An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Too much of any one thing...

Yesterday morning, I ran long again, though long is a completely relative term here. Just over nine miles, mostly on a whim, decided when the rain abated two miles into my run, where the trails intersect the road again.

So I left the dirt and went onto the road, with over seven miles remaining. At about five miles, I noticed something... My knees were starting to ache a bit, as was my lower back. I was transitioning from a concrete sidewalk to an asphalt path that was broken up from roots growing underneath. And as I started to run across this broken up area, my aches immediately disappeared.


So what was happening here? Well, I had run about three miles on the road, and I think it had to do with not engaging my core. I had relaxed my core because, well, everything was the same -- each step was going to be pretty much like the last. With no compensaion needed for terrain, side slope, up or downhlill, or stepping on the random rock, root, or branch. And by letting my core relax that way, my back was hyper extending, thus the lower back pain. My stride was off. I wasn't overstriding, but I wasn't landing as lightly as I normally do.

Wearing the Altra Instincts, impact wasn't at injurious levels, but I could feel it. Would I not have had this issue if I'd been wearing less shoe? Would the feedback have been more immediate, and reminded my to get my form back in line before I got to that point? Possibly, but I've got a long road ahead of me to adapt to true minimalism on the road. I'm not so keen to head down that path. Yet.

So... Why the "too much of any one thing"? It goes back to those steps, how each one would be pretty much like the last. We're dynamic beings, and I think we function best when we're forced to adapt to the environment. At least the terrain.

Too much of a sameness, whether its road or, heaven forbid, a treadmill, lulls us into relaxing things we shouldn't. And that leads to bad things.

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