Running tips for Newbies like me and OUCH!!

As many of you know, I have started running. Obstacle course racing has really made me realize this deficiency in my fitness and I am trying to correct it.  I am still learning so found a cool article on form in Runners World online.  I summarize it below but the full article can be found here.

The Perfect Form … its the name of the article, I am not commenting on the subject runner!! ;)

Head Tilt – look at the horizon and not your feet.

Shoulders – Shake out your shoulders to release tension if they creep up toward your ears.

Arms -  Don’t clench your fist and don’t allow you arms to swing across the front of your body.

Torso – Run tall — stretch yourself to your full height when running.

Hips – “When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.”  I have no idea what this means…

Legs/Stride – “slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement” Foot should land directly below your body.

Ankles/Feet -  “land between your heel and midfoot–then quickly roll forward. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot rolls forward to create more force for push-off. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.”  For what that is worth.

I have been trying to improve my form, concentrating on the shorter strides, tension in the shoulders, and running tall (i.e. the ones that make sense to me). Saturday I ran over 5 miles.

Afterward, the top of my left foot hurt… a lot.  It felt like the bone between my big toe and ankle was bruised or something. I stayed off it on Sunday. On Monday, I did an upper body P90X2 routine to try to protect it.  It was feeling a little better today so I went for my run (well on the treadmill, but that still counts, right?).  It ached the first mile or so, but feels better now.  I read somewhere that it was caused by tying your shoes too tightly and your feet swelling.  I kept them really loose today.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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25 comments on “Running tips for Newbies like me and OUCH!!

  1. magnuminsp says:

    I have all those pains and more! On longer runs, your feet will also fall asleep if they shoes are laced to tight. This should help you: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/
    The only tip I can give you is not to do too much too fast.

  2. Leesah Em says:

    You also have to watch if you are making big changes to your form and doing long distances…those are better to add slowly so your body adapts without killing you. Oh and the foot numbness thing is something you get used to or learn to avoid…either or. lol.

    • either/or… lol, then I will try to avoid it… I wonder if the changes hurt my foot, I just assumed I laced up my shoes too tightly… Hmmmm.

      • Leesah Em says:

        it can be a lot of different things…you might even be gripping/curling your toes in your shoes, which could cause you issues. It takes awhile to become aware of all the little tweaks…you also could’ve been tired and adjusted your gait differently and thus, foot pain. Such a fun sport, no?

      • Is it a sport if no one every scores?? lol

      • Leesah Em says:

        the “score” is a great run or a personal best or simply challenging yourself. I miss it so much since I started cross fitting this summer.

      • I am starting to like it more and more though I do miss the soreness I would get from a really great weight workout…I just dont have the energy to push myself as hard in the gym after a long (for me) run.

  3. I have had the forefoot pain, and it seems as though mine is from tension in my toes. I have found that this and other imbalances are corrected for me when I run in Vibrams for a few miles a week (usually one or two 3-4 mile runs). It seems to “reset” my form in a way that I can’t seem to do consciously.

  4. Leesah Em says:

    It’s all about building a flow and getting used to it. I usually do weights after my run, but I would recommend either doing it before or breaking it up into two days. So on a run day, I would do upper body weights, save your leg work for the next day. That being said, that amazing muscle soreness is what had made me decide to stick with cross fit as a workout option. lol.

    • I am trying to become a runner, finish INSANITY, and still find time to get a workout at the gym every now and again… I just dont have enough days in the week. There is a new program coming out that is called the Body BEAST. Looks pretty awesome, but if my goal is to become a runner, bulking up is really not the way to go, now is it… Leesah, I am confused, can you tell? haha

      • Leesah Em says:

        I think confusion is totally allowed and it is increasingly difficult to pick activities to stick too. I want to train for my first triathlon (a small try a tri in the fall) and I want to do cross fit and run/train for a half I am signed up for in October. It’s all about balance, I guess and well, you can train for a half marathon on three days a week, if that helps. ;)

      • That does help… lol. Sounds like you are like me… too many goals!!

  5. I’ve had to work really hard on my form. I tried to train for a marathon about five years ago and literally gave myself a stress fracture from heel-strike/poor form. These days I’m forward runner – letting gravity help me, running on the front of my feet, etc.

    I agree that making changes in form is a slow and steady ordeal – it took a while to correct my posture, but now i don’t even get shin splits anymore!!

  6. I’ve been trying to teach myself running as well. Between foot pain and shin splints, it hasn’t been fun. I’m going to get my gait and shoes checked out before I try running again. Despite all the setbacks, I’m determined to be able to do at least a 5k before the end of the year! Good luck with the running!

  7. Melanie says:

    I used to lace my shoes really tight when I first started, but my feet would swell and I would get such bad pains! Also, out of nowhere, my pinky toe nail fell off! I guess there is a lot to be said for leaving your shoes laced moderately loose and comfortably. Pinky toe is coming back, but talk about a freak out moment! LOL!

  8. j3nnipark says:

    This is a really helpful post. In one of my health classes, the professor emphasized the importance of running the correct way. It really does make a difference. Thanks :)

  9. Dani Cee says:

    About a year ago, Runner’s World covered the form of marathoner, Ryan Hall… attributing his speed to his relaxed form and the fact that his feet barely touch the ground (no heel strike.) It was his astonishing win in Boston that prompted experts to examine running forms and come to some conclusions that form plays a big role in not only safety, but speed and endurance. Great post! Thanks for the tips!!!

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