Letters of Life

The Pain of Running

“The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.” –Karl Marx

Having one’s form analyzed, especially when it comes to the biomechanics of running, is a complex thing. Worse, and I don’t know why no one told me this before and I kick myself for not bothering to find out, wanting to find out how bad one’s form is is like opening a can of worms.

Now that I know, I want to correct. In the attempt, I learn an important thing. Correction is painful.

Yesterday morning, I decided to do a ‘quality’ run. Running just two kilometres, I focussed on my running form: thighs high, the midfoot strike, head high, back straight, arms close, the whole lot.

I did some core exercises first, stretched after. At breakfast, I noticed how limber I felt, like I’d just done an aerobics class and not real running.

By mid-afternoon, my legs started to ache. It was the same feeling I had after doing 7 kilometres the first few times. All I wanted to do was sit in bed, or lie in bed. Any piece of furniture with a long base was where I wanted to be. Walking felt like the stretching of aching muscles.

Obviously I turned in early. This morning, the ache in my legs had receded. More accurately, they had advanced. They’d gone to my glutes, those muscles most needed for when the body angles itself to sit down, to adjust a chair, to pick up things on the floor, to wear shoes. It was like I’d gone waterskiing all afternoon yesterday instead of sitting with a book like I swear I did.

In less than four weeks, I have a race. A small race, no doubt, in the larger scheme of things, but 10 kilometres is still 10 kilometres, however I try to downplay it. Best to think like any of history’s best runners, in this case, Clarence DeMar.

“Run like hell and get the agony over with.” — Clarence DeMar (1888 –1958), American marathoner who won the Boston Marathon seven times, and a bronze medalist in the 1924 Paris Olympics

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1 Response »

  1. An effective training plan focuses on both skill and energy. Skill comes from proper form and efficiency training. Energy development comes from balancing out speed, strength, stamina, and threshold workouts.

    For readers who want to know more about how better form can help improve their running, this video series will help you.

    Running Form Video Series>>>> http://www.TransFORM-Your-Running.com

    Courtesy of Coach Ken at 5 Speed Running

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