Fit For Life: How To Make That Run Less Painful

Saturday, June 08, 2013


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Is that morning run doing you more harm than good?

Runners claim there is no better feeling than the runners' high. However, when you look at the expression on someone’s face that is running, 90% of the time I see pain, agony, and misery, along with poor form and posture. I study movement patterns all day long by people watching and I notice symptoms such as knock knees, forward head tilt, excessive ankle pronation/supination, etc.

The most problematic issue with today’s runners is excessive heel strike. This is due to the excessive padding and elevated cushion heel in today’s high-tech running shoes. By wearing this type of shoe, you inhibit proprioception (your body’s sense of its own position, balance and movement). Seventy percent of that feedback comes from pressure receptors, mostly located in the feet, resulting in reduced sensory feedback, and therefore limits the quality of movement and core stability. Due to this and poor posture, 80% of runners suffers injury every year when they practice poor form. On a repetitive basis, you compound dysfunction and probability of injury.

So my question is, why do it when it hurts, and most are not very good at it? And to top it off, the people that are actually good at it with ease of stride and perfect form look thin and frail. Long steady bouts of this type of exercise actually downsizes your heart capacity making it economize its power so you can go longer. You never push your heart to utilize its reserve capacity, therefore never making it stronger only more efficient. I suggest running sprints or doing high intensity interval training. It's more fun, less chance for injury, and you will get in better shape. Look at a sprinter’s body if you don't believe me. They are aesthetically much more appealing than most marathoners. I am not telling people that love to run to stop, just follow my philosophy: if it hurts, stop doing it.


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Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website at or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


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