Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chi Running - Treadmill Time

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!

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