Monday, January 18, 2010

So that's what they mean by a forefoot strike...


I've been playing with my running form on my last two treadmill runs. I definitely strike with my heel when I run, and it has caused a myriad of problems. I have plantar fasciitis in my left arch, and a heel spur as well. I've endured cortisone shots in my heel , and I've done other things to get over the PF. I wore that big boot every night to bed for 6 weeks, had custom arches made for my dress shoes, I use Spenco inserts in my running shoes, and wear an arch support when I run. Phew, such high maintenance, but I've kept it at bay for over five years. Surprisingly, I think that now that I'm home with the kids, and wear casual shoes instead of heels, that too has helped quite a bit.


I had an "A HA!" moment one day playing Wii Fit, they have a segment where you can do a 10 minute run, so I did it with Eliza. If you aren't familiar with the Fit game, you need to be barefoot to use it. After I started running, I realized I was landing on my forefoot, and it wasn't causing any pain, which I thought it would since there is no padding there compared to my heel. I started running circles around the house and it clicked, I knew what all these barefoot runners were talking about! On my next treadmill run, I kept my shoes on, but made a conscious effort to land my feet correctly. I was leaning forward, and felt like I was going to topple over, but it made sense. Today I tried it again, and kept it up for a full three miles. Very cool!!

On the "choosing a marathon" front, my friend Jen (who also entered the NYC lottery for this fall) told me that NY State residents have a one in three chance of making it into the race! I still don't have high hopes to get in, but those aren't bad odds at all.

22 comments:

Manderz said...

1 in 3 chance!! Wow, I am in the lottery too!

Julia Writer said...

I get plantar fasciitis too if I'm not careful. It's so painful and takes forever to clear up.

Staci Dombroski said...

I think those sound like great odds :-)

Kelly said...

I just love that story...what can't you learn from a video game??

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

My son and I run together on the Wii Fit. It's so fun. He loves it too!

And the shots in the heel?? Ugh.

Thomas said...

Good to know another runner experiencing some positive effects with barefoot running and chi running (which is similar to the running form you described).

The key is not to overdo it and take it easy initially. Otherwise, you'll risk different injuries. After all, although we're born to run without shoes, we need time to re-train our feet to get used to running barefoot again. I'm not a barefoot runner (yet) but am starting with minimal shoes such as Newtons and Brooks Green Silence.

Good luck with the NYC marathon lottery, hope you get in!

Tara said...

I've heard a lot of good things about barefoot running lately. I am totally embarrassed by my feet though. My husband even makes fun of them. Oh well! Glad to know that you are getting the hang of it!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Ah, another escapee from heel-strike running. Good for you!

You might try moving to flat shoes. It will make it easier to land correctly. And like Thomas has already said, take it slowly. You are relearning how to run. :)

mudmama said...

yay for your AHA moment!

The Blonde Duck said...

Form is so important...

Mighty M said...

Good luck with the lottery!

CailinMarie said...

that is really interesting about running barefoot - its got me thinking - you have to enter a lottery to run the NYC marathon? I had no idea that had that many people who wanted to run!!!

Susan Fobes said...

When I do the running on the WII fit my kids laugh at me (my husband also says I run like a girl-duh, I am one so I don't know what that means but it mustn't be good...) I'm glad you're enjoying your WII fit too!

BTW: Thanks for the insight with the MBT shoes. I'm a clutz too so I'm not sure about them, but I recently got a little more insight about them here http://www.wanderingeducators.com/marketplace/apparel/do-mbt-shoes-really-work.html and they are having some great sales, so... I will let you know if I break!

Susan Fobes said...

Break down that is... LOL!

Rookie on the Run said...

I've been reading on my barefoot running forum that running in place (ie. with the Wii) is a great way to get a feel for what running barefoot should feel like.

As a fellow PF & heel spur sufferer, I'm curious to see what you find out about your new-found insight. I am trying so hard not to heel strike... even when I'm walking barefoot around the house. Grrrr... darn those bad habits!!!

JenLo said...

A friend of mine said you automatically get in the NY marathon after not being selected several times (I think 3 or 4) so keep signing up if you don't get in this year!

ajh said...

Do you listen to Brandon's Marathon podcasts? He is a big forefoot running proponent and you could hear lots about it there.

blueviolet said...

I so hope you make it! I'm really impressed at everything you do to keep your feet healthy. My husband has bone spurs but he doesn't follow through on anything they tell him to do.

The Happy Runner said...

Love those "aha" moments.
I hope you get in to NYC!

Danielle said...

I am super impressed you have found a way to overcome the PF. Its serious torture and so debilitating!

Morgan said...

Gotta love those "aha" moments!!! Now you just have to work on the form! I know I need to work on this too...

My BF has PF and he uses frozen juice canisters to roll his arch over and he says it really helps. Just a tip.

J said...

That is tough to change how you run but it is great that you are making the change! Hopefully it will really jhelp your foot!