Running is Bad for You
Did that title get your attention? Maybe you haven’t been told that by your health practitioner before, but I guarantee the majority of you reading this have been told to stop running because it’s too damaging to your body.
It’s marathon time here in Nashville. The Country Music Marathon is just a few weeks away, and we are seeing more and more of you in our clinic trying to first, get healthy and second, stay healthy, as you train. I ran the CMM in ’03, so I know exactly what it takes to train. I know the time involved, the miles you’re logging, and the dedication it takes to get off of your super-comfy couch and go for a 20-mile training run, when you’d love to just let that couch envelope you for a few more minutes (or hours!).
I used the above title because, A) I wanted to get your attention, and B) I wanted to put that “line” to rest once and for all.
The honest truth is that I DON’T believe running is bad for you at all. If it is, someone forgot to tell our ancestors who had no other means of transportations. Someone also forgot to tell my brother-in-law’s father, who has logged over 10,000 consecutive days running. Did I mention he lives in Wisconsin…where’s it FREEZING all the time?
I believe that running can be one of the most functional things you can do for your body, and those of you who are running-aholics know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only is it beneficial for you physically, but it also creates a very beneficial endorphin release, and as an added benefit, clears our clients’ minds and helps them focus better after they run.
So assuming running hurts, I want you to remember to stay focused on why it hurts you. First of all, if running is to blame, shouldn’t everyone who runs have your exact same pain? Makes since, right? Also, I’m sure you’ve been told that you upped your mileage too quickly, and that’s why your left knee hurts. But, remember, both knees are running the same distance (unless you’re hopping on one leg the whole time), and therefore they should hurt the same.
Maybe some of you have been told that you need a new pair of shoes, or that the ones you have just aren’t right for you, and those dang shoes are why you have left hip pain. Remember, if the shoes are to blame, both sides should hurt evenly assuming you’re not wearing a different shoe on each foot!
Next week I’m going to take you through some e-cises to eliminate your structural imbalances and make running fun again. By doing these e-cises you’ll also improve your breathing efficiency. This menu will allow your shoulders to settle into a more neutral, functional position (so your left Trap muscle doesn’t spasm at mile 17), get more oxygen in your lungs, and disperse more oxygen to your body, making you a MUCH more efficient breather, and therefore, runner. These are the same e-cises that allowed one of our clients to cut 47 minutes off his marathon time. Now do I have your attention?
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UPDATE: Here is Part 2 in this series.