7 Things you’re Certainly Not Paying Interest When You Run

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 0 comments

We don't like to pay interest when we run. Don't get wrong, We pay interest to the essentials, like where exactly we are going and when to turn around to get home in time to shower before work.


1. Your Hips

I received a score of three out of three on a pushup-type test of core stability, but a measly one out of three on a test of core stability with a little rotation thrown in, a modification of my dear friend, the Bird Dog. To blame is most likely "decreased activation" of my core muscles, which boils down to having a strong core, but an unstable core, Peters told me.

As we watched the video of my treadmill running in slo-mo (and if you've never seen yourself running from behind, this will be quite an experience), the team pointed out that my pelvis drops about 10 degrees on each side. In normal, healthy runners, the pelvis drops around five to seven degrees, they wrote in my report. An increased drop in the hips could put runners at risk for pesky injuries, including IT band syndrome and hamstring strains.

2. Arm Swing

Even though I don't feel off balance when those hips drop, apparently I course-correct by splaying my arms out to the sides. Okay, it's not all that dramatic, but normal arm swing should be in what's called a "hand to pocket" position, and I look like I've got wings. The longer the distance of a run, the more energy is expended holding the arms up and out, so it's to everyone's benefit to keep a more streamlined, speedier posture.

3. How Quickly You Pronate

Most runners have heard of pronation and supination of the feet -- the inward and outward motion of those bad boys -- in the context of choosing a supportive running sneaker to avoid overuse injuries. Some amount of pronation and supination of the feet is normal, but it turns out you don't want to rush this process, either. The pros found that, at least in my right foot, I pronate too quickly, and they recommended a strengthening exercise for my arches.

4. Foot Placement

There's a whole lot of talk about foot strike, that is, the part of the foot that hits the ground first, and what that means about running and risk for injuries like IT band syndrome and knee pain.

5. How Many Steps You Take A Minute

This is what's known as cadence, and it doesn't reflect your overall running pace so much as the quickness of your steps. Evidence suggests that a cadence of about 180 steps a minute or above is ideal. Fewer than that (like my 168) means there's more force on the body at the time of impact with the road or treadmill or track, which could lead to knee pain. Taking more steps could also help limit over-striding, Runner's World reported.

6. Your Vertical Displacement

Allow me to get a little science-y for a moment: If your goal is to cover as much ground as you can in as little time as possible, you want the bulk of the energy you are expending to propel you forward. It makes sense, then, that any energy spent moving you upward is basically wasted.

7. Your Weight, In Relation To Your Sneakers

Most runners have probably heard the benchmark estimate that it's time to replace running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. But according to my report, that number changes depending on how much you weigh. Try using this handy equation: Divide 75,000 by your bodyweight in pounds. Then divide that number by the number of miles you run each week. Voila: The approximate number of weeks you can wear your sneaks before they lose all their protective value.
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