Running for dummies
I don't know what it is with me and running around, but I absolutely suck at it. Jogging a mile at a leisurely pace kills me, and that's on flat terrain.
It's not really because I get winded or out of breath - my legs just start hurting like a bitch. It looks like it's from hitting the pavement. I can do 7-8km on a bike in hilly terrain without any problem. I can walk that too easily, perhaps more. But if I start running or jogging, eventually my legs give out and I have to stop, and I'm not even tired.
I don't know if it's a question of technique, physiology, leg strength, bad shoes (I got good running shoes once though and my feet still died), but I'd really like to get better at running, except having my feet die after a hundred meters makes it hard to appreciate running. My cardio is not that great to begin with and I'd like to improve it.
So I thought maybe I could get some jogging technique pointers first to see if it makes any difference. Perhaps people who have been in the same boat can tell me something that would make a difference. I don't even know what I'm looking for. Just leaving that here in case.
It could be any or all of these things. Good running technique should minimize impact, you should be effectively absorbing the shock of the impact through joint motion and muscular stabilization. If you're feeling a jarring impact with your running steps, your technique is poor. There are two main schools of thought for running. One is a heel-to-toe, rolling foot strike. The other is a ball-and-toe of the foot strike. Personally, I'm a proponent of the first one, as it offers more joint motion and muscular involvement to absorb impact forces.
Originally Posted by kikoolol
Once your technique is good, the physiology and leg strength aspects will, over time, take care of themselves. It's all about specificity. Your body gets good at the things you demand it to do, and gets bad at the things you neglect.
Finally, the shoes might or might not be making a difference, but don't try to solve this question yourself. Talk to someone who is an expert in gait analysis and footwear. Personally, I'm a proponent of minimalist shoes. However, that's assuming there are either no gait abnormalities, or only minor ones. Major gait abnormalities might be aggravated by minimalist training.
Originally Posted by TaeBo_Master
Thanks for the prompt reply. I asked a friend of mine that runs marathons for the lulz to try and have a short jog with me. Hopefully he will be able to help fix whatever is wrong with my technique and show me this heel-to-toe thing you speak of.
Who should I turn to if I don't know if I have any feet/gait problems and want running shoes? A podiatrist?
A podiatrist would be a possibility, but probably not the first place to try. Podiatrists are likely to be more versed in anatomical problems of the foot. Gait abnormalities are due to an accumulation of many factors. Some of the folks who tend to know the most about them are Orthotic specialists. But be wary, most of these also have a product they're trying to sell. You can also speak with a properly qualified strength coach, or a running coach.
Hell, if you can make it feasible, then take a video of yourself running (to get as much detail as possible, try to have it mostly from about the belly-button down. It's important to be able to see the hips, knees, ankles, and feet all together) and send it to me. I'll be able to give you at least a preliminary analysis. It won't be as good as getting a professional to evaluate you face-to-face, but it'll probably be cheaper and faster.
Had that once too. Hurt like a bitch. Muscles flopped around, jiggle and made me waste energy contracting them to stop the soreness.
A better gait will help all that. You need to disperse the energy via better movement. Don't stomp your feet down. Be light on your feet. Let the bounce of your arches do the bulk of the work.
I run often before I started having the pain in my shins and calves. The symptoms would normally start for me about 5-10 minutes in my run. My lower legs would feel real tight (cramp like) and painful. After about 20-30 minutes the symptoms would go away. Like you I did not have these symptoms when I rode the bike or cross trained in the pool. I went to see a sports orthopedic physician and was diagnose with exertional compartment syndrome. I had to do pressure testing to confirm the diagnosis. I would recommend you see a sports orthopedic physician and explain your symptoms.
Shin Splints they will heal and stop hurting when you run.
A really good running shop will sometimes have a treadmill and a camera to help you get the right kind of shoes and analyze your gait. I'd ask your marathon buddy if he knows of a good specialist running shoe store.
Forgot to add that if you can run on a High School or College track go for it. The softer surface can really reduce impact discomfort.
Running on the road will also be more difficult than on a treadmill. The latter has a cushioning effect, the former brings road shock.
Give yourself time to adjust to the demand of running and consider your posture, cadence and breathing. Consider Jogging in its correct context. Walk a set distance (between lamp posts), trot the same distance, sprint the same distance. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Get the idea?
Give yourself time to rest. In other words, take a day off. Repeat that above.
Try to run a set distance over undulating terrain. This will force a variation of pace, speed, etc and will be an exacting workout.
In all this time, your body (legs etc) will begin to adapt to the demands and your tendons will strengthen, heart and lungs will respond and you will get fitter.
Ignore the marathon. Get used to running in its variations and then assess.
you mentioned you like to run? is it because you like to run or is it for conditioning?
you dont have to run for conditioning. also my legs hurt like a bitch too when i jog. i found out when i run at 70%-80% speed or during sprints my legs doesnt hurt.
try fartlek style running. does that helps?