I have to confess – my first time on the treadmill after several months running outdoors was, well, less than optimal. It seemed that once I pushed the “start” button everything I had learned about Chi Running left my brain. I was back to my old habits. I wasn’t holding my posture correctly, and my feet – even in my brand-new shoes, felt heavy. To top it off, my right toes went numb during the run. I hate that!
The second treadmill run was a little better. Per the authors, I focused on keeping my posture tall, keeping my lower legs relaxed, and lifting my heels. I slowed the treadmill down from the last run. I noticed, however, that I struggled with keeping a lean and when I wasn’t leaning my feet were hitting in front of my column. And once again, my right toes went numb during the run. I really hate that.
Is it the treadmill? My technique? The shoes? My feet?
I emailed Brian at Wasatch running. He suggested we take on the easy one first – the shoes. In his experience, numbness in the toes is caused by the shoe not being wide enough. He had put me in a narrow-width shoe, and was happy to exchange it for a normal-width equivalent – in a better color, too. Bonus!
The third treadmill run was much better. My feet stayed with me this time, instead of straying off to never-numbness-land. I continued to focus on relaxing my lower legs. And while I haven’t gotten to the lesson on cadence, the authors suggested checking my cadence on the treadmill. At 6 mph my cadence is 88 bpm. At 6.3 mph my cadence is 88 bpm. At 6.4 – 88 bpm. At 6.5 – 88 bpm. According to Chi Running, this is a good thing. In Chi Running, your cadence stays the same; your lean controls your speed. Can’t wait to time my cadence on the pavement.
I’m ready to resume my lessons – outdoors!