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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hips, Salsa, MWU3's and Suspended Evo's

Prior to this last discovery, I've had 4 life changing moments in my brief 3 year running career. First was the day I found Barefoot Ken Bob and BFT. Second was the day I took off my shoes and starting running barefoot. Third was the day I found KSO's because they taught me I didn't need traditional marshmallow shoes to run. Fourth was working on my foot placement and changing from a severe forefoot landing to a whole foot or mid-foot landing which is also controlling my supination a bit which reduced the pressure on the outside forefoot (I have severe). Now, the Fifth is meeting Janet and discovering my hips. The last 48 hours has been pretty amazing. I run 6 days a week and I take Monday's off. I alternate hard runs and easy runs and Saturday is my easy run day and my legs are usually starting to get tired by the weekend.

My normal Saturday run is about 45 min. at 8:30 - 8:45 pace. However, this morning I knocked off almost 6 miles at 6:47 pace and the amazing thing is my effort level was the same as it normally is for a easy run. Although I carry a Garmin watch, I run mostly by "perceived" effort, that is, I know by my effort level about how fast I'm running. So, this morning I gave a normal easy effort and didn't look at my Garmin until about 30 min. into the run (after warm-up) and I was running around a 6:45 pace, I continued for a few more minutes and shut down the run. I stopped because I was stunned because all I did was really concentrate on my hips, landing under my body and pretending (as Janet said) a lasso was around my waste pulling me forward. After about 10 minutes, all I thought about was cycling the hips through and running straight (I never thought about foot plant/strike at all).

And here's the tell/tell, I had absolutely no Achilles pain (or PF pain) after the run. Normally, after a hard run, I can have some minor Achilles pain but it goes away in a few hours. This time I had no pain and had no pain the entire day while walking other than the annoying bending on my Evo's that I used to walk.

I should mention that my Evo's are on suspension and I'm running in my MWU3's. First, I'm doing so because my new coach said I run "substantially" better in the MWU3's vs. Evo's and the video taped proved it. Second, for whatever reason, I have no pain running in the MWU3's even though they have a 9mm heel differential. I can't explain it but the MWU3's feel really good (maybe it's my change to the mid-foot strike).

I'm doing the hip exercises twice a day and I can already feel a lot more flexibility. My new coach said you generate power primarily from 3 areas: feet, hips and arms. I was generating all my power from my feet and it's amazing I never got hurt but it explains the different pains in my feet (the good thing is it shows how strong are feet are to handle that level of stress and pressure). She told me to evenly distribute the power generation and in addition to my hips I've tweaked my arm placement and the results have been pretty incredible so far. I feel like I'm 4 inches shorter when I run and it feels odd at first but once I get going, it feels amazing. She told me that while we don't run exactly like horses to still think about the incredible power horses generate from their hips.



  1. HHH,

    What do you mean you feel 4 inches shorter? Are you kinda squating or bending your knees a bit more?

    It seems I have to bend my knees a little to have the hip extension that I see in the videos. When I had my gait analysis, Ivo said that I needed to have my hips more forward (kinda like being pulled by a lasso) because I was bending at the waist, not at the ankles.

    I was reaching to far forward with my foot which led to the AT. Also I need to be a midfoot striker not a fore foot due to my structure.

  2. Scott,

    Sorry for not being clear. Yes, it's about the bending of the knees that me feel closer to the ground, and hence shorter.

    With proper alignment and positioning, the foot strike tends to take care of itself. I don't spend a lot of time distinguishing between a forefoot and mid-foot strike. I work on alignment and take off the shoes, and the body takes over and let's me know "my" proper foot strike.

    I think it's pretty clear that heel striking is bad but, after that, it gets real specific to the individual.



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