by Duke Garone, fitness expert and trainer
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom! Can you hear it? Walk past the treadmill section at your local gym and you can hear the sound of men and women stomping along on the treadmill. Later when they meet with their trainers they usually complain of joint pain somewhere between the ankles and lower back (usually the knee).
Whos to blame? Were all adults here. Its your fault. Yes you. The one with the knee pain that does 45 mins to an hour on the treadmill and 10 mins of stretching, then even less time foam rolling. I cant express enough the importance of foam rolling on a daily basis to relieve built up muscle tension and allow for proper realignment of the muscles.
Running styles vary as much as the runners favorite sneaker. Heres a simple test: go to your local track, take off your shoes and run 1 lap. Yes, I mean barefoot. Try to keep your normal running pace. You'll notice that you can't accelerate if you allow your heel to strike 1st. You'll have to stay on the balls of your feet to make it around. The way you run barefoot, is the way you should run with your shoes on.
Ive worked with a few different track coaches throughout the years and they teach different methods of running for different sports. Sprinters land only on the balls of their feet and have a slight lean forward throughout the acceleration phase. Middle distance runners also run on the balls of the feet. This is done to utilize the spring from the anterior tibs and the calves. You wont hear the impact of the sprinters feet because the shock is absorbed through the muscles of the legs and then released as energy to propel the body forward. You too should absorb the shock through the muscles of the legs and release them as energy to propel the body forward.
It takes a qualified running coach to examine movement patterns and, based on an individuals goals, determine the best running program to follow.