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!