I have hated running; I am not good at it, nor do I find it enjoyable. I am only interested in it because I like the triathlons. The tri in triathlon stands for 3 sports - swim, bike, run. I like swimming and I like to bike, but that pesky running part kept getting in the way.
I am improving my running. A year ago at this time, I could barely do a mile in less than 12 minutes. When I go for a run, I have to push myself at every moment. It’s not my lungs that get tired, it is my mind. And then I begin looking for excuses – my foot begins to hurt, my back starts to spasm. I try music and friends, but still just cannot get my mind around running for miles. It can’t help, that I continually say, “I hate running”.
A few months ago, I started Physical Therapy with some wonderful people at Harborview Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. They have a running clinic – where they do running evaluations to determine ways to improve running and avoid injuries.
I was running wrong. I had a low cadence and a very hard, loud heel strike. No wonder my foot hurts when I ran. No wonder I hated it. I was doing it all wrong.
In a few short months, I have increased my cadence – running almost 180 steps/minute. This small step was incredibly easy. I bought a metronome – set it for 180 beats each minute. I just practiced stepping in time with the beat. As I increased my cadence, my stride became much shorter – nearly eliminating my heel strike and alleviating most of my foot pain.
With each week, my endurance is increasing and my pain is decreasing. The pain isn’t the only thing decreasing; my hatred for running is slowly dissipating.
I still don’t love running, but I certainly don’t hate it.