Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Major Flaw Detected & Corrected

I have no idea how this happened but during one of my recovery runs earlier this week, I noticed a defect in my form and technique. I have no idea how I discovered it. I've been running without major injury or pain for 6 months and I've been running harder than ever so I've felt great. However, at times, I've had a slight discomfort on the outside of the forefoot of my sole on my left foot. It hasn't been an issue and nothing that has impacted my ability to run.

However, out of no where, I planted my left foot and felt this incredible level of relaxation. I took a few more strides in the identical matter and realized that the difference was the positioning of my hips and taking a straighter stride. I'm convinced that I was previously running slightly off balance and not running straight.

Since then, I've tried to run straighter and land with my foot pointing forward. This reduces the rotation and twisting of the ankle (and knees). It's about keeping the feet and legs moving forward with minimal twisting. I find something to concentrate on with my eyes that's 100-200 meters ahead and run toward that place taking the straightest route.

So for 3 days I've felt absolutely NO PAIN . . . and I mean nothing . . . not even the slightest discomfort. In fact, just for trial, I stopped doing the plantar stretches before taking my first step out of bed in the morning, and no pain at all. This must have been my Achilles heel (no pun intended).

I spoke to my coach and she said "OMG," remember when we taped you 2 years ago and you had that slight whipping action with the left ankle which we attributed to all the basketball injuries you suffered on that ankle . . . well, that may be it. She watched me run and said "that's it!!!!!!!!". She said I've strengthen by left ankle so much over the past 2 years and improved my form and technique to the point that we can start to concentrate on tweaks that add even more improvement. She said the whipping action was not apparent anymore. This is something I'll have to continue to focus on for quite some time but I'm thrilled right now.


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