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Warrior goes for a run...has questions

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Good morning scouts and runners! Never made a running post, but I started hitting the pavement...not with my fists anymore...lesson learned.


Anyhoo...trying to be a warrior with a brain, I figured I'd ask y'all some questions that've been percolating in my head. Please note, I'm not training for a marathon, 10k, or even 5k. I'm running to get some activity in on my non-lifting days and to incorporate some steady state cardio. On a good week I might get 2 runs/jogs in. So I'm not going for anything superhuman. Granted, I am a large dude (6'2 ~200-210 lbs). I tend to do miles between 8 - 9 minutes pace.


1) is 'flatfoot' running bad for the knees/back as some people have told me (cause it feels really comfortable to me)

2) is running on sidewalk (especially in 'barefoot' shoes) killing my joints long term (cause it doesn't feel bad after the small bit of running I've done)

3) am I really over thinking this and just need to keep running (since I maybe run 2-3 times a week tops and under 5 miles each time at the moment)

4) if I see a treasure goblin on a run, do I follow him?


Thank you for the wisdoms and insights

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Honestly, I'm not sure about the answer to any of those questions, especially (4), and I'm not sure that there's a clear consensus about them. Seems to me that there's a lot of heat and noise around these issues, but less useful sound and signal. A lot of people seem more interested in validating their own choices and that they're doing it right than anything else.


My opinion - for what it's worth - is that it's really about what feels comfortable and what doesn't cause injury. If you have the option of running on softer surfaces than sidewalks, I'd recommend doing so, but it's not a deal breaker in my view. Some people are very critical of "heel strike" running where the foot lands heel first, and recommend a forefoot strike. I'm a bit reluctant to mess around with running form, but I did so after going on a develpment course, and what helped me was worrying less about which bit of my foot landed when, and more about talking shorter strides faster while running. That helped me run faster and further, but that was a way into my running development.


My other tip is not to do too much, too soon. Cardio vascular fitness for running develops much faster than musculo-skeletal, particularly if you're already reasonably fit, because adaptations take longer. So take your time, building up slowly.


Oh, and that goblin is probably kiting you. It's a trap!


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I'll touch on a couple of things...


Yes running surface will affect you but isn't much of a deal at the mileage you're running.  Dirt is the softest, followed by gravel, pavement, concrete. If you later find yourself marathoning and laying in 40+ miles a week, running surface will be a factor in your plan. At 15 miles a week, Run where is most convenient.


As for running form, I'm always happy to plug the blog I wrote on that very subject :)



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1. Dilnad did a better job on running form than I ever could, so I'm going to skip right over that.

2. The short, but misleading version, is "yes". The more truthful version is "Yes, but not at a significant rate". As Dilnad pointed out, concrete has the least "give" of any running surface other. The more give a surface has, the more energy is dispersed into it each time your foot strikes the ground. The less "give" a surface has, the more of that energy is reflected back into your legs. That energy reflection increases the physical stress on your joints. However, the energy reflection difference between the two is incredibly small (something like 1% if memory serves). Translated into a concrete (heh) example, it's basically taking one extra stride for every hundred strides. Form is way more important than what surface you're running on.

3. Just keep running, just keep running, just keep running, running, running...

4) Yes.

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