"You, too, could become a pain-free runner". Why would he 'want' to run, running hurts, tires me out!? Can't you get on an elliptical machine with a Cosmo-mag and do the same thing?
That was the topic of conversation with a wanna-be runner over this weekend (let's call him Patient X). He has/had back problems that kept him from running. Why would you want to run, how should I change the way I run? Why/how could I possibly run incorrectly? ((isn't that like saying I chew incorrectly??))
This made me think of my "becoming a runner" origins. I used to joke that it'd take hours of cycling to be a 'work out' BUT... 10 mins of running and I was spent! Why was running so much harder for me? That led me down the path (path, sidewalks, roads and track) to become a better runner. I approached it the way an engineer would and have a system that I love to share.
We talked with Patient X about a forward lean, an upright posture, a cadence that is resonant with the variable elasticity of the running chain of muscles and tendons. "Don't fight the road, ask for its permission to brush it with the paint strokes of your running stride" :). He was enthusiastic and left for a run with probably an even 956 points to consider when running - maybe we gave too many tips at once... hmmm. BUT, when patient X returned from a run the smile told the whole story. "wow it all makes perfect sense" "when the road was slanted or when I was coming to stop I'd return to heel striking and it was jolting to feel the difference". And my favorite comment "it's similar to a Segway - the more you lean the faster you go". I'm going to steal that analog, thanks Patient X (now affectionately know as Pati'-X.) We look forward to following your progress Pati', remember 'lift-lift-lift...tap-tap-tap-tap...'
Inspiring someone to make a change for the better feels great. Most runners and crossfitters I've met have love "spreading the word" and inspiring others. After my November Crossfit Endurance Coaching Certification, I look forward to inspiring others spreading the movement to re-learn to run naturally. Full circle, baby!