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You Are Running the Wrong Way

Monday, May 25, 2009

I went to the local high school track to do some running. There was a personal fitness trainer there with 12 clients. The class was stretching when I started running. The track is well marked. I started running in the correct direction. In other words, the lane numbers were right side up.

After I made a few laps, I saw 8 people from fitness class running toward me. I stepped off the track and let them go by. I then started running the same direction as the class. After another lap I saw the other 4 people in the class running toward me in the opposite direction!

I suppose I am a purist. But it is customary for everyone to run the same direction around a track. These people were, for no apparent reason, running both directions! They were nice and working very hard. I kind of thought that the trainer should know better. There were two other people running on the track that were not part of the class. They were baffled also.

To make matters worse there was a guy on the track walking his dog and puffing on a cigarette. Huge no-no on a crowded track.

The class stopped running and started doing calisthenics on the track. The class made a human road block. They moved a bit to let me run by. They were trying to be polite.

There is such a thing as track etiquette.

(1) Run the same direction
(2) Slow runners and walkers should stay in the outside lanes
(3) The inside two lanes are for those that are running quickly or against the clock
(4) If you are going to stop, put your arms out to the side to let everyone know you are stopping
(5) Look both ways before you step on the track
(6) Step off the track when you are not moving (with the exception collapsing on the track at the end of a race)
(7) Pass with care and give a warning, such as ďon your right ďif possible.
(8) Do not walk two abreast in lanes one and two
(9) Donít smoke
(10) Donít offer unsolicited advice

Most runners have this figured out already.


Short Choppy Steps

Monday, May 25, 2009

A few years ago I was running with a friend. My friend had been a collegiate runner. He critiqued my running style. He told me I needed to make sure my stride was heel-toe. In other words my heel should strike the ground first. He also told me I needed to lengthen my stride. He coached me into a picture-perfect stride. The result of all this coaching was a really bad case of shin splints. My knees started to hurt. My hip joints were in pain. Due to all the pain, I quit running.

I just started running again. I am doing the Couch-to-5K program. I inadvertently reverted back to my natural running style. I take short choppy steps. My right foot crosses in front of my body. I actually run on the outside of my feet. My toes point in. I put my feet down flat on the ground. I lean forward quite a bit.

In other words, I have a really ugly stride. But I have no pain! I am also a lot faster. I am very happy that I can run without hurting myself. I guess I have to get used to the idea that I will always look comical while running.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 5/31/2009 11:30PM

    I'm going to take up you style! My right knee has been hurting for over a month. I even had to cancel a race and it killed me to do that, but my knee was just too sore to run. I have not run in three weeks and it finally feels good enough to run a little, but I am being very cautious. I have been trying to run with good posture and land on my heel first and watch my stride, but maybe I should just go have fun and see what happens. I love running races and I just started in November, so I don't want to quit. I want to get over this and start running again.

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MINDHUNTER93230 5/25/2009 5:40PM

    If your doing less damage to your body running with your "unique" form. Then I think keep you should do what feels natural. Who cares if your doing the salsa while you run? The main point is, your running. Plus you may bring a needed smile or chuckle to someone who sees you running. Think of it as bringing laughter to others... emoticon

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I can't jog

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am following the Couch-To-5k program. I am supposed to jog for 60 seconds then walk for 90 seconds. I am supposed to keep this up for 20 minutes.

I found that I have trouble jogging. When I am supposed to be jogging I find myself running! I bounce a lot when I try to jog. I am smooth when I run. Maybe I won't be able to do a 5k - ever! I have one gear - which is high gear. The problem is I can't run for very far. I am out of gas in about 400 meters.

I gotta learn to jog.


Couch-to-5K Running Plan

Monday, May 18, 2009

My daughter and wife are good runners. My wife trains for 5k races by running 10k. My daughter is a hightly ranked collegiate 800m runner. Until I recently lost 40 pounds, running any distance was out of the question for me. There was no way my feet could take such a pounding.

A number of people on Spark recommended the Couch-to-5k program. I did my first session yesterday. This first workout was 20 minutes of walking and jogging. 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking sounded too easy.

It wasn't. It was just right.

I decided to go to the local high school track for this first workout. The track surface is resiliant and helps prevent injuries. I had to sneak out of the house. My wife and daughter love to run and would likely want to go with me. I really didn't need to be reminded that I am slow as molasses!

I used to do quite a lot of running. I ran the 1600m in high school. Because of my weight, I had not been able to run for years. I think I may like being a runner again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLAGEEK 5/18/2009 10:31AM

    Right on with getting into the C25K program. I think it is slightly comical you need to sneak out of the house to do this on your own. If anything they sound supportive, maybe a bit too zealous for what you want to do right now. Keep up the good work and wow them when you do a running event.

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Longer Walks

Sunday, May 17, 2009

As I have increased my fitness I have had to walk farther and farther to get in the same time. I suppose that is good. I am walking a lot faster. As I walk I watch my watch. I think my watch is slow. A distance that used to take me 50 minutes now takes me 30.

I always take my dog with me. I think both of us are getting into better shape.



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