Monday, October 10, 2011

ChiRunning vs. McDougall vs. a string through my head

Things are coming along for the master man.  My shoulder is weird and drooped but healed - only residual seems to be ongoing itching but that's often a sign of healing.  My plantar foot is on and off but I said what the hay and starting running on it again.  Latest "cure" seems to be the Pro-Tec arch support, which cinches around the foot and positions a padded area up into the arch.  Took my 13 simulated wasp shots last Thursday, which in theory should build my resistance to yellow jacket hits.

That leaves me with...actually running again.  I've been sporadic for so many months it's strange to get a few day strung together.  But once the forward motion begins I quickly bring focus back on the foundation of the game...body stance and foot strike.

I'm a bit miffed at the moment, trying to sort through decades of head knowledge regarding running.  Five years ago, I became a big proponent of the ChiRunning program, where one carries the body in an erect pose and "leans forward at the ankles."  Then came Chris McDougall's visit to Appalachian State and the consequent interaction.  Chris pointed me towards the Saxby video on running, where the body is erect and stays that way.  Running in place is said to be the perfect stance, with high knee-lifting strides.

Then I thought back many years, somewhere in the 1980's in my triathlon era.  I remember reading a book that suggested we should run as if a string were running vertically through our body and lifting us out of the top of our head. That's a pose I can wrap my mind around.

I don't yet know where I'm landing on all this data.  Leaning forward at the ankles is hard to engage, i.e. the angle of the lean and the tendency (for me) to crook at the waist.  If I'm tall and erect, it seems to add a load to my upper quads...I'm sure some redistribution of weight and muscle response is at work.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  So while I trudge down the trail in my big honkin' motion control Brooks Addiction with the Spenco gel sport inserts, I'll be trying to bend, lean and let the string pull me up all at the same time.

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