What the Running Skill Series Taught Me

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Do you enjoy running, or do you hide from it? Is it a way for you to relax and calm yourself down, or the exact opposite? Are you part of the 80% of people who get injured when they run, or are you the happy minority?

If you’ve had negative experiences with running, what was it that caused you to dislike it so much? Does running make your workouts exponentially harder? Is it boring? Do you hurt yourself every time you try to run?

For me it was all of the above, especially the last one. For as long as I can remember, I have had shin splints when I’ve gone running. This dates all the way back to my high school football days, where the only time I wouldn’t feel them was when the adrenaline kicked in during a game. Even running the bases in softball was tough. It would almost make me want to not try for anything more than a single so I wouldn’t have to limp further than to first. To most recently when we would have a running workout in CrossFit and I was forever resigned to rowing.

I tried all kinds of running shoes, orthotics, shin compression sleeves, you name it I’ve tried it.

I remember about a year ago when I hurt my wrist and couldn’t do many of the gym’s workouts. I was sick of doing squats and sit-ups, so I decided to go for a run because I couldn’t stand sitting around anymore. I was going to run all the way around Lake of the Isles without stopping, or at least that was my hope. But just in case I needed to stop or my shin splints flared up, I had my wife follow me in the car blaring the Rocky 4 soundtrack as I ran in my all-gray sweatsuit. Just kidding… well only the rocky 4 part. Everything else actually happened.

To my surprise, I made it all the way around the lake without stopping once. The second farthest run I’ve ever run. Well, for the next week I could barely walk because my shin splints were so bad.

So needless to say I hated running!!

As a competitive guy it always bothered me that I couldn’t run and I’d have to scale to something that I knew my body could handle. Six weeks ago I decided to do something about it and forced myself to take on the uncomfortable task of  joining the TTF Running Skill Series.

This clinic is designed to teach you how to run with the proper mechanics, and mobility that is required. At this point I had tried everything else, so why not.

We started off with a heavy dose of mobility and how to treat any hot spots or places we tender after running.

Think of it this way. If you are deadlifting with a round back a coach sees you doing it, what is their response? Do they say “well that was terrible, now try one hundred more until you get better?” No! A good coach will correct any faulty mechanics immediately, and will point out any movement/mobility issues so you can work to improve them.

Why should running be any different? Because it’s a basic movement and we have been doing it our whole life?

Week by week, we increased our running and every week I had no shin splints. Fast forward to week six, back on Lake of the Isles for thirty minutes of straight running. Once again I made it all the way around without stopping, but this time no shin splints. The next two days I ran again, still no shin splints. I was amazed.

This course taught me something that anyone can learn. It taught me how to run without pain and how to supplement my activity with proper mobility tricks to keep me moving.

If you are someone that has pain every time you run, or if you were like me and avoid running at all costs for fear of injury, you should check out our next Running Skill Series on May 23rd.

Take control of your workouts instead of letting them dictate what you can do!

 

TwinTown Fitness Running Skill Series

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We run. We run for fun, to burn off stress, to shed some lbs. We run in CrossFit, in run clubs, in marathons. We have always run. But how do we become better runners? The running culture is based around volume. Unfortunately more miles does not equate to better performance. Running is a skill to be learned and continually refined, just like swimming or deadlifting. The same way we can inefficiently pick something up off the floor, we can run inefficiently. Inefficiency leads to injury, and injury leads to a breakdown in performance. The TwinTown Fitness Run Series was created to help you achieve greater running performance.

The approach is simple. We will help you achieve greater running performance and injury prevention by:

  • Preparing and maintaining the body for running through consistent mobility work and strengthening, uncovering and correcting old injuries and structural weaknesses
  • Teaching and promoting efficient running technique

In other words, we are going to fix and prevent aches and pain instead of pushing through them, and adjust running mechanics to minimize the stress placed on the bodies joints and tissues over thousands and thousands of steps.

Come join us. You’ll run better. You’ll feel better. Sign up here.

Recommended Reading: Ready to Run

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Kelly Starrett, creator of mobilityWOD.com, author of Becoming a Supple Leopard, and founder of one of the longest running CrossFit gyms in the world, San Francisco CrossFit, recently released his second publication titled Ready to Run.

Ready to Run is an all-encompassing look at the form, skill, and and ability required to be able to run well.

It seems almost silly that a book would need to be written about how to run, but if you look at some (any, really) of the injury statistics involved in the sport, you will surely see that this primal movement might not be the “gimme” that most of us take it for.

Starrett goes not only into why it is important to run well, but also how to get there. The book is full of valuable information, and is written in a way that makes its contents available to all.

Whether your only experience with running is through CrossFit, or if you are training for an ultra marathon, the tools provided in Ready to Run are sure to be of assistance. I’d highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a good read to get you ready for running season!