Is There a Trainer in the House?

I had a good run tonight. I’m repeating Week 3 of the Cool Running Couch-to-5k-Run Progam, and as I burned through the first 200-yard stretch tonight I thought I was toast. I got my head right by the end, though, and pushed through the last 400 yards and stacked on a few extra yards for good measure.

The problem is my right leg is killing me. My left’s a little achy, but my right is hurtin’. It might be shin splints, but I’m starting to worry it’s skeletal rather than muscular this time around. Each impact brought a zap of pain, so I started concentrating on the way my foot hit the track. I’m not 100% sure, but it feels like I’m landing flat-footed and rolling onto the ball of my foot a little too quickly.

I’ve read a few sources discussing the proper stride, but my question is how do you train that stride. I try to alter my stride on the track, but it’s tough; I keep falling back into the bad habit. That makes me wonder if I’ve got tight muscles or screwy joints that are preventing me from doing it right. If so, what should I be doing to correct this?

I let an ingrown toenail get out of control a decade ago, and I dealt with it for far too long by limping around. Then I did it again with the other foot a year or so later. That screwed up my gait for a long time. I caught myself walking on the outside edges of my feet and not rolling off the front of my foot, and I’m worried this may be a lingering problem.

So, again, any trainers in the house?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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  1. Roscoe says:

    As a “former” runner with lots of 10ks and a few full marathons behind me, my advice would be to train for a 10K rather than a 5K.

    The 5Ks are more like sprints – one tries to run fast. One can get injuries of all kinds doing that. 10Ks are actual distance events where you can use real LSD (Long Slow Distance) training methods. The older and heavier one is, the better one is suited for LSD training.

    My advice in questions of stride is to let your body find what’s natural for it. If things don’t feel right, shorten your stride and slow your pace. And rather than worrying about speed, pay more attention to racking up the miles and the time running comfortably at a steady, relaxed pace where your greatest risk of injury is dozing off and falling over. Well, maybe not quite that slowly, but you get the idea. :)

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for the tips, Roscoe. I like the sound of Long slow Distance. And funny you should mention 10k; Nike+ has a Coach program with different training options, and I was poking around at their 12-week 10k trainer last night.

    I feel like my pace is already pretty slow, more like a quick jog. Still, maybe that’s still too quick for me? Definitely worth taking another look at during the next run.