After writing I Hate Running I started to worked on my form.
I went on a run to work on my foot strike and cadence.
I did a 2 mile trail run that felt great until I got back to my truck.
Like many others, I misinterpreted “land on the mid foot” as run on the mid foot only. I was not letting my heel come into contact with the ground and that destroyed my calves. Also on that run I put on a 180 BPM playlist and tried to stay on tempo. Too much for starting from zero.
I couldn’t walk right for a week.
I decided to track my progress on Strava.
I tried to run again a week later. Running gear on I drove to a nearby park and started a run. No joke, 45 seconds in feel pain again.
I stop immediately and hobble back to my truck defeated.
Asking myself, “What am I doing wrong?”
I let my body recover for another 2 weeks before trying again. During this time I’m re-watching running technique videos and doing running form drills to correct my form. I record my self doing the drills and analyze my form the best I can.
I’m bent at the waist. So I correct it to run tall.
My foot strike looks good landing on the mid-foot but no heel contact. I correct it landing midfoot then letting the heel tap the floor naturally on each step.
I’m back at the park with a plan. I will run on the grass for 1 minute then walk for 1 minute. My body gets warmed up I’m feeling good so I start extending the running minute to 2 minutes, then 5. I get in the zone and just keep running for about 2 miles. There is the beginning of pain in my right calf but not bad. It’s time to stop.
Feeling good I’m back at the park 5 days later. I’m on the grass and start running no warm up. Bad Idea. immediately I feel discomfort in my right leg groin area.
“Should have warmed up!” I tell myself.
I fall back into walk run intervals for the length of that side of the park. My body warms up and I’m feeling good. I decide I’m going to run on the cement path.
I ran less than 500ft on the cement path and my left calf pain came back. I’m still doing something wrong. I stop for the day. Back to the drawing board.
It takes me another week to recover and again I spend the time looking for answers.
I’m over striding a little bit and not landing my foot strike right under me. It’s slightly in front. I’m aware of it so I keep it in mind for my running systems check.
Also I’m pushing off with my calves. I watch more videos and focus in on these problems. I work on using my hip flexor to pull my leg forward and using my glutes to pull my legs back like riding a skateboard. I think I was overworking my calves and bending my knees too much.
It’s a Sunday. I take my two boys for a 2 mile hike. My body responds well. I feel good.
Back at home I take care of some things then declare.
“I’m going for a run.”
“I’ll might be back in a minute, but if I’m out longer, it’s a good sign. ” I tell my wife.
I walk down the street to a good landmark and start the run off with the good old 1:1 Run/Walk interval for a mile. Then…
I go for a run.
5 miles of injury free running.
I AM THRILLED.
The next few days my knees are a little sore. Not bad considering I haven’t run 5 miles straight since high school.
No pain after a few days.
My body was so out of shape it took all of this just to get it ready for running.
If you are still reading this and you are looking to start running I hope my story helps you get motivated to run and get through the initial challenges of just getting off the couch.
Also, I’ve decided to Run 1,000 miles in 2019.