Friday, April 4, 2014

5 Things You May Hear at PT: and you wont know how to fix them

As many of you know, I've been going to PT for some time now for knee/hip problems. I've been given so much advice on how to run and how to improve my form to decrease the chance of further injury but it is all boggling my mind.

The best piece of advice I was given last week was "Get Out There And Go Be A Runner Again"!
So that's what I did. But instead of enjoying it, it's making me nervous and it feels like too much work...lol. 



So these are the things I've heard that I am trying to work on, but it's hard.

1. Lift your heals up to your knees as you run.
 When I was running with a running group once, one of the coaches had told me the higher you lift your feet off the ground, the faster you will go. This made sense to me.  But I don't always want to run fast, so picking my feet up off the ground that high isn't something I think about when I am just out for a jog, but according to my PT I should be running this way during every run.

My PT recorded me running for a bit this week. You can hear some of his suggestions.
video



2. Are you a heel striker?  I still don't think I am, but that is yet to be determined. The advice I'm given at PT is to land on the forefoot. I always knew this and hoped that I would do it. I've played my video back several times in slow motion and I still don't *Think* I am heel striking. What do you think?

3. Land with your foot underneath you, not in front of you.  Again, this is something I am trying to do.

4. Keep your feet pointed in front of you. Don't let them flare out. I am a huge failure at this as my feet flare out. Maybe you can tell during the video.  I know this is a problem but I don't know how to change it.  I'm sure this is what contributes to my knee trouble!


5. And for number 5, I just wanted to talk about shoes real quick.


 Remember when I posted this Post about How much cushioning was too much for your individual needs?  A learned a little bit about this too at PT and you can read about it in the link. Well I realized that I am probably one that doesn't need that much cushion in a shoe because I've never really had foot problems and felt maybe I needed a little more stability instead. I was thinking about exchanging them UNTILL I took them for a ride on the treadmill this week.  I have officially declared these my treadmill shoes!  Even though I have a Shock system already on my treadmill, the extra cushioning form the shoe is absolutely delightful!!!

So have you ever been told to change something about your running form that has been hard for you to do? Any advice on how to get your body to do what your mind wants it to do?  ~M




37 comments:

  1. These are great tips! Excellent for preventative maintenance too!! And after watching the video, I agree, it doesn't look like you are heel striking at all!

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    1. Yea, I didn't think so either. Thanks for confirming it!

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  2. I struggle with #1...my feet barely leave the ground. So I guess it's not surprising I'm on the slow side! I always figured if I strengthened my leg muscles I'd be able to "push off" harder as I ran, and go faster, I just haven't made strength training a part of my routine (although I know I should!).

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    1. Yes, please start strength training Erika. I would hate for you to have an injury like mine. It's awful. But the thing is, I thought I was doing enough strength training.

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  3. #2 and #3 were what my PT said right away. I don't know if I was a heel striker, but I did run with my feet far in front of me. Mostly my focus is to keep them under me, and I find focusing on that means I'm striking more fore-foot than heel foot on my own.

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    1. I know I need to work on that too. Trying to concentrate on so many techniques at one time is exhausting and I can't enjoy the run!

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  4. Now I'm REALLY confused. I always heard that lifting your legs that high exerted more energy & wore you out faster. I'm sure you'll find 2 sides to every theory.
    I think I am a heel striker but try not to... it just feels funny running more on the front of my feet.
    Good tips though!

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    1. That is EXACTLY what I thought too. If I want to do just a light jog I don't feel like my legs should be lifting that high! Apparently I was wrong!

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  5. i loved my PT experience. i've actually read lots of conflicting science on heel striking. it can be a hard thing to change and my PT had me focus on actually walking (running) so that i was pushing off of my toes. that automatically helped curb heel striking but was an easier fix.

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    1. Makes sense. One example my PT gave me is that running should feel like I'm moving a skateboard. Meaning that's how my foot should feel at take off and landing.

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  6. Oh gosh, #1 is going to be a problem for me. I definitely don't pick my feet up that much! I have the Chi Running book and DVD and haven't managed to read/watch yet but I know that he has a big focus on proper form. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh please share what you learn when you get through it! I guess I could use all the help I can get on my form!

