Hey there, so last week I was reading a thread on here and someone mentioned "braking" it got me thinking and I took my shoes in to my local running store to have them check out my wear pattern and evaluate my stride. I was able to talk to a great guy who knew his stuff and gave me some great advice about pushing off. My long run was my next run out and I started out really trying to focus on a quicker cadence and coming down on my feet the way he explained. Basically I had been landing on my heel on one leg, and on my midfoot on the other...so kind of like limping!! Well, about halfway through my long run (I did about 14) my left quad started to really hurt. I had noticed this pain the week prior as well, only during the second half of my long run. I think this was why I was limping along!! it definitely felt better to run like I have been, i guess it was taking a bit of stress off of my left leg and putting it on my right instead. I did the best i could to finish out the run still focusing on fixing my landing but had to ice my leg when I got home. The rest of the weekend my quad hurt and so did my calves!! So i'm guessing i was doing something right with my foot landing. This morning went out for my fartlek run and my left quad immediately let me know it wasn't feeling great. Nothing I can't run through, but wondering if i should take it easy? I feel like I just want to push through because i already missed a week due to the flu and don't want to miss any more time, i only have one more week before I start hills
It sound like the form change that you introduced has caused some previously less utilized muscles to get aggravated. If you have a foam roller, I would recommend using it to try to loosen up the tightness and keep your efforts easy for a few days. I tend to be careful with introducing form changes (or new shoes for that matter) on anything other than short, easy runs. I find that this approach minimizes the ‘damage’ caused by too much change and allows me to assess the results of the changes after the run.
As to form changes in general…..it is a slippery slope. My form has changed over the years as I added mileage and dropped a little weight, but it has not been a conscious effort to make the changes. I feel that the best form exercise is to add some 80-100m strides to the end of an easy run. For me, learning how to run these in a way where I am not straining to run fast has improved my running mechanics. I also run 800-1600M barefoot on the grass at the edge of the track periodically. I had a coach in high school that taught me this and I think that it makes me more aware of my stride and how I am landing.
I hope that you mend quickly.
2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...
My only question is timing. I like the idea of a form change to a more mid-foot or forefoot strike (as opposed to a heel strike), but I would be concerned about making a significant change in the middle of a training cycle. I made a similar change in form a little over 2 years ago when I decided to get back into running (after about 14 years of not running). I believe that I am much less prone to injuries now as a result, and I enjoy running more than I did before. But I didn't make the change during a training cycle. I did it very gradually, very slowly, with no races planned, nothing even close to a long run. And I had fun doing that for almost a year before I even tried a long run. I felt mild soreness in my calves during the change in form, but I kept it very gradual. I think this might be a difficult change to make when you have scheduled runs of 14+ miles and hill workouts about to start. But everyone is different. If you can make the adjustment now, more power to you! But I might consider making such a change after completing the race you are currently training for. Oh, and the foam roller that JML mentioned is your friend!
I agree, I switched to a pair of shoes from Newton running at the end of last summer and spent the fall getting used to the new shoes and new footstrike. I guess I didn't get it all right though, since it is pretty obvious from my shoe wear that i am landing on my heel with one leg, and on my midfoot with my other leg...so basically i am trying to fix that and land both feet midfoot. Leg has felt better today and I'll continue to watch it, don't want to really hurt myself that's for sure!