Thursday, May 8, 2014

Running and Physical Therapy

I have set a crazy goal to walk/run 36 miles on my 36th birthday this September. I've never done anything like this before (accept the week-long 50 mile hike/bike ride I did as a Boy Scout of America which was a lot of downhill riding and mosquitos). But, barring any injury, I am going for it.

In this quest to run 36 miles, I've been seeking the help of several professionals. I've been working with a physical therapist for the last 3 months, and she has helped me to build my strength so I can avoid injury as much as possible during my training.

Video Analysis
My physical therapist recommended that I have another expert physical therapist do a video analysis of my running. The first thing the therapist did was have me take off my shoes and walk around in increasingly ridiculous ways. She was apparently observing my gait to see the mechanics of my joints. She then placed several blue stickers on my legs and had me hop on the treadmill where she took video of me running.

When I run, I sometimes imagine that I glide gazelle-like across the asphalt, the ground flowing beneath me. This is what I think I look like when I run:

After running on the treadmill for about10 minutes, we reviewed the video of me running on her ipad. She showed me several areas in my running that could be improved to improve my running. However, I must admit that I was a little distracted by the two most obvious observations of my running:

(1) I am a handsome fellow, - this I expected - and

(2) my running did not in fact look like a gazelle bounding freely in the meadow. It looked, in fact, a little more zombie-like, similar to this:

The therapist emailed me several exercises to work on over the coming several weeks to make my running and walking more efficient, so I guess I'll start working on that. Just 4 months to go until my 36 miler!

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