Day 25: Lunch Break by the River

October 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm 3 comments

I went running on my lunch break today! Now that the weather has finally cooled down a mid-day run isn’t out of the question. Nothing like running in 90 degree weather and then having to change back into work clothes. No thanks!

But it was great. I did 3 miles on an out-and-back loop on a part of the river path I’ve never been on before. It was nice to see different views, like downtown from the east side.

My legs felt pretty good–I kept focusing on limp lower legs and it really helped. Since I am immediately in pain if my legs get too tense it’s an easy barometer for my form. So, thank you shin splints? Never thought I would say that, but pain is a good signal to change something and I’m listening!

Other important elements of keeping passive lower legs and proper feet and ankle alignment are:

  1. Bend your knees but don’t lift them. Lifting your knees uses quad and hip flexor muscles more than you need to. If it’s hard to differentiate between the two read on.
  2. Heels up. Instead of lifting your knees, lift your heels behind you. This will naturally bend your knees. This helps me understand the difference between bending my knees and lifting them.
  3. Feet point forward. Not sideways. Imagine your feet are landing on either side of a line.
  4. Peel your feet off the ground. As in, gently lift your feet off the ground, or just allow them to lift along with your heels, instead of pushing off with them. Your feet and ankles are only used for support.
  5. Midfoot strike. Do not land on your heel. Do not land on your toes or balls of your feet. Do not let your feet land in front of you. Essentially land with a flat foot under the center of your body.
  6. And, of course, Limp lower legs. Don’t use your leg muscles, just let your legs support you through passive engagement to keep up with your forward lean. Why?
When your legs are truly passive, it allows the recoil motion of your ligaments, tendons and other connective tissue to swing your legs forward for you. The elastic loading and recoil motion of your legs does not require fuel. The contraction of your leg muscles definitely does. (Danny Dryer, Chi Marathon, p. 78). 
 

In other words, it’s way more efficient, and helps you to be injury free!

Really focusing on this has already helped my shin splints and once I start running longer distances will help with my endurance. I won’t run out of gas as easily and will have tools for ensuring I’m getting the most out of my energy levels. I dare you to try fully relaxing your legs and just letting them support you during your next run. And let me know how it goes!

I can’t wait to get back out there and do more lunchtime runs, so excited to explore a different part of town.

 

Do you run on your lunchbreak?

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Entry filed under: Lower Leg, mid week run. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sweets 'n' Sweat  |  October 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Love the scenery photos! Must have been a great run! I wish my scenery was that pretty! Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  • 2. prettylittlepassport  |  October 26, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Great tips! I recently went for a run and was not using the correct technique. The result? Not being able to sit down, walk down stairs or bend for about 5 days after. I’m going to try the limp lower leg technique next time :)

    Reply
    • 3. Steph  |  October 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Oh no! That sounds terrible, but also familiar. Glad these tips could help, hope your next run goes better!

      Reply

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