Running Injury Free

What do shin splints and a bad carburetor have in common?  Both of them will keep you from getting to work until they’re repaired.  For run commuters, a small injury can keep you off the road for a week or more.

We have to remember we’re not out running a race – we’re running to or from work, so there is no use in sprinting to the point of exhaustion (and we’re running with backpacks for goshsakes).   In addition, when you look at footfall of runners in general, a majority of us are heel strikers…

Which leads us to a great article from No Meat Athlete, called The Simple Way to Injury-Proof Your Stride (For Good!) that offers an excellent and easy technique that I think is very applicable to us as run commuters.

It’s simple: three steps per second (or 180 per minute) while running.

When you turn your legs over at this rate, you:

  • Are forced to take shorter, lighter strides
  • Keep your feet underneath you, rather than way out in front
  • Strike the ground with your midfoot, rather than your heel
  • Spend more time in the air and less time “braking” on the ground

All these factors add up to two big things: Greater efficiency, and dramatically reduced risk of injury.

One thing I’ve personally noticed about running faster with a longer stride length is that your pack tends to move around a lot more (not to mention you really feel the weight) than if you just take it a little slower.   I’m also a firm believer in a feet-underneath-you, midfoot-strike running style, so the appeal of a simple change in cadence in order to correct most issues is awesome.

Try it out and see how it works for you.   We would love to hear the results!

By | 2016-10-22T20:27:01+00:00 July 1st, 2011|Categories: General, How To|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Getting Started – Part 4: What to Wear

Kyle and I started running together regularly a little over a year ago. I had recently started running to and from work, and shortly after meeting for the first time, we found out that both of us liked to run. We were interested in some sort of adventure. Something off-road. Something different. So we decided to run the proposed Atlanta BeltLine route. And on January 2, 2010, we started running a section at a time – kind of like Appalachian Trail section hikers – until we ran the whole thing in one go, March 20, 2010.

But the reason for this background info (and why it relates to the post topic), is what we wore on our first run… Atlanta BeltLine Running Now I’m pretty sure you’ll have a hard time finding runners looking like this on the cover of Runner’s World, Running Times or Trail Runner magazines, but you know what? It doesn’t really matter. (more…)

Getting Started – Part 3: Gear and Transporting it to the Office

This is my favorite thing to write about! I’m always interested in trying out new gear to see how well it will work for run commuting and over the years, I’ve really fine-tuned what I carry into a nice, reliable system.

There are three basic types of run commuting and your gear/equipment may vary depending upon which one you choose:

1) Morning commute only

2) Evening commute only

3) Morning and evening commute

One other factor that will alter your list is weather. (more…)

Getting Started – Part 2: Route Planning

More than likely, you already know how to get to work by car.  But do you know how to get there by foot?

Now that you’ve made the decision to try run commuting, you need to find the best way to get to your office.  Normally, this  means the shortest way to work.  But it could also be the least hilly way.  Or the most scenic.   The choice is yours!

There are many options on the web to help you plan your route.  Let’s briefly check some of them out: (more…)

Getting Started – Part 1: Mentality

Anyone can run commute.  As long as you set your mind to it, you can do it.

Ok, ok…  Maybe not everyone can do it, but the hardest part of trying anything new is convincing yourself to give it a shot and then doing it.

Disregard the initial, extremist thoughts that may enter your head when you think about run commuting:  Namely, that it means you have to do it every day, only athletes are able to run like that, or you can’t because you need special facilities at your job to do so (shower).

I’ve heard many reasons why people can’t do things – as in, “I could never bike to the grocery store,” or “I could NEVER give up cheese/junk food/TV” and after making a few changes in my life, I realize now how much this annoys me.  But they’ve convinced themselves they couldn’t do whatever it was before they even tried.  It used to be me, too.   (more…)

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