Wednesday, January 12, 2011
A nice easy 5 mile run today over packed snow (boy, it was cold . . . about 7F). I had to run conservatively due to several icy spots but it was an enjoyable run, mostly because I found my stride again. I would never have had to find my stride again if I would have left my form alone and not decided to change my arm carriage, for not apparent good reason (another lesson learned). Anyway, I elected to run in my Nike Katana's due to the conditions outside. On dry roads, the Evo's are my favorite shoes, followed by the MWU3's but on tougher trails and/or snow packed roads, I will also run in Nike Katana's and Nike Zoom Streak XC's.
I've been reminded once again to never tweak your running form when you have no reason to do so. I started to lower my arm carriage after watching some other runners and while it felt good at first, I'm pretty sure it eventually led to the pain in my right foot. The lower arm carriage, for me, caused a slight change in my foot plant and the few degrees difference turned out to be a big deal putting more pressure on my plantar muscle. The pain only lasted a couple of days but it started to subside once I return to my regular running form which included a high arm carriage and a longer stride.
With respect to the longer stride, that may sound wrong as you often hear about trying to shorten your stride, which I agree with but only to a certain extent. I'm a slightly taller runner and if I shorten my stride too much, it doesn't feel natural and it turns into an uncomfortable shuffle. There are great runners that shuffle but I'm not one of them as I'm at my best with a longer stride, even if that reduces my stride rate. While there are "macro" running techniques (i.e., landing softly, good alignment and posture, etc.) that almost all great runners adhere to, after that, the "micro" running techniques that separate each runner are very unique to that runner. Never try to copy another runner but, instead find your own individual form.
Posted by - at 10:04 AM