Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peroneus Longus and Brevis

Two tendons in the ankle/foot that seem to plague runners with soreness or limited mobility.  Due to poor circulation, tendons take a long time to heal.  But frequently loosening up the associated attached muscles is all the relief you need.  Loosen these puppies up early and often.

When laying on your side like you're using a foam roller, put 'peanut' centered along the fibula and rol these puppies out. 

Do this by laying on your side, the way you'd use a foam roller. I'm showing where the pressure should be applied in this video. I taped two LaCrosse balls together using cheap athletic tape. (more elastic tape would work a little better). I call this 'the peanut'. the middle of the peanut makes a nice gap so you're not pushing on the fibia. this should be done laying on your side rolling down the peroneal muslces- loosening them up will release tightness on the tendons below - even into the fascia of the foot. Seems FAR removed, but this is relieving my PF and chronic anterior soreness.

Feel the Difference 8mm Can Make

^^No, that's not a clever line for a first date.  (Video Here, and pasted below) Saucony is fiiiinnally admitting their shoes structure is flawed by reducing their heel raise.  People that rely on their shoe mechanics will be slowly transformed into running better... maybe!

My first attempt at having a better footstrike was by buying Newton running shoes, oping their forefoot lugs would just make me land mo' properly.  That was a bad idea.  Increasing cadence, landing in a more bent-knee stance, lifting and NOT pushing out behind you can only be learned through the natural proprioceptive feedback mechanisms that are already installed in your feet.   Listen to your feets!  And re-learn how to run through technique, not equipment.

(geometry of a heel striker - not good form, not a good way to learn good form)

An Inspired (new) Runner

"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!