Monday, August 9, 2010

Water Running Works

Feeling dejected and out of options, I crept towards the pool this morning, my towel dragging behind me like Linus' blanket. I hate water running and I was confident that water running wouldn't help me since I was dealing with what I thought was a motion injury. Sarah suggested that the injury might be an impact injury and not a motion injury - "your feet have no function as shock absorbers, which is why you feel so much pain when you try to use them. The hip capsule also has a shock absorber, which we need to look at too". I nodded, but I figured my groin/leg would hurt as soon as I started water running. However, much to my surprise, I experienced no pain. A wave of glee came over me. As much as I dislike water running, it works. In 2001 I was injured and didn't run a step for 3 weeks until the weekend of my conference meet. During the next 2 days, I PRd in 3 events; 400m (51.4 split), 800m and steeple chase. The water running had worked! Since then, water running remains my go to activity when I cross train.

Sarah even suggested that water running might help me get BETTER (in addition to simply keeping me in shape) - "the muscles that were shutting down because of the pounding are now working and getting stronger so your proper balance is restoring. The stretching helps a lot, plus all the other exercises in getting everything working properly. But, the pool running is key because it strengthens the muscles as they need to be strengthen for the running motion."

Works for me. I'll try and water run twice a day for the next week. The are far more unpleasant things to do when it's 90-100 degrees. I was smiling when I left the pool this morning and an older man noted "no better way to start the day, huh?". I nodded, but knew there was. Nothing beats an hour of distance running.

6 comments:

Joe Wiggy said...

wooooooooohooooooo NIIICE MAN!

fairfieldfox said...

What did Sarah mean by "your feet have no function as shock absorbers"?

Sarah said...

There are 26 bones, 33 joints and a bunch of ligaments in tendons in each foot/ankle. Together, all these bones and connective tissues work together to provide stability, balance and absorb shock each time the foot hits the ground.

The bones (especially in the heel) can get jammed up and not move properly. At that point, the foot doesn't function as it should. The foot no longer acts as a shock absorber and every step of running is much tougher on other parts of the body than it is used to. You start to hurt and injuries start popping up.

Everyone stretches their hamstrings and quads, but nobody warms up or stretches their feet. Probably the most important part to warm up before a run.

Sarah said...

oops...that should be "tendons and ligaments", not "tendons in ligaments". Sorry!

fairfieldfox said...

Ok, this is interesting, I always love to pick the brain of an expert when I get the chance. Where do you stand in terms of foot striking position? Is the foot meant for a heal strike of forefoot strike?

Anonymous said...

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/beauty-hygiene/how-to-care-for-your-feet2.htm