Friday, April 8, 2011
Bad form Peter.
Last night I decided to use the treadmill because it was still a little windy outside and I had to be out for an hour and by the time I was finished it would have been dark out. So I stretched a little, got ready to start my workout, and I was doing really well. I made it to the 4th out of 10 running section and then my knee started to hurt. It wasn’t a hurt that was a sore hurt it was a “hey I really notice that pain when I land” hurt. Then I started to notice the pain a bit more. I slowed it down to a walk and I still noticed the pain.
I hobbled off the treadmill, up the three steps and I grabbed all my ice packs and set up the foam wedge on my bed so I could elevate my legs. I learned the R.I.C.E method of Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (plus take anti-inflammatory meds) from my many days of trying to be a varsity volleyball player (I really sat on the bench a lot) I wasn’t feeling any pain because I took my aleve and my Formula 303 and I just rested.
Last night I posted a picture of my sad story on facebook and got asked a few questions, so I’m going to attempt to answer them here…
My fancy ice packs for my knees. They are the greatest things ever. I own four of them so I could ice both knees and not have to worry about refreezing the ones I just used. You can get them through CVS’s website – they are called PEAS ice packs. The straps on them allow you to really get them snug to your knee, so I like them a lot. My other ice packs are from Walgreens and they are just the compression ice pack. I wish I had more of them because at times I could use two whole ones on each leg icing down my shins but I make do with what I have.
I keep saying how poor form caused me to twist my knee last night. It’s because I keep experimenting with my form. The best thing to keep in mind is to run with good posture. Keep your back fairly straight, keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, arms bent loosely but kept close into the body not swinging past your belly button, imagine your hands are inside a snack size bag of potato chips, and keep your stride comfortable.
Yet there is more about form that you can work with. Many of my friends run with the POSE or CHI method. I have read about them through various sites ( runners world ) and I try to grasp my head around them. This is where some of my experimentation lies. I try to lean forward at the ankles a little, I try to land on the middle of my foot instead of my heel, and I try to make sure my big toes are not crouching upward. I try to focus on my breath, think about my mental state while running, and let the sound of my strike pattern work like a metronome. Running Warehouse has a way you can film your gait and send it to them that I keep wanting to do.
The only reason I mess around with my form is because my shins hurt when I started and my toes kept on curling upward, so I had friends who are runners who would suggest watching little things. There is also a really great photo time lapse series in the book The 4 Hour Body that shows how someone’s form can change from regular to proper form. I say don’t get caught up in form when you are first starting to walk/run. I only started getting caught up in it during the C25K when I had to run my first 20 minutes without walking. I do think about it a lot more now because I am going farther distances, trying to build my endurance, and trying to not tire out my legs as quickly as they are tiring some days.
So for right now, I’ll take my Saturday run off and I’ll try the end of week five for C210K on Monday. If things still feel weird I’ll give it another day and probably make a doctor’s appointment. But I can tell it’s not that serious of a pain and my leg is just a little stiff today, nothing a casual stroll outside at lunch time won’t cure.