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“Your stride is a big old hot mess,” says running expert.


I’ve always been a heel striker and I’ve always overpronated quite a bit, but I never realized how bad the latter was until last night.

When there is a lull in the action at The New Very Good Run Fast Shoppe, we like to try on the shoes and take them for a little tester on the treadmill. This helps us get a feel for the fit and ride so we can make better selections for our customers. We truly make an effort to know the shoes inside and out, quite literally.

Yesterday I tried on the new Asics Nimbus 14. It was the probably the MOST comfortable sneaker I’ve every worn and I cursed my flat flat feet because it is a shoe I could never run in. But, daaaaamn, not only was it sweet looking, it was the perfect amount of smoosh (industry term) without losing that sneaker feeling. I made my way back to the stability shoes trying to find one that felt just as awesome as the Nimbus for myself and my severely overpronating brethren.

Nimbus 14

I tried the Asics Kayano, Asics 3030, Saucony Omni, Saucony Guide, Addidas Supernova, and the Nike Lunar Eclipse. With each pair I made Male Coworker watch me walk back and forth which I am sure didn’t annoy him one bit. But I was on a quest–I needed to find a shoe that felt super awesome (also an industry term). I’ve previously tried the Brooks Adrenaline, Asics Foundation, and Saucony Hurricane, and I own the Mizuno Inspire and the New Balance 860. While they are all great shoes, none of them were making my feet shout “EUREKA!” …But there exists the possibility I am being too picky.

To put an end to this madness, Male Coworker had me put the Lunar Eclipse on with Superfeet inserts (which longtime RFDFD readers know I super heart!) and he took a video of me on the treadmill. When he played it back I was HORRIFIED–which I think was the opposite of what he thought was going to happen. Sure, sure, the heel striking is shitty but the amount that my feet were rolling in in a stability shoe with an insert was shocking. SHOCKING!!! I wanted to cry and scribble emo poetry into my Hello Kitty diary. No wonder I am suffering from chronic hip injuries! A side shot revealed that there is way too much up-and-down in my stride (which I am sure does not help the hip situation) and Male Coworker called it a “hybrid run-walk.”  Doesn’t that sound just awful? Because it is!

This picture x 10 = me

I can’t continue to “muscle” my way through runs and need to make some big changes. Big changes as in: attend Male Coworker’s Good Form Running Clinic, diligently incorporate drills learned at Male Coworker’s Good Form Running Clinic into my training, and finish reading Chi Running which I started last July. I need to stop trying to “outrun” injuries because that obviously has not been a successful strategy. It’s time to actually improve the way I run. I also need to find a shoe that will help get me through marathon training. I do not want to be on the DL anymore and, while my biomechanics are pretty poor, going out of alignment that much with every step is never going to get me to the Marine Corps Marathon finish line in October.

The search goes on, and I will be sure to bore all of my blog readers with every boring detail! You’re welcome.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/30/2012 2:29 PM

    I have been working on my stride for like a year now, but would still be mortified to see it – ugh. My shoe and insole situation isn’t quite worked out either, which is frustrating, considering I want to run a marathon in a month.

    I blame my parents and the crap biomechanics they passed down to me.

    What do you mean by “up and down” in your stride, becuase I probably do that, too.

    • Suzanne permalink*
      03/30/2012 2:41 PM

      The best way I can describe the up-and-down is to tell you to go to YouTube and watch a video if Ryan Hall run. It’s all forward motion–almost like he is gliding forward. He’s got perfect form. However, heel striking and over-striding (guilty!) makes you bound and you end up going up-and-down. Not only is it inefficient and wastes a ton of energy, but its pretty jarring on your body.

  2. 03/31/2012 10:19 AM

    After 2 serious injuries in 2 years, I realized I don’t know how to run. I went to a Good Form clinic and learned that I heel strike and waste tons of energy overcrossing my arms (instead of straight back and forth). My real take-away from the class was to take smaller steps. I’m now two weeks from a marathon and injury free! *knock on wood* Good luck to you! It’s the worst to want to run and not be able to :(

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