Back when I used to do personal training, I uncovered a major discovery: People think that because they inhabit a human body that they must inherently know how to operate it safely and effectively.
However, most – and I am probably being too generous here – people don’t have a clue!
I’ve now been a paid professional in this industry for a full 10-years. I can claim a helping hand in hundreds… shoot, maybe even thousands… of various success stories on every level possible ranging from basic health improvements to “making Varsity” to securing a full Division 1 scholarship to running the fastest 400m time in the country to achieving a dream of playing professionally in many different sporting disciplines.
And, I’m STILL learning!
As Kelsey and Stevo have both noted in the past, it is critical to continue learning and having your training monitored by a professional. And that recommendation is coming from professional practicing strength coaches who are so excellent because they are willing to “drink the Kool-Aid” as the saying goes.
To get to the point of this post (thanks for sticking around), Ryan and I were out walking with Arabella on the Accotink Trail this weekend when a couple jogged past us. The female had a pretty severe case of excessive subtalar joint pronation on her right foot. Basically, this means her lower leg rotates internally with each foot contact and that causes the foot to flatten.
If this woman’s gait is left unchecked and isn’t currently causing her problems, it will! Knee, ankle, hip, and lower back dysfunction are common themes for this foot strike pattern.
This got me thinking about Running, in general. It seems to be the go-to exercise for every human at some point in their life. What’s more natural than a human running, right? I agree completely! But, then ask yourself – What’s less human than sitting for 8-10 hours every day of your life? Sadly, we’re set up for this lifestyle beginning in elementary school with the strict “sit-down and be still” training of our youth.
The sedentary lifestyle most of us lead can not be discounted. Rather it must be carefully factored into a progressive program designed to get you from the couch to that half-marathon you’ve set your sights on. If you’ve been a runner for awhile, but still sit at a desk most of your day, you still need a program taking these factors into account.
And you must be willing to accept that some people simply should not run. But I’m happy to announce there are a number of other excellent options that will not do more harm than good – as unqualified individuals often discover with an under-planned running regimen.
Alternatives to Running that Will Allow you to Still Feel Human:
- Prowler Pushing
- Bike Riding
- Weight Training Circuits
Nothing is particularly special about the above list. They are all just low- and no-impact ways of simulating a “runner’s high.” You still get the benefit of burning a boatload of calories and the endorphin surge.
If you are already a dedicated runner and have never had your gait checked, why not?!? It’s a great opportunity to learn the nuances of gait analysis and will probably help you big time down the road.
On the other hand, if you’re pretty dead-set on starting a running program, be sure to get in touch with a qualified strength coach to help ease your transition onto the road or trail.
P.S. – If you haven’t heard: SAPT is currently running a 25% Off special on training packages to usher in our 5-Year Anniversary Celebration! What are you waiting for?