I found a possible key to improve my running this weekend. I was reading an article on Friday about runner’s knee. The article talked about people who run with their foot slightly turned inward which also means that their whole leg is slightly turned. By practicing keeping the leg turned out as you run, this takes the pressure off the knee and relieves the pain.
I do have some knee pain as do many runners, but as I thought about this I realized that my right foot in particular has always had an issue of toeing in. If I sit and hold my legs up, my right foot turns in at a 45 degree angle and my left foot at about a 20 degree angle.
So starting with my run Friday, I tried running and concentrating on keeping my feet pointing forward, especially my right foot and knee. The result was quite amazing! First, by doing this I was putting pressure on a different part of my achilles. So even though the pain had already gotten better, I no longer have to fear pulling it again.
Second, I ran fast! My run Friday was in the 8:15 pace range and Sunday I was running sub 8:00 miles. I did have to cut my run Sunday short because of a pain in my left thigh, but I’ve had that problem for several weeks, however this is the first time it bothered my running. I stopped just to be safe.
I think the reason I ran faster was because by pointing my foot forward, I was actually pushing off with the ball of my foot rather than the right side. Imagine your foot toeing in while running. You would no longer have as much power to push you forward. For me, when I pointed my foot forward, I was finally involving my whole arch in giving me a push as I run rather than the weaker right side of the foot.
No mater what the reason, it made such a difference. I ran faster with much smaller effort. My run went so well, I knew it had to be due to the way I was holding myself.
Time will tell, but these type of positive changes are really exciting after a year of running.