Whether you’ve been told by a doctor to “stop running”, have ran all your life and think your knees are shot, or have just come to the conclusion that you were not a born runner, this running series is for you.
According to Dr. Kelly Starrett, mobility guru and author of the book, “Ready to Run”, there are 3 main performance-sucking problems that contribute to your joint issues/deterioration every time your foot hits the ground. These are:
- Poor positions
- Restricted range of motion
- Habitual poor movement patterns
If you are making demands on your body to perform as an athlete then you need to support it. Being “an athlete” does not have to mean you compete professionally or even compete at all. It means you employ fitness and/or sports-like training on a weekly basis. You need to:
- seek the optimal positions from which to transmit power
- develop movement systems so you have the full range of motion your joints were meant for
- practice and master good movement patterns and positions
- and develop the strength and conditioning to support these patterns from the first minute of your running to the last.
Injury prevention is not as simple as orthotics or ultra padded “running” shoes. Dr. Starrett explains that these things are like a band-aid. They may make you feel better in the moment, but you are only delaying the inevitable. Fix the problem at it’s source and you will be better off in the long run.
Before doing anything physically, you must alter your “task-completion” mindset. Congrats on getting up early and making it to the gym or hitting the pavement for a run. This is better than most people. However, you need to do more. To get the most out of your run and workouts, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. How well do you complete each rep or each mile? Going through the motion is not enough. I don’t believe in giving out gold stars just for showing up.
Starrett stresses that routine maintenance should be performed by you. This is instead of running to a therapist or doctor when you have an issue. Or, worse, not doing activities that irritate your issue. By avoiding it altogether, you are not dealing with the problem.
Coming next: How to begin your maintenance! Almost there…..in the meantime, here is Giovanni. Naturally born for speed, Giovanni has a little different running technique than us.