Running Isn’t Painful-It’s Just Uncomfortable!

Running On Healthy

“I would like to run but it is just too painful for me.”  I hear this all the time.  Too much actually and it is time I take a stand!  The people who are saying this have it completely wrong, well sort of.  Painful, by definition is not the right word.

Pain: Physical suffering caused by illness or injury.

You probably feel like you are physically suffering when you start running.  I will give you that much.  But if you are suffering from an illness or injury, you shouldn’t be running and you need to stop blaming running for the problems.

Uncomfortable: Cause or feeling of slight pain or discomfort.

Hmm, sounds a lot like the start of about 90% of my runs, and the others are just flukes.  Running isn’t painful, it is uncomfortable.  When you use such drastic terms you are doing yourself a disservice and psyching yourself…

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Just another funny day

I don’t know what to make of myself today. I ran this morning before breakfast and later I sort of put together bits and pieces of things I still haven t found the time to do.

Starting day, large to do list and not the least intention to begin, just scrolling and scrolling through clipboard and twitter, looking for news and something to think about. I’m seriously considering buying online a pair of five fingers Seeya although I already have the Treksports and the Bikila ls
I would if I didn’t think it better to try them on first.

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I m tired of winter and socks and boots. I want to go for a walk with my favourite Levis a T-shirt and my bikilas. Maybe grab my vespa and take my girlfriend somewhere nice.
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Maybe I should stay in and study though. So many things I would like to do and none in particular. What do they call this state of mind? Apathy? Boredom? I refuse to have a state of mind. I just want to feel alive and free while I m living. Sorry about the philosophy ( if it can be called that way). Happy run fellas!

Quick Feedback

Just one comment: Today I was finally able to do a 45 minute run with my fivefingers. My legs feel strong and though my ankles and my calves were a bit stiff they have already recovered from this morning. I wouldn´t eel better if I had run in any other shoes. I guess transition has not only started but is much advanced. I ´m really excited at how fast I´m getting used to them and hope to do even better in the future. Could this really be the point at which I switch to fivefingers never to return again? 

Fivefingers on the treadmill

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  It´s been rainy lately and the road I normally use for running is full of bumps and puddles. Not that I mind them but they are less than perfect for my transition to fivefingers. In other words, today I decided to take my training indoors and I found out a couple of things.

First, that the treadmill is far better than asphalt or even hard soil for running. My body in general reacted better to this surface and at the end of the 40min continuous workout my muscles felt way better than after a 20 min run on other types of surface. I have to say I was surprised. After reading for years that treadmills are horrible machines on which only a few muscles are exercised thus weakening ankles and knees and setting the path to injury my whole body was feeling much better than the last few days. 

Secondly, the treadmill has proven invaluable in helping me figure out the best running technique. Let me explain. When running outdoors you get a lot of ground feedback. That is, your feet get the full experience of the ground surface. On the treadmill there is not much feedback to be received, except, of course, your own feet´s  . As I was running at different speeds I could tell exactly what part of my sole was touching the ground first. I could hear the thumping sound of my feet and tell if I was absorbing the impact properly with my muscles or if I was loading my knees too much. Finally, I was able to feel how the design of my treksports ( maybe not the best model for treadmill but the only one I have available as of this moment) helped me touchdown with the famous ball/midfoot stride. 

Just one more thought: As I have already shared with you on some of my other articles the faster I ran the better my running technique got. I don´t mean to say you have to half-sprint all the time but to be honest even though  increasing my speed meant shortening my training I am sure my legs will thank me for it.

I know that many of you may think there is not much point in running on a treadmill with shoes that are specifically designed for running outdoors and get in contact with the real world. I normally would agree with you. I love feeling the earth and the grass beneath my feet. But you must understand that not all of us get a chance to run through leaf-covered paths and autumn-coloured woods. My conclusion is that treadmill is extremely useful for getting to know your running technique and helping improve it. Maybe when my feet are more adapted to minimalist running I won´t feel such a big difference.

Fivefingers Night Running

I don´t know about you but I usually run at night. Except on weekends, I have to find the time either early in the morning ( let´s be honest you won´t see that very often) or just before dinner. Not long ago my girlfriend and I adopted a hound-type dog called Ami and taking her out for a walk has turned into sometimes taking her out for a run. She seems pretty happy with it

As many of you know running at night has it´s risks. Don´t worry I won´t talk to you about proper lighting or avoiding roads. All those problems remain the same no matter which shoes you desire to wear. I want to bring your attention to the main problem I have to face when I go out running: Small stones

When I say small stones I mean stones not so big that you can actually step with your whole foot on it and not so small that you can step over them without even noticing. I love my fivefingers, I think they´re the best shoes in the world, but the truth is no matter how perfect the design of their sole may be , or how resistant their material, every now and then I step on a stone that will make me jump.

These stones are to be found everywhere. Roads, streets, even on grass fields. I used to live in the vicinity of a golf club and sometimes at night I would run with my fivefingers through the soft grass, feeling like the first man on Earth must have felt. You can´t even imagine how that feels unless you´ve done it before. Well even then I would stumble from time to time on a small stone. Those little bastards are all over the place.  

No counselling this time, just sharing. Whenever you find yourself running at night and step on one of those blessed small stones just remember me and know that you ´re not alone. Happy run!

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