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REAP BENEFITS OF AN EFFICIENT RUNNING STRIDE by John Post, MD



A participant in the Underpants Run. A counter-culture event run in Hawaii two days before the Ironman where proceeds go to support a local charity. And yes, the shorts are bogus. Make sure you look at the rest of the runners.

Quick Note: with the arrival of warmer temps and daylight savings time. many of us are out on the roads earlier, later and longer. Of the four strobe lights on biker’s butts on this Sunday’s ride, all four needed new batteries. One was so bad you could hardly see it in the pre-dawn darkness…drafting! So, before you ride again, change all those batteries and be safe.

We tend to get complacent. To assume that because we have a great deal of experience doing something that we remain proficient at it. This is a major contributor to running injuries. Let’s try to reverse that. There’s already enough controversy in running equipment now…Newtons, Vibram, etc., that if we stick to what we know we’ll stay out of trouble. Let’s try to review the running stride and how to do our part to remain injury free.

Ben Greenfield preaches frequently regarding stride frequency. He feels that many of us over stride and this leads to higher loading of the lower extremity than is required for the given pace. He has his athletes take 22 strides per 15 seconds to minimize the impact seen by the limb. Diminishing leg stress is obviously beneficial and not only might it give you a more compact running style, and help load the leg evenly decreasing injury, it might even contribute to a longer running career. How many ex-runners do you know, out not because they’re tired of it, but because they can not stay injury free? Look at the race results of your local tri and compare the number of competitors in the 30-35 year old ager group to those of 60-65.

Mark Lorenzoni, owner of our local running shoe store, a man I’ve quoted here before, has over 25 years of caring for runners, and preaches the same thing. He wants his runners to count 30 strides per 20 seconds. He suggests they give themselves a “pop quiz” in the middle of the run after they’ve warmed up by counting the number of left foot strikes for 20 secs and checking to make sure it’s 29-30, regardless of pace. He’s convinced that the incidence of IT band problems and plantar faciitis is lower in athletes who do this.

He also is a big supporter of mid-foot strikers and tells clients to pretend they have a pebble under the heel of their shoe and they’re trying not to put too much weight on it at foot strike.

The take home point here is to have someone knowledgeable evaluate your stride at regular intervals and see if you’re as good as you think you are.


Can you identify the athlete on the left with the American Interbanc shirt just before the Underpants run start?

 

www.johnpostmdsblog.blogspot.com

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