Category Archives: Clothes & Gear

Injury-Proof Running?

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I have been pretty fortunate to not have many injuries from running in the past few years. From June to August I had a lower back spasm but I don’t know for sure that it was caused by running; I did a lot of things to aggravate it. But this past weekend, after running the 6 mile trail run, my ankle swelled. It didn’t swell until four hours after the race, which I thought was odd. I’m sure it had something to do with running through muddy creeks and jumping over trees. 🙂 Things my feet are not accustomed to. The ankle has felt better every day although I am not doing any of my normal walking or running activities. Tonight I am going to Zumba so we’ll see how it feels then.

Even though I have not had many injuries, I know there is a strong possibility that I will have more injuries and a New York Times Magazine article caught my attention. The Once and Future Way to Run written by Christopher McDougall has me thinking about my running stride and how my foot strikes the ground. The article talks a little about the history of running shoes and about the current barefoot or minimalist shoe running trend. But to be able to run barefoot or with minimalist shoes, one has to have the right technique. I have seen a few people running barefoot and some wearing what they call barefoot type running shoes. There is an obvious difference in their strides and it looks like they’re gliding and kind of prancing. In the article McDougall references running coach Alberto Salazar, who teaches the technique, and says it is injury-proof running. Alright, I’m listening, er, still reading; how do we do it?!

McDougall says a great way to learn the barefoot-style stride is to do 100-Up exercises (developed by W.G. George around 1908). There is a video along with the article that gives a demonstration of the 100-Up. The biggest no-no is landing on the heel, initial contact should be between the ground and the ball of your foot. I know that’s the way I should be running, but I don’t really know if I am hitting with my heel. Why? Because I have cushy shoes! The point of the minimalist shoes or going barefoot is that you know exactly where your foot hits the ground and can if you’re doing it right. That makes sense to me.

So, am I going to start running barefoot? Not likely. There are still ways to injure the feet on pavement even with the correct stride, plus I’m allergic to bees and wasps and I don’t want to risk getting stung. Will I ever run with minimalist shoes? Possibly, but first I am going to start doing the 100-Up exercises and see how it feels. McDougall says this running style feels effortless – why wouldn’t I want to give it a try?

Fall/Winter Running – No Excuses

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Running is not a new thing for me; I have run for exercise and done races (by races I mean mostly 5ks and sometimes a 7 mile) on and off since elementary school. By on and off I mean when I have not been in the process of growing another human or have been caring for a baby. I know, excuses, excuses. As of right now I have been consistently running for over almost 2 years, although I did not do as much as I should have over the winter. I live in Iowa, and it’s just too darn cold to run outside and sometimes it’s just too cold to drive the 3 minutes to the rec center and run on the track (for free). There I go I making excuses, again.

This winter I want to run outside as long as I can without getting frostbite. How do I plan to do that? Well, I bought some pants and a hat with a pony-tail hole. Yep, that’s where I’m starting. I need the warm clothes in order to run outside so I figured I ought to get them now before it actually gets cold. We have had some cold days but right now we’re having a week in the 80s. Once it is absolutely too cold to run outside I will head to the track. I will, I really will.

This is a set I made on Polyvore (SO FUN!). These are the pants and hat I have coming. I have the iPod and similar shoes, as well. I have enough shirts already that I can layer on the top and I have some Smartwool socks. I chose these Continuum Tights by Athleta because they are compression tights – I have found that I love compression shorts because they keep things from bouncing. I think compression will also help keep me warm. I forgot to include the shorts (worn as undies) I like in my set! They are the Nike Pro Compression Shorts, although, I have the 5″ and could probably use the 7″ because they start to creep up on my legs. Not annoying while I’m running but I tug on them when I’m not.

The Run Like A Mother book is on my wish list. It looks entertaining and maybe motivating, so I want to check it out. I just started following their blog, too – anothermotherrunner.com

Do you run in cold temps? Any advice?

Cold Weather Running II

Brook
$80 – brooksrunning.com

Brook
$55 – brooksrunning.com

Brooks shoes
$140 – brooksrunning.com

Hat
athleta.gap.com

Wool/Bamboo Infiniti QTR 1pack
$16 – brooksrunning.com