Cross Training (Week 5) and are Hoka Cliftons miracle running shoes?!!

Hello lovely readers!

Well, I have some fantabulous news!  Yours truly has run 6 miles this week with no recurrence of the excruciating hip pain!  This is HUGE!  So, what changed between last week’s blog post and this one?  I purchased a pair of Hoka Clifton trainers and ran in them instead of my standard Asics Nimbus trainers.  Hokas are amazing.  Given I couldn’t run even one step without the worst pain ever and I managed 6 cumulative miles last week without pain is huge.

The Hokas look slightly strange (they look huge)!  The vast amount of cushioning they contain helps reduce the impact and my hip pain is definitely triggered by impact.  They also have a rounded sole and zero drop which means they kind of encourage you to land on your fore-foot.  I may have mentioned that as a 800-1500m runner i was definitely a forefoot striker but in the last few years started heel striking (in my opinion due to my running shoes) Brooks anti pronation and the Nimbus with orthotics.  Consequently, the Hokas have been christened by miracle running trainers!

Running still scares me (as I am so scared about the recurrence of my hip pain).  As regards the future for my running, I think I am going to take things very easy and build up my mileage slowly.  I have decided to follow the Maffetone training method so I shall not be allowing my heart rate to rise above 145 when I am running.  This is a serious challenge as it means I will be running at around 10:30 m/m pace for some time.  Needless to say, I have no plans to be racing this summer.  It feels like way too soon and its not as if my injury has healed and im back to the way I was before,  I’ve just found a way to run without pain.  My hip is not the same as it was pre-injury and there are lots of exercises that I am very nervous about doing.

I am also intending to use my recovery period to change my running form.  I attended a Chi Running Course yesterday run by Gray Caws.  I was sceptical at first but it makes a lot of sense particularly in ensuring that your posture is good throughout out your running and running in a manner that uses less energy and therefore has a lesser likelihood of compromising form.   We had our running form analysed and mine was probably the most different from the archetypal chi running form.  Gray said I was wasting a lot of energy, really driving to move forward and that he could see why I ran like that because of my middle distance background but it wasn’t efficient for longer distance.  I was initially resistant.  I didn’t feel my form was that bad and I was proud of my pumping arms. However, something clicked for me when we practised running with a metronome set to 180 and I realised how much easier it was to run at that cadence.  Ultimately, the way I run has not been working for me, otherwise  would not have attended the course!  Also, its all good to have a decent sprinting technique which works for a short race like 800m but I am not superhuman and I can’t sustain that over any extended distance which means everything about my form falls apart.  Therefore, it makes sense to adapt my running form so that it is suitable for a distance runner and wastes less energy so that I can maintain my form throughout long distance races.  I enjoyed the workshop with Gray Caws immensely and will hopefully follow it up with some one to one sessions.

I should also tell you dear readers that I have an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon Johan Witt re my hip on Friday.  Finally.  It would be nice to have a diagnosis as to what is wrong with my hip.  At the same time, I really would not like to have surgery!

So here is my exercise/cross training summary for week 5:

11 May – 35 minutes swimming

12 May – 45 minutes spinning

13 May – 20 minutes spinning

10 minutes running

20 minutes kettlebells

14 May – 20 minutes kettlebells

45 minutes spinning

15 May – 10 minutes kettlebells

20 minutes running

16 May – 10 minutes kettlebells

30 minutes running

17 May – Chi Running Workshop

I’m proud of the amount of strength work (kettlebells) I did this past week!  I have been trying to do 3 kettlebell workouts a week since probably the start of the year.

Until next time… x


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