So this morning I went running…. brilliant you might think. We’ve all done stuff, we’ve all run before, you’re a triathlete so surely that’s pretty regular? What do you want, a medal?
And no, today was a pretty standard run, grizzly day in the South West with a wet and muddy canal path to run down. I’m still in rehab so can’t run fast as my achilles is tender. So days like this I’m usually pretty steady and observant.
As is pretty common for a Monday lunch run, I encountered a few other keen runners, usually training for the bath half around this time of year. But passing them today was particularly difficult.
We’ve all been walking down the high street in a hurry when some little tourist, couple or shopper weaves all about the pavement like they’re a snake. And all you want to do is push them out of the way. Today was no exception to this, and the main reason for the swerve, was to miss the puddles.
I can kind of relate, you have fresh shoes from Santa, you want to show off your Christmas flair and the mud is only going to cover them up. Although the summer you’d run down the same path as if there’s nothing there, stepping where the puddles are. So why now suddenly jump 5cm deep puddles as if they’re a 30foot mine shaft. Jumping the puddles can be really bad for your legs and therefore your running.
It’s no secret that as you get older you’re more susceptible to injuries and running is a very high impact sport. Most runners run at around 160/170 steps per minute. With each stride up to 550% of your body weight is transferred into your legs. Meaning your quads, knees, ankles are taking quite a beating.
This high impact sport can bring regular injuries at the best of times, putting extra strain on the tendons and muscles in the cold by jumping the puddles like you’re some kind of ballroom dancer, definitely won’t help. A steady rhythm of running is both faster and more efficient, something regularly interrupted by these deep ravines you have to avoid.
So why do you want to jump the puddle?! You’re getting muddy anyway, it’s already raining so you’re gonna get wet, so get stuck in! 40 years ago you and Janice would have loved jumping around and getting muddy. Why stop now?
Most people will run for a maximum of one hour, with your toes being regularly engaged they’re not going to get cold I promise. Your shoes will dry, your kit will clean, so pretend you’re a child again and have some fun! You’re less likely to get injured, and your regular stride will help you run faster too!