Running Through a Fulfilled Life

The Runner’s Creed


I went to my first CEU Course this past weekend.  In order to maintain licensure, I must obtain a bunch of CEUs in order to stay “up to date” on the latest and greatest trends, treatments, and information in relation to the PT World.  The nice thing about CEUs is that you can select topics that pique your interest; whereas in school you have no choice in topic selection.  The course I went to was an entire day devoted to Running.  I learned the best ways to analyze gait patterns, correct form, modify form based on various camps of thought, diagnose injury, come up with new treatment plans, administer K-Taping techniques, and how PT’s can be more involved in the running community.

 I came back from the course very inspired and ready to put my knowledge into action.  My first project is going to be helping my Mom change her running form in order to decrease stress on her low back.  There is some rhyme and reason to the whole “heel striking is bad” theory from all the studies we looked at this weekend.

 When done correctly, like Meb Keflezghi, a heel strike does not ellicit a “spike” in the force that must be attenuated through the limb and body.

But when done incorrectly, like how I USED to run, it can lead to injuries down the road.  The main difference between Meb and my old form is twofold: 1) He is ridiculously fast, awesome, humble, has lots of sponsorships, awards, sweetness, running ninja skills and 2) He lands his heel strike on a slightly flexed knee.  I never landed on a slightly flexed knee.  Instead I chose to land on a firmly extended knee like a big idiot.

So moral of the story is, if you are going to heel strike, flex your knee.  Heel striking isn’t necessarily evil voodoo magic, an extended knee while doing so is.   If anyone ever has any questions about their running form, injuries, or needs advice on why it’s important to not have a farmer’s tan when running in a sports bra, you can always e-mail me. This stuff really interests me and I like to put it to good use!




4 thoughts on “The Runner’s Creed

  1. I overheard these two dudes talking at work once. The more seasoned runner was trying to tell the newbie runner that he needed to change from a heel strike to a mid-foot to toe strike in order to save his knees from all kinds of future havoc. Seasoned runner was actually telling newbie runner to get minimalist shoes. Seriously? I tried to tell him that there really isn’t much difference between mid-foot runners and heel runners, everyone’s body is different, you just have to maintain form. And have good shoes that were right for YOU. The guy gave me a real hard time. Told me I wouldn’t understand because I wasn’t as old as him. Stupidest rebuttal ever. I would love to hear more on what you learned about form and foot strike!

    • we basically discussed how heel striking isn’t bad when done properly and in the correct shoes for heel strikers. (an example used was a heel striker that attempted to run in Newtons and wound up avulsing part of the calcaneus due to the plantar fascia being way over stretched) injury rates were about the same across the board for heel strikers, midfoot strikers, and forefoot strikers. an injury can occur to any runner at any time if their form is bad, they aren’t wearing the correct shoes for their form, or they overtrain, a runner may need to look into modifying their form if their current way of running has led to many injuries in the past. that’s why i switched to a midfoot and sometimes even more forefoot strike, especially after what i have been through with my knees and my recent injury this past spring.

  2. OOOOOOhhhhh Very Interesting stuff! Flex knee and I can heel strike. Keeping this in mind!

    • yupp! if you don’t flex, it actually creates a “braking” effect at the hip and knee. (like if you were slamming on the brakes to your car briefly) this causes excess ground reaction forces that in order to overcome you to have to “pull” yourself through instead of simply having one fluid running motion.

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