Yesterday I declared that I am training for a marathon. This is all very new. It was literally only a week ago that I decided to start running consistently and see where it got me. But I think the stars are aligning. I went on a 6 mile run yesterday, my 6th run in as many days, and it was one of the best runs I have ever had in my life. I expected to be tired. Instead, I was ecstatic and elated. And it all comes down to the book Born To Run. The book has gotten a lot of attention and for good reason. It basically states that we have been running all wrong for the last 30 or so years, that with the introduction of the running shoe we began favoring a heel strike due to the shoe padding. The argument is that the heel strike is neither natural nor efficient.
Luckily, I started trail running in Vibram 5 fingers a couple years ago, and those shoes make it very difficult to run with a heel strike since there is no padding. The natural inclination with those shoes is to run with the forefoot, which Born To Run argues is the right way to run. Sill, it is very difficult to run with a forefoot strike on pavement in running shoes when the heel strike is something you have been doing all your life. So yesterday I ran focusing solely on a forefoot strike, and it was a profound experience. Road running for me has always been a labor, and I think it is because I have been running in a very inefficient way (heel strike!). The forefoot strike takes no more effort, yet it propels you forward more quickly and more effortlessly. It is remarkable. I feel like I stumbled across some secret that has been kept from me for 40 years and that now I know the secret to better running. Yesterdays run was truly a revelation. I ran from my house to the Felsman Loop trail on Bishops Peak (I love that trail!) and back home again. It was a piece of cake.
Read Born to Run and you too may be born (to run) again. Hallelujah!!!