the morning after; is there a wrong way to run?

So yeah, the race photos are starting to appear……and yes, you have to stop that watch!….it’s a chipped race, but you never know, it may be wrong.

it was a pretty uneventful 8K for me, start, run, finish…it was interesting…

I guess I’m the polite runner….I don’t know if I noticed this before, but runners, some, just do not pay any attention to what’s going on around them; I don’t know how many I was almost run over by, and then passed the same people later on…..the instant ‘I’ve gotta take a walk break right now in front of you” people…..and the, I’ve gotta race to that finish line now, even though, well, I guess it may be a PB, a PR or I heard someone say they had a PQ – what is that? —-

There was the issue with the delayed start…..there was a suspicious package found on the course before the half marathoners began – for this race, the BMO Vancouver; the half marathoners start before the marathoners, and the 8K starts in a different location, so we didn’t know why there was a delay, I didn’t until I got back to my AirB&B and watched the news….

To kill time waiting for the start, and what an amazing place to start a race, right in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, I started watching what others do before the start, and caught myself kind of questioning some of the routines, and wondered why?

You usually always se some stretching their quads at every race, even though we now know that stretching before is now thought to be a no no – there’s a danger of injury – but, do they stretch because they have to or feel they need to, or is it just a nerve thing?…….I say one person working on the Cs of his ABCs….I’m guess he did his butt kicks and high knees at another time, but it looked like a half hearted attempt, or maybe it was something he was told he should do, or he just thought it’d impress people if he did his warm up in such a confined space………most of us just chatted away, got to know our neighbours,and tried to stay warm….great running weather is not necessarily great standing around weather…..

Once we finally got going…lots and lots of people, there were a few pinch points where we’re all looking for that tangent on a curve or a turn, and bumping into each other…..it’s a wide enough rode people, none of us are going to win…but well, okay….

I thought I had a great race/run…but looking at some of the run photos maybe not?

why are my ams so high?………gotta try to correct that..and I seriously don’t look as happy as I felt?

A few other things I noticed……a lot of people toe striking?…..I’m not sure why I noticed that, I wondered, are they people trying to force themselves to mid-foot strike and feel like that’s what they’re doing?…usually toe striking is rare, so maybe it was something I was subconsciously looking for…

and really huge kick backs?…..I noticed that more in women runners more than the guys…is that a thing?

I’ve seen that before on training runs, there are certain people you don’t want to run to closely behind because of that…..

I often tell those in my clinics that there really isn’t a wrong way to run, you just run how your run, and you’re body usually figures out the right way to run for you…..problems really only start when you significantly try to change that gait quickly, or not over a long period of time with drills and exercises…..but, you wonder…and then I look at my race photos, I can pick out a lot of things that I would say are wrong…

my stride is a bit funky, my gait for sure…I pronate on one side, supinate on the other…no shoe really corrects that, and I’ve found no exercises either…it just is……I fractured a lower left fibula years ago that never heeled properly so that’s part of the issue, but the pronation on that foot I think is either gotten worse, or I just notice it more…so the search for that right shoe continues….tried the ASICS Nimbus yesterday, a great shoe, but I felt that yesterday…I’m going to test out my new Brooks Adrenalines this morning for a short run to see how they feel….both shoes have a kind of guidance system which is supposed to work with both issues, but yesterday, the ASICS didn’t quite work for the 8K, cannot guess how that would work with the half or full marathons…trails may be fine……so that search continues..

I kind of look better here…the stride looks okay….and I think that’s a smile..maybe it’s because I’m passing people?…

anyway, back to the Run Club in St. Albert tomorrow..and back to normal..now for a walk, or maybe a short run to get rid if this built up lattice aci

let’s talk about STRIDE!

I was just going to make this about stride, because I just heard a comment that made my head want to explode (it does that a lot…it maybe concussion, or may be something else)…..it may go into other stuff, but yeah, it’s all about, not the bass, it’s about that stride…….no treble!

you know that thing where when runners wanna be faster they start taking bigger and bigger strides, thinking that’ll make them quicker….nope…maybe for a few STRIDES – which is a kind of an end of run work out – but then you’ll get tired, and injured……..watch what the elites do!