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  7. The heel striking thing is such a debate lately! I am a heel striker and my running coach didn't want me to mess with something that wasn't giving me any trouble! Landing with my feet under me has greatly improved my hip bursitis! It really does help a ton!

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    1. I never knew that I was running that way until my PT told me. I do it not knowing and I have a feeling it's gonna be hard for me to change!

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  8. I LOVE this post. I actually don't breathe correctly...seriously? Like, how is there a right and wrong way to breathe? I am a total chest breather, and I have been trying to learn how to belly breathe, it's nearly impossible!

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    1. I have heard about being a belly breather! I did a "breathing" seminar when I was at Runner's World and I actually got a book all about proper breathing. I didn't read it yet so I imagine I am breathing wrong too!

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  9. I had never heard the thing about lifting your heels higher, I'm going to have to research that more. And I'm a heel striker but I've been working on changing that. I'm not so successful yet but I think I've gotten better.

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    1. Since running is such a natural thing for us to do, it's hard to tell our body to just start doing it differently!

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  10. I have my first appointment scheduled for next Friday...so hopefully they can help me solve some problems I have had with my running! Number one I think is a problem for me and I am DEFINITELY a heel striker, I see it in all of my race photos.

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    1. I am so hoping they are able to help you Rachel. It's definitely hard to change the way you run after you've been running that way for so long!

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  11. I am beginning to experience symptoms of IT band syndrome :( yes 2 1/2 weeks before the Boston Marathon I have been running very low mileage right now and I'm very worried any advice

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    1. What are your symptoms Heather??

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    2. I use a heating pad right before I do my stretches and I also use the massage stick. Of course these only provide temporary relief. I really don't have any advice, I wish I did. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I hope your pain doesn't get any worse cus I know how awful it can be.

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    3. I have tightness in my tendons where the IT band connects near the knee :( (sobbing cry). Apparently my IT band, which I've never had an issue with in five years of running, is now two weeks before Boston, tight.

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  12. Great tips! I just got new shoes the other day and I am trying to break them in. Hopefully my feet will feel amazing soon :)

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  13. One thing I learned about PTs... they will ALWAYS find something wrong with you. They will ALWAYS find something for you to improve. It may be something that is actually the cause of your problem, or it may be something that isn't even a problem. Ugh... I've seen lots of PTs hehe. I hope you have a good one!

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  14. My coach did explain to keep the knees high, pick up your feet and you will definitely run faster. I heed that every time I sprint.

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  15. I have never had my coach tell me to keep my knees high, so perhaps I already do that....no clue. I think I need someone to video me on a treadmill to analyse my gait! In the meantime, I am recovering from an evil dog bite to my calf!

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    1. I was hoping that you would comment on that because I knew you had a running coach and was curious to get your take on it. Oh no I didn't know you got bit by a dog. How awful. I hope you recover soon. ( I will assume it wasn't a labrador that bit you)

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  16. All great advice! I like that your PT video'd you while running - that's a great way to see your form for yourself! :0) I don't think you're heel striking at all. Thanks for the tips!

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  17. Thanks so much for sharing this I'd heard about forefoot striking and keeping your toes pointed straight ahead, but never about lifting your heels up to your knees. Super helpful!

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  18. Thanks for the tips. I had my form evaluated when I first started running years ago, but would be a good idea to have a look at again to prevent injury and make any adjustments! Have a good weekend!

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  19. All such good advice, thanks for the reminders! Kickback is important, and when I thought about it more as well as having my foot land more underneath me, I found my speed increased. It was a slow transition though. I still have to think about it now. Videos are such a good way to learn about your form, I do it with certain exercises, but never for running! Shame on me!

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  20. Interesting! I haven't done PT but I do have foot issues. I had toe pain as I did longer runs on the treadmill this winter, but hadn't considered whether it was the shoes. I think I was running differently than I do outside. I should have an analysis sometime!

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  21. Nice, forwarding this to my wife. (Hi wife!)

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