View Full Version : Born to Run and other running questions

Sun Dance
01-17-2012, 11:01 PM
So I'm 3/4 through Born to Run and absolutely love it so far. Makes perfect sense to me; I've run since I was a kid and when I got to about age 25 started getting knee problems after about mile three, which was frustrating because I still had more energy. To have a possibility of overcoming knee problems with a simple change in technique seems awesome. So, my last two runs I've practiced with toe strikes and it seems to work great, except that my calves and achilles need some adjusting to the new demands. I imagine that will happen with time. I'm mainly interested in trail running, fairly flat with some small ups and downs, maybe working into bigger climbs like the Squaw Peak 50.

Any good thoughts on pre and post-run stretching to minimize the calf adjustment pain? I'm thinking of taking shorter runs under five miles until they get used to it. How about recovery after a tough run? I've tried menthol rubs, microwave rice bags, but a day's rest and a hot bath seemed to help most.

What are your overall thoughts and impressions of Born to Run and the whole barefoot/minimalist movement? Are Vibrams/thin shoes really the way to go or would regular trail runners suffice with special attention paid to toe striking?

What are your thoughts on the nutrition ideas covered in the book? Chia seeds? I found some Chia sesame snacks at Sunflower Market and they're pretty good. Any other good ideas on things to do with Chia (besides get an Obama Chia and see if it can grow anything :D)? How about the whole vegetarian thing?

01-18-2012, 07:03 AM
My experience and reading led me to the following:
pre run stretching doesn't do as much good as a decent warmup, start by walking a mile etc get the blood flowing and stretch after the run. My times were always slower when I stretched first (unless I had a nagging tight area good to get that loosened up a bit). After a Run try Ice instead of heat, heat is going to bring more blood to the area and help keep the acids in the area where Ice reduces the swelling and thus sends the acids out of the area in question.

I don't have the dedication needed to change my form to a toe strike, and I don't see that changing strike and wearing thinner shoes reduces impact. I still have 200lbs hitting the ground every time I land, all that changes are the bones and muscles that are going to take and absorb that force (as well as potential padding in my shoes). If it works for you and you do better doing it, go for it.

I have a hard time with the whole veggi thing, mostly due to the fact that your body is going to need a lot more calories when you start training harder and I just can't get the calories I need just eating veggies unless I never stop eating. That said trying to eat the right proportions of food is important.