Running: Going Back to Basics
Poor mechanics and foot function have in the past meant that running was not something I seemed born to do. Fortunately, through practising the Chi Running technique this turned out not to be the case. However, I have always had an issue with my right foot and back in April, I hurt it while out for a very long walk. I should have taken a few days off but I didn’t listen to my body. I continued running on it and hoped the problem would just go away. It didn’t! It got worse and so I was forced to take a layoff. Fast forward to the summer holidays and a lack of routine and running took a back seat for a bit.
So September has arrived, and the start of a new academic year. With some loss in fitness, it seemed a good time to go back to school myself. So for the last couple of weeks, I have been doing what I tell my students to do, form intervals. These allow you to focus on particular aspects of your form for one minute. You can alternate between focusing and not focusing, one minute on, one minute off. I am not currently training for anything and to focus purely on form and not on either distance or speed seems appropriate right now.
The main difference in how I am approaching form intervals is that I do most of the intervals barefoot. My feet have never liked being in shoes, I have always enjoyed being barefoot since childhood. Unfortunately, I have spent most of my life in shoes though, and until a few years ago really uncomfortable shoes! Whilst the shoes companies are busy responding to the desire for more minimalist footwear, and there are countless models out there to choose from; many still fall short in providing shoes with a wide toe box.
If you’ve been reading my blogs you will know that I took a very gradual route to less of a running shoe and now seems like the time to experiment a little without them. This is not something I would attempt without applying the Chi Running technique's principles or indeed the many running focuses that help to keep my running technique in check. Feeling the ground allows me to really sense that I land with a midfoot strike and that I must at all costs relax my feet and legs, otherwise it’s going to hurt. It also gives me the opportunity to strengthen my feet and bring my long time damaged foot back to life. As always, gradual progress is key.
- running form,
- form intervals