COMMIT TO BE FIT: Transforming your running form: A journey of patience worth the effort
February 23, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Running has not always been something I have enjoyed or looked forward to on a daily basis.
When I was on active duty, I remember having to force myself to do it. Running then became the top way to reduce stress, so I continued putting in the miles. Later in my career, however, I had back surgery, and was told by the neurosurgeon that I could no longer run.
Isn't it amazing when someone tells you that cannot do something, then somehow, that is the very something you desperately want to do?
So instead, I decided to be the best, fastest walker I could be and I was good at it. Last summer after listening to my patients, who had recovered from various surgeries, sing the praises of the minimalist shoe, I decided to jump in headfirst. Literally 'toes first', into a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Running nearly barefoot in these shoes, forced me to immediately change the way my foot interacted with the ground.
In a minimalist shoe, as in running barefoot, you will likely avoid a heel strike and will tend to run with a mid foot or forefoot strike. You end up using your calf muscles, and initially mine were sore for days after my first attempt in a minimalist shoe. I did however, rejoice because I was actually able to run without the usual numbness in my foot, and more importantly without any back pain.
I decided I needed to do some more research into how I should run and began my journey into the 'natural running' revolution that continues to grow. This journey over the past seven months, led me to become a Running Form Trainer, and I am on my way to becoming a certified Natural Run Coach.
Anthony Robbins, the internationally well-known author and entrepreneur, says "Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back by becoming more."
I believe my personal journey of changed running form and efficiency can benefit others. I have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others, and my continued research efforts on running mechanics can now be used to help transform the lives of others.
As all of you already know, changing any habit requires intentional effort and commitment. If you decide to examine and then make any change (s) to your current running form, the journey will be a long one. But my hope is that it will also be an interesting and truly rewarding experience. One that has the potential to revolutionize your running efficiency, prevent future injuries, and allow you to enjoy the many benefits of running lighter and faster.
I urge you to examine any barriers that might be holding you back from attempting to examine and improve your running efficiency.
If you are ready to make a change in your running form, then I ask that you 'climb over the wall' of hesitancy and begin the journey. Become more aware of how you run, more focused on your posture, your core, your arms and your foot strike. It is only after you become aware of your current habits that you can attempt to make a change.