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Changing my running form. I think I had a breakthrough. What do you think?

(I originally posted this on /r/running and it was suggested that I post this here)

Hi all!

I Ran Cross Country and Track way back in high school (15 years ago)! Recently got back into running after 10 years of no regular exercise. I was thin (6 foot, 170 lbs) just not in shape.

After about 2 months of about 15 miles per week (about 3 mile runs each run) back pain started. Got bad and Knocked me out for about 6 weeks.

Then I decided I probably went too hard too soon. Sedentary lifestyle to running in too short a time.

So I slowed down the running. Been hitting the gym (alternating upper and lower body) for about 6 months. My thinking is that my overall body / core was very weak and needed to be strengthened.

I also started working on my running form. Taking much smaller steps, increased cadence to 180, etc.

Now i have Increased running, up to 6 miles at a time. All trails. Lots of hills. 10 min pace. Running has been great.

Recently started having left knee pain. I am determined to be able to run for a very long time, so I want to fix this problem. I've been Focused more on my form.

I am transitioning from Brooks Cascadia (relatively light, something like 10mm heel to toe drop, trail shoe, neutral) to New Balance minimus trail 10.

First thing I noticed: wow, my feet slap the ground! I am noisy. I know that's a solid indicator of bad form.

On my first two runs with the new shoes (one on treadmill, one on trail), I had a moment where I bent my knees and it almost felt like I was prepping to sit on a stool. Felt much more strain on my quads. Suddenly knee pain disappeared and my footsteps were nearly silent.

It felt a bit awkward. Almost felt like I couldnt keep it up. Just kind of steange. Felt like I lost a few inches in height.

But it felt like a breakthrough. Am I on the right track? I can't seem to reconcile "upright posture" with bent knee / almost squatting feeling. Any thoughts? Am I doing it right?

Thanks!!!

TL;DR: left knee pain. Trying to change form. Bending knee almost feels like squatting. Am I doing it right?

PS I have been lurking here for a while. Heard the Podcast about the barefoot runner (guy that did 80 marathons without shoes of any kind) and learned a lot. Thanks!!

10 comments
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level 1

http://barefootrunning.com/

Running shouldn't hurt. Sounds like you are making great strides (horrible pun intended)

level 1

This natural running video is the one I get the most out of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSIDRHUWlVo&feature=youtu.be

I am becoming a big fan of no shoes to learn form too.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 6 years ago

This is the video that I was talking about. Really great, thanks for posting it here.

level 3

Cool beans =). I should also say I have been running pretty seriously for quite some time, but I have only been using natural form for a few years, and totally barefoot maybe 6 months but I always come back to that video when I have problems and it always helps.

level 1

Sounds like it, if the pain goes away then that's good. Listen to your body.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 6 years ago

Thanks. Went on another run yesterday. 3 miles. This morning I feel a new kind of soreness in my quads. Knee feels fine (if not better, strangely).

level 1
unshod5 points · 6 years ago

Take off the shoes and run barefoot, at least until you develop a better running form.

level 1
2 points · 6 years ago

I have felt precisely that transition too! Like when you sit in a car seat and lower the whole thing an inch backward. Harder on the thighs, harder to sustain with my weak legs, but wonderfully smooth and effective.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 6 years ago

And how did it go for you? Did that become your new running form? Did you just get used to it?

level 3

Not much running recently, too much snow - I do crosscountry skiing instead. It's going to be my new running form - I plan to do some interval training where intervals are defined by sticking to good form at a high enough speed that the feet are brought up to the buttocks - and when I lose that form, I walk for a while. Looking forward to it.

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