[This post was originally posted in Oct 2015 and has been updated]
I didn’t start to officially run until I was around 29 years young. Growing up as a ballerina…you did not run. Period. I never really knew why but you were not really expected to ask or be curious. You were told that and that was law.
Now, that I am older and have an understanding of body mechanics, I believe they didn’t want us running because we would injure our knees. Mind you, we all walked like ducks with our feet always turned out.
So I never really ran.
Yes I played outside and ran in gym class but never “traditional” running.
So when I did start to run, I looked pretty darn funny!
I ran on the balls of my feet, with my feet pointed out, hopping along on the treadmill. Running like this I developed knee pain, shin splints and pain in my Achilles tendons. Not wanting to deal with the aftermath of my prancing about on the treadmill, I forced myself to run head steady, heel- toe strike and feet facing forward.
So now, I no longer looked like a duck running…I looked like I had cement shoes on banging my feet on the treadmill. I didn’t care what I looked like. I wanted to run and run correctly.
Eventually, I did get it!
I never claimed to be a runner (I much prefer sprinting) and have been in very few 5K’s. We’ll that’s about to change…this year
I was talked into running the 10K Disney Princess Run. I will be gearing up for that in the next month. As a Physical Therapist Assistant, I know there are some common running injuries that you can avoid so please check out my post on running injuries.
Here are some tips on how to run and not look stupid:
- Start off with a slow run (or a fast walk – however you would like to look at it).
- Think about rolling through the foot. Heel roll through to push off with your toes.
- Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers.
- Go incognito. Put the hat, shades and hoodie up if you want to block out other people in your peripheral vision.
- Practice in the privacy of you own home (if you own a treadmill) or run in your backyard.
- Most importantly, do not give up! You will begin to feel more comfortable as you practice.
- Maybe MORE important but can be challenging to do….don’t worry what other people are thinking because you really Do NOT know what they are actually thinking. They could be admiring you for getting out and running or they could be thinking of what they are going to make for dinner. You don’t know!
So as far as learning how to run and not looking stupid…it’s all in your mind. When you first learned to walk, you fell down …a lot. You are going to experience a “learning curve” when you start to run. Just do it and you will get better at it. Our bodies were meant to move. …If you can run better than Phoebe from Friends you are doing a-okay!
[If you have never watched Friends – well, shame on you- it’s a great show! ...click here to see a video of Phoebe running.]
Since 2006, Nicole Simonin has been a Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Shape It Up, LLC. Nicole is recognized for her well-rounded approach to fitness. Through private and online personal training, Nicole motivates, educates and inspires women to get fit and healthy. Her passion is to empower busy women to not only get fit but to be fierce in life and have no limits as to what can be accomplished. Click here to work with Nicole as your personal trainer.