toes or the heel but every step I tend to land as square on my feet as possible, it might feel more natural but is it right?

Thanks,

Phil

Re: Need help/tips about running

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:20 am
by Stephen Johnson
24fps wrote:For the last month or so things have been strange. I occasionally have a sharp pain in my right leg, right under the tibialis. This will occur at non regular interval whether I am exercising, sitting or plain walking. Also it now feels like my legs are going to give up even after just 5 minutes of running. I found it very strange because my legs are stronger than they were 6 months and even then they could carry me through a 10-15 minutes of running without a problem but now it feels like an overwhelming sense of fatigue will take over my entire legs just after 5 minutes of running.
Whenever I hear about pain near the shins resulting from running, I think shin splints. In general, the cure for that is to rest it.

The leg fatigue sounds like dead legs. It's common among distance runners, not so common among people just doing 15 minutes. You're running on a treadmill, so the usual advice - avoid concrete - doesn't hold in your case. The only things I can think of are how are your running shoes and have you tried slowing down a little?

As for the muscles used for running, running is primarily a posterior chain activity - you push off with your calves (plantar flexion) , then do hip extension (glutes and hamstrings), knee extension (quads) then knee flexion (hamstrings) as you reset your leg.

ED: I missed this
24fps wrote:Also I tend to land flat on my feet, not on the toes or the heel but every step I tend to land as square on my feet as possible, it might feel more natural but is it right?
If you're making a lot of noise when you run on the treadmill, it's not a good running style. And flat-footed runners tend to pound a treadmill like a drum.

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:45 am
by stuward
Shin splints came to my mind as well. Warming up by running slower at first will help as will strengthening the muscles in the front of the calves. Running on a treadmill is slightly different than running outdoors because the ground is moving under you. This makes it easier on the posterior muscles. Elevating the treadmill 1 percent should correct that.

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:25 pm
by 24fps
Thanks guys!

Stephen:

-Shin splints seems to be my issue, the wiki page you provided offers sound method of treatment that I will follow.

-My running shoes are fine I guess, I only use them for training so even though they are a year old the have "broken" but are very comfortable.

-I believe I don't really give center stage to the calves as initiators of movement, I will try that then.

-Hell yes, I am pounding the treadmill for sure. I am not flat footed though so I guess my technique is faulty, if the calves are firstly involved in the movement should I land a bit more on my heels then?

Stuward:

Sorry I wasn't clear in my original post but I do warm up extensively before hopping on the treadmill, I also ramp up my speed. I use the manual setting on the tread and ramp it up manually. In a 15 minute session I'd say the ballpark is as follows; the first 5 are for walking/brisk walk, the next 5 are for jogging/running and the last 5 are for running/sprinting.

I haven't thought about elevating it, I will try that next time.

Thanks for the help fellas.

Also, has any of you tried the Vibram Five Fingers...and if so are you satisfied?

Phil

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:33 pm
by robt-aus
hi Phil

only contribution i can make is when i run i land on my heel first, then 'roll' (for lack of a better description) the foot forward and push off with the toes - gives you the chance to put a spring in your step.

i've noticed that i experience some muscular aches in the calves when i run on uneven terrain after a period using only the treadmill.

good luck

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:42 pm
by Stephen Johnson
24fps wrote:-Hell yes, I am pounding the treadmill for sure. I am not flat footed though so I guess my technique is faulty, if the calves are firstly involved in the movement should I land a bit more on my heels then?
By "flat footed" I meant that you were landing flat on your feet when you run, not that you have flat feet.

When I was taught to run, I learned the "heel-toe" method where you land on your heel, roll the foot forward then push off with your toes.
robt-aus wrote:only contribution i can make is when i run i land on my heel first, then 'roll' (for lack of a better description) the foot forward and push off with the toes - gives you the chance to put a spring in your step.
I guess I'm not the only one. :wink:

The forward roll keeps more of your momentum moving forward, while running flat footed moves more of the energy straight down, killing your forward momentum. You're doing plantar flexion from almost a dead stop in that position, which makes the calves less effective.

Not only does flat-footed running cause more impact stress, but it causes you to expend more energy and slows you down - it's like running and stopping on every step.

But the "heel-toe" method in recent days has been challenged by the "toe strike" method:
The Rarámuri or Tarahumara are an indigenous people of northern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running ability.[1] In their language, the term rarámuri refers specifically to the males, females are referred as muki (individually) or igomele (collectively).

The word for themselves, Rarámuri, means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast" in their native tongue according to some early ethnographers like Norwegian Carl Lumholtz, though this interpretation has not been fully agreed upon. With widely dispersed settlements, these people developed a tradition of long-distance running up to 435 miles (700 km) in one session, over a period of two days through their homeland of rough canyon country, for intervillage communication and transportation.[citation needed] Before these long distance runs, they consume large quantities of corn beer which is very high in carbohydrate and very low on alcohol. Sport scientists have studied that it takes up to 46,000 kcal to run 700 km. The Tarahumara also use the toe strike method of running which is natural for bare-footed runners..
Which segues to you next question:
24fps wrote:Also, has any of you tried the Vibram Five Fingers...and if so are you satisfied?
No, my joints are too old and decrepit to do much running other than leisurely jogs in the park on spring days - but if you plan on running with the "toe strike" method, these are the shoes to wear. They were made to mimic being barefooted.

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:48 pm
by Nkkip
Actually, many people find that if they just kick off their shoes and just go for a run, they end up automatically using a toe or forefoot strike. I know I do. I've even tried to force a heel strike without shoes on, but it just feels really bad. It also seems children tend to naturally run with a forefoot strike instead of a heel strike. I figure running with a forefoot strike might be easier on the knees, since the calves take the impact.

I don't have much experience either way as I don't run much (want to try barefoot HIIT when it gets warmer), but the topic piqued my interest a couple of months ago and I did a little reading.

This video shows the difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrOgDCZ4GUo

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:45 pm
by robt-aus
after a few moments thinking about my own approach, heel-toe definately requires adequately padded running shoes. in the rare occasions i have to run in non running shoes, i toe-strike. it is much more comfortable.

guess that's why i persist in paying for running shoes - the cushioning does assist with bounce

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:01 pm
by Jebus
Theres a lot of talk about cushion and support here... And I really don't think our feet were designed to run with such. You should push off with the front of your feet. Hitting the ground with your heels, even with shoes stresses your joints. Its like sending the force up the back of your leg to your knee, instead of your feet absorbing the impact.
For millions of years we ran on our toes and now all of a sudden its the opposite with modern footwear. Nike and other companies seem to have drilled into our brains telling us we NEED these shoes or simply cannot walk/sprint. Luckily for Jungledoc, I don't think its very custom to wear shoes in PNG.

Obviously footwear has its place, like in certain jobs, ie. Military, Construction. But for just walking outside and running, its quite useless.

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:01 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Jebus wrote:Obviously footwear has its place, like in certain jobs, ie. Military, Construction. But for just walking outside and running, its quite useless.
I don't know - despite tough pooper-scooper laws, a lot of folks here in the Northeast aren't into cleaning up after Rover. :wink:

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 am
by Jebus
Stephen Johnson wrote:
Jebus wrote:Obviously footwear has its place, like in certain jobs, ie. Military, Construction. But for just walking outside and running, its quite useless.
I don't know - despite tough pooper-scooper laws, a lot of folks here in the Northeast aren't into cleaning up after Rover. :wink:
Yeah, I forgot about that... When I go sprinting, I walk the area I'm about to use, before, which is just a small part of a field.

But even if you do manage to dip your foot in some doo, just keep running and the friction from the dirt will scrap that off in no time.