And yeah, that other thing, this time of year, yes it’s icy, so some will suggest that shorter strides are the answer……nope…if you’ve already have a wide stride, slipping on ice is the least of your concern….always think short strides, quick turn overs, knees lead, knees first, just think of leading with those knees, everything below those knees will follow…

For that first thing, check out the video….my favorite part of those Olympics Games, watch them all, especially the Canadian anchor leg, Sage Watson…closely watch her stride……

I love Sage, always perfect form…..which is why she’s so fast, and wow, huh

Yes, it, the stride seems to be, looks huge, but pay attention where her feet touch the ground…..right beneath her center of gravity……yes, it looks like she takes a huge kick, but watch…..if you’ve done those A,B,Cs…..high knees, butt kicks and that thing that looks like a kick and then pawing the ground.…..that’s that kick…(this just hit me, but that final thing looks a lot like a classic cross country ski stride)

Andre De Grasse; the same thing……speed isn’t stride length, it’s strength, and the speed of leg turn-over……you want speed, lean forward from your ankles (pose) – running is like – or should be – like a controlled fall…and then turn those feet over…..think 85 to 90 strikes each foot – just count one foot strike, it’s easier, also most sport watches will do that for you – or your significant other if you ask nicely..

Something I like doing in the winter when there’s snow on the ground, is to follow someone I now is quicker than me, and then try to match leg turnover…..a stronger runner – I’ll match that stride, but her track in the snow, and where mine make contact, for every stride that person takes, I’ll have to take 1 1/2 to 2…just because I’m not strong enough to cover that ground with my stride..as I get stronger, I should eventually be able to catch up…..that’s the theory anyway…

The other magic to a shorter stride, and yes feet should always land just beneath that center of gravity..……..I’m going to talk about the fiction of mid foot, heel strike or toe strikes, in my next post……but if you over-stride, yes, you will strike the ground with your heels with a THUD, not a good thing, BUT if keep those feet beneath you, yes, you may, or even some will probably always touch down, make contact heel first, but with the quicker leg turn over (think hot coals) your strike will be light, and should be……

actually heel striking is kind of not unusual…the secret is, where on the heel and how…..if you ever have the chance, put on a pair of track spikes, they pretty much force the feet into the proper, actually natural stride (they also hurt, are narrow and tight, and they’re the reason why sprinters run so fast, and the first thing they do after finishing a race is take those things off!)…….out side of the heel, outside, inside, and then push off the toe……think of the stride, the proper stride as an upside down ‘S’……….again, watch those sprinters, or check out this year’s New York Marathon…..the broadcasters don’t show the feet/shoes very often, but same thing…….short quick strides, some heel strike, some midfoot some toe strike, about 50/40/10%…….and oh yeah that finish was amazing..

A lot of you may already know this…a lot of the time, folks will come into our store, will show us their shoes, point to the outisde of the heel of their shoes, and say that they’re under pronators, supinators…

well Jimmy, there’s a reason why most shoes have that slight curve on that part of that shoe….that’s where the majority of us first make contact with the ground with every stride…and that outside/inside/toe is our way of keeping our balance with every stride…it’s evolution baby…..yes, some over underpronate/supinate; that’s just not negotiation to the rest of the stride, and there are a few ways to work with that (the Brooks’ Adrenaline! ) and some over pronate (PRONATION IS NATURAL!!!) and I actually love that Adrenaline and Hoka‘s Arahi for dealing with that naturally….not forcing anything, guiding instead (Brooks’ has made a point of designing their shoes to deal with everything from the knees down…..and let the feet do what they naturally want to do, with the goal of finishing the progression to pushing off of the front of the foot)………

On….I love what this company does…they make shoes….like Brooks and Hoka (yeah I know, I know, it’s Hoka On On!)……designed by runners for runners….like what Hoka’s founders Mermound and Jean-Luc Diard brought from the French Alps, On’s Olivier Bernhard brought from the Swiss Alps…..I love the Pods…they work wonders

land soft, push off on a hard surface….that’s part of the story, they just feel right…possibly the most natural shoe I’ve used…and the secret (well not a real secret) is what can be done with those pods…..

On has one shoe called the On Cloud Flyer (the pix is my shoe, I over pronate, remember that…the On Cloud Swift)…..on that shoe, they’ve hardened, and softened those pods to promote that “S” …so a natural stride remains, and an over pronator will just be guided……I have used them, I find the pod on the Swift just work for me…I have an issue where one foot pronates, the other under pronates due to a broken lower left fibula that never healed properly about a decade ago…and interesting, some will notice the pronation, but never ever comment on the other

Okay, this blog has gone way over what I orginally wanted to do….maybe it was this morning’s run….but bottom line….your stride, is your stride…..but keep it short, quick, and you know what? when you run, just run, don’t over think the run, occasionally email your head to check in to see what’s happening, but enjoy the view, and JUST RUN!….