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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nothing more to say . . .

"Ironically, the closest we have ever come to an "ideal" shoe was the original lightweight, soft-sole, heel-less, simple moccasin, which dates back more than 14,000 years. It consisted of a piece of crudely tanned but soft leather wrapped around the foot and held on with rawhide thongs. Presto! custom fit, perfect in biomechanical function, and no encumbrances to the foot or gait."

"It took four million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot. We have converted a beautiful thoroughbred into a plodding plowhorse."

Nothing more to say . . . there is, unfortunately, no perfectly designed running shoe (yet).  The closest for me is the Puma H-Street.  The VivoBarefoot Evo has the most potential but they continue to miss the boat as it's too heavy and causes blisters.  If someone ever combined the best attributes of the H-Street and Evo, it would be a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last evolution phase?

I know, it has been forever since I posted but better late than never, right.  Well, I am in the last phase of the 10 yr. running cycle I've referred to constantly being years 8-10 (a runner friend of mine refers to this as the "smooth it out" phase when the body makes some final last tweaks as you truly become an efficient runner).  I've been running injury free for the last 5 years but now I can feel my body take the next step to become even a more efficient and productive runner and my body feels absolutely amazing.

To this point, I was tested again and long and behold my foot strike has changed slightly from slight under-pronation to a neutral foot strike.  Of course, with a neutral foot strike you still pronate but the fine line between pronating and under-pronating is an important and critical distinction.  So what has changed?  It's simple and I know what it is.  It's "Relaxation," plain and simple.  I run completely relaxed and that has resulted in the slight change in foot strike.  In fact, there's hardly any wear and tear on the soles of my shoes in the spots that would indicate under or over-pronation . . . the wear and tear is that of a neutral foot striker.

I'm not sure how I arrived here but within the past 3-4 months, I've been thinking more about being relaxed, regardless of the pace, whether warm-up or race pace.  I've also been thinking about Fred Rohe and his writing "The Zen of Running" and how he preaches about always being relaxed and never running with stress or pushing too hard.  For me, it's about comfortably hard running but also being totally relaxed and if I need to push too hard which, by the way, results in a dramatic increase in impact forces, I find that relaxed mode and I run as hard as I can provided I'm relaxed . . . anything faster that results in me not being relaxed is something I don't do anymore . . . if I feel the impact forces are too high, my arms are tight, breathing not controlled, etc., then I re-focused and find that relaxed rhythm and stay in that zone.  By the way, the more relaxed, the faster I run comfortably, however, there's a limit how fast you can run relaxed . . . if I have to push off harder then that's the zone I do not enter anymore.  As a result, I feel tremendous and every muscle and tendon feels great (for example, I can squeeze and pinch both achilles tendons with no pain or discomfort whatsoever . . . that's what I'm talking about).

I'm all about Running Relaxed.

Happy trails.


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