Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are You Ready to Run?

If you search through my posts you'll get a pretty good idea of what I feel about running, running form and running shoes. After the first few times I went running I knew I wanted to run the rest of my life. Saying so and doing so are two very different things as most of you reading this understand. Injuries, children, jobs and general lifestyle all play a roll in our ability to run. But more than all of that is sheer pain. Running hurts. It hurts when you are out of shape trying to get into shape. It hurts if your 16 years old and taking a 3 week break between seasons. It hurts if you are 50 years old and have a lifetime of running.

Because of this I am always on the lookout for something to help me run as long as I can. Kelly Starrett wrote an encyclopedia for athletes when you wrote Becoming a Supple Leopard. I learned of his methods much earlier in his MobilityWOD YouTube videos. His delivery is spot on for me and I absorbed a ton. Once the book came out, I dug into it and have used it on a regular basis. I always felt that there was something missing. Well this year the missing peace came out in the form of Ready to Run.

I honestly believe if you run, you need this book. It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 50, make or female this book, if you use it as a running tool will keep you running pain free for a long time. Why?

  1. Proper Efficient Running form is everything to a runner. 
  2. Running Form starts in your head and works down to your feet. 
  3. Running Form does not start with your feet or more importantly what's on your feet. 
  4. If you allow your body to get tight, because of running, working at a computer, flying around the world (read through this blog) or sitting on the couch watching the NFL on Sunday, your running form will suffer.  
This book makes staying properly balanced easy to understand. The 12 tests you should be able to perform as a runner are not difficult. They are simple to execute and measure and if you can't do them the rest of the book is dedicated to getting you to be able to to them. 

I'll give you an example. 

For weeks now I've been dealing with pain that is all related: 
  1.  Low back pain
  2. Tight Hips
  3. Tight Hamstrings
Before I bought this book a couple weeks ago I was addressing the low back with a a foam roller and a lacrosse ball. Since I got the book this is my routine: 

  1. Voodoo Floss - Hamstrings - Essentially intense compression on each leg. I do this 3 times a day. 
  2. Baseball to my hips - I've had the same massage therapist for years. Whenever Dave got to my hips I'd tense up and it took him a good 20 minutes to work out the tightness. I always had tears in my eyes from the pain. Now with the baseball I can get to the exact same area and do it daily. 7 days or so into it, it's almost painless now. 
  3. Couch Stretch - I've always done this but now after the baseball it's so much easier to do. 
  4. Foam Roll my lower back. 
Results - Low Back pain is gone, hip movement is awesome and the hamstring tightness is slowly but surely leaving my body. 

The only issue I have with the book and it's minor is Standard #2: Flat Shoes

I believe flat shoes in your every day life is the right way to go. Try to convince my wife who likes to look professional in school and she'll say you're crazy but I believe in the Flat Shoes all day view. I however disagree with the Flat running shoes. Kelly talks about going from Motion Control shoes (Casts for your feet) to flat shoes. There are about 100 steps in that process before you ever can consider this. I firmly believe in running in the least amount of shoe you can get away with. If that means flat great. But most everyone in the running world will fall between the cast and flat. Very few ever need the cast and very few can run daily in flat shoes. 

Other than that one piece I think this book is a keeper and belongs on the book shelf of every runner on the planet. It's that good.

It's a good life....

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