Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For the Love of Running - Part 2

If you want to love running, you need to embrace the fact that it’s in your nature to do so.  The challenge I find with my patients, friends and family who want to find a love of running, find it either difficult to run (hard work) or find themselves hurt every time they try.  That stems from the fact that many of us have adapted out of our natural running form because of basic social pressures of the Western World.  Two things in particular confront us at just the wrong time:  Being forced into wearing shoes as a child and being forced to sit our growing bodies in a chair during our adolescence/growing years.  How many young children WANT to wear shoes?  Of course, most of us don’t listen to what they are trying to tell us: shoes don’t feel right, they aren’t natural and kids are more comfortable barefoot.  By the time we’re old enough to be in school, we understand that it is our responsibility to sit down in chairs, so rarely do any children put up a fight.  But fundamentally, and I have explained it in prior articles and blogs and will continue to do so in future articles and blogs,  we changed the way we learned to walk into a type of walk that adapted to poor posture (from sitting) and shoes (allowing heel striking).  It’s why most of us remember being able to run effortlessly as kids for hours on end, yet now struggle to make it up the stairs or out to the mailbox.  It's the same reason I've never had a 4 year old present to the office with Shin Splints!  For those who struggle to run and/or get hurt doing it, it is important to recognize where your body is at now, and try and get yourself back on the path you started on when learning to walk the first time around.  It will take the help of a skilled practitioner to identify where exactly the body has adapted to and what it will take specifically to get you back on track.  It will take even more effort to find the motivation (a.k.a. focus, discipline, will power, mental strength) to try and correct or undo the many years of those adaptive habits.  For those who feel they love it though, it will be worthwhile.  Just start out slow (remember, we learned to crawl before we learned to walk, and learned to walk before we learned to run), run relaxed and smile...For the Love of Running.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Doc,

    Great Blog post! I hope your races are going well.