Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baby we were born to run...

With apologies to "the Boss", but the phrase fit the day.  I can always tell when it's time to replace my pair of running shoes - something gets tweaked, a knee hurts, or it just doesn't feel right.  Today was that day.  With the best of intentions of a 1:10 training run late AM, it just did not happen.  Perhaps it was the 1:05 long run last Friday during the lunch hour or cross country skiing all day Saturday or maybe I just needed a rest day.

One minute into my run, I felt the interior quadriceps muscle at the knee insertion point on my left leg tweak - just did not feel good.  Overuse maybe, but fortunately just a muscle issue I'm thinking, I'm hoping.  After a minute massage, I tried again but it was not cooperating.  Realizing that's been 10+ months since I bought my Nike Air Max Moto 6's and many miles on them, I looked at them closer and realized that the heel tread was nearly gone and was exposing the white cushioning material.  Yep, they're due for retirement.  So I abandoned the run in favor of a rest day and made the pilgrimage to Runners Roost.  I looked at several Nike pairs as those have been good to me in the past but ultimately settled upon the Asics Gel Nimbus 11.  Compared to a top of the line Nike they just felt better - good cushion, good forefoot padding and to my surprise, the tweaky knee did not yell too much jogging outside the store during my "test drive."  I'll put them to the test Monday to see how they feel overall...

Speaking of running, I recently finished a great book - "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall.  Interesting read about the Tarahumara Indians living in Copper Canyon, Mexico and their ability to run incredibly long distances without all the 21st century technologies of Nike, Asics, Reeboks, etc...  Rather they run in sandals, run for fun, run for sport, and run for life.  The book investigates why human beings are natural born runners with our unique breathing abilities compared to other mammals, sweat glands, and little hair on our bodies.  Our bodies are designed for long distance running over our life - originally for hunting/running down our food, but today mostly for sport and fitness.

It also investigates the rise of running injuries that 70-75% of us runners will experience in our lifetime that until 30 years ago was unheard of.  Why?  The book documents the rise of running shoes in the early-mid 1970's and the technologies developed to solve pronation, supination, arch weaknesses, etc. that may be the driving force behind these injuries.  The book studies runners prior to the rise of Nike and describes how human beings naturally are forefoot runners -- NOT heel strikers.  To understand what this means, go outside and run a short distance on the sidewalk.  By form and choice, you will run on your forefoot rather than heel strike - it feels better to do so - the heel can't take the force of concrete/stone/asphalt/etc. but the forefoot can because you run "softer" and use your knee as a natural shock absorber.  It might have some merit to change one's running form but the jury's still out.  Me - I'll try it periodically during my runs but I'm not sure if I'll fully transition...change is hard...but it makes sense to me.

Climb On my friends!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alex (my husband) goes through a new pair of running shoes every 6 months.