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Hi all and thanks for your advice in advance!
I'm looking to start exercise more than walking and I thought c25k would be a good transition for me. The few times I was recorded running I noticed that when I run my legs look like two pendulums swinging...evidently I don't lift my knees? Is this at all common and how can I correct it? I pretty much conclude that I just don't know how to run and when I google it, it just brings up plans and shoes etc but not the actual mechanics of "hey dummy, this is how you do it"
A little background now:
I've always had flat feet and even wore corrective shoes when I was younger. I remember as a kid having to walk on the outsides of my feet at times because it hurt to walk normally after playing outside a long time. It's not so bad now and I can walk and run a little without much pain but I do feel it if I stand on non-carpeted floors barefoot for a while.
Again, thanks for your input!
You might consider getting an "gait analysis" at a local speciality shoe store. I know they will help you find shoes for your running style. My feet roll in when I run (and walk, actually).
It may help, good luck!
Started C25K: 10/3/11
Turkey Trot 5K: 11/24/11: 33:17
Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It's hard to stay on top.
SirRealSC, I think you're being too hard on yourself. Everyone knows how to run, it's just that some people's form is better than others. I agree with kp24 in regards to getting a gait analysis at a running store. You might also look into getting some arch supports. I have flat feet too and have found that superfeet berrys help me avoid shin splints and other issues. Once you start C25K, I would be particularly observant of any nagging aches or pains being sure to see a specialist if you encounter any chronic or bothersome issues.
I think that my flat feet from an early age conditioned me to run incorrectly and now that it's not as bad I'd like to be able to run in a semi-normal fashion. It's almost like I'm running with casts on because there is little to no knee bending and i think I'm actually exerting myself more but doing far less than i could be.
also, I've been reading stories on here where people go to specialty foot stores to get gait tests and get different answers every time...should I just go to a podiatrist and be checked? Do they even do that?
I'm a 4-F flatfoot, my feet look like big caveman feet you'd see on Fred Flintstone. I wear Asics Kayano 17s, they're expensive but my shins don't hurt at all anymore from running.
I bought them because I read many rave reviews from flatfoots like myself who said they were great shoes for their pronation issues. They are sure not cheap, though. But for something you'll be running on for the next half a thousand miles it's worth every cent.
There are other good shoes out there, I don't sell Asics or anything, just want to let you know those worked for me and it sounds like my feet problems are similar to your own.
Disclaimer: I'm not a medical doctor. I have, however, spent a lot of time in specialists' offices. It sounds like your muscles are stiff and perhaps you've picked up the muscle memory of being in those corrective shoes and that memory is inhibiting your ability to run with the best form.
I'd start off by seeing a sports medicine doctor (bonus if said doctor specializes in running injuries) so you can be sure you're run-ready. While you may have pulled off running before, doing it repeatedly with bad form may get you into trouble down the line. Whether you see a doctor or not, I think you should definitely see a physical therapist so you can build the muscles you'll use for running and gain the flexibility required to correct your form, if necessary. If you see a podiatrist, he or she may be able to recommend a good running shoe for you.
Lastly, I'd still go to the running store to get a gait analysis. Not so much for a diagnosis, but for a shoe suggestion. If your sales person seems knowledgeable, I'd discuss the shoe the podiatrist recommended. Finding the right running shoe is a trial and error process no matter what, so the more information you have the better. FYI: I had a podiatrist recommend a shoe that was all wrong for me while a running store employee hit the nail on the head. It's a real roll of the dice finding the right shoe.
What I have found in becoming a runner is that you're forced to take responsibility for your body. Because most of the issues you'll have with running will be soft tissue rather than skeletal issues (i.e. most of your issues won't be detectable in an x-ray), it'll be up to you to be observant of your body and how it feels. And it will be up to you to seek help when needed and even to disregard medical advice that just doesn't seem to apply to what you're experiencing. I've found that there's a lot of gray area when seeking a correct diagnosis of and treatment for a soft tissue injury.
I've seen an orthopaedist, a podiatrist, a general practitioner, and a physical therapist, but nobody knows my body like me.
This comment from TheSillyErudite is at the core of the matter, as far as I'm concerned.
"What I have found in becoming a runner is that you're forced to take responsibility for your body. Because most of the issues you'll have with running will be soft tissue rather than skeletal issues (i.e. most of your issues won't be detectable in an x-ray), it'll be up to you to be observant of your body and how it feels. And it will be up to you to seek help when needed and even to disregard medical advice that just doesn't seem to apply to what you're experiencing. I've found that there's a lot of gray area when seeking a correct diagnosis of and treatment for a soft tissue injury.
I've seen an orthopaedist, a podiatrist, a general practitioner, and a physical therapist, but noboddy knows my body like me."
Many of us were told things, particularly when we were younger, that were quick diagnoses by doctors who didn't have the time for an in-depth look. Also your body changes as you age, so what may have been true when you were younger may no longer be true. You can establish a personal baseline by reviewing the information on the Runners World website (link below). You can then use that information when talking to any running store or health professionals you visit.
Last but not least, you must be lifting your knees or you would constantly be scuffing your feet on the ground. Realistcally, the slower you run, also the shorter your stride, the less likely you are to notice your knee lift. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Pat yourself on the back for starting the running. I think you are doing great. As the other posters have mentioned getting the right footwear is essential. Your local running store usually does a gait analyisis which should help. I have flat feet and wear the Brooks Adrenaline 11. You should also work on flexibility and balance. Working to build your ankle and knee muscles will help . I bought one of those balance boards and found it really helps. I'm sure as you get stronger over time your issues should subside.-Bill