Monday, June 29, 2009

Trail running as painkiller

As I prepared for this morning's elliptical workout I thought about all the mileage I'd put in over my vacation. I also thought about how it may have contributed to my nagging leg pain that started earlier this year. I'm still unsure of the cause of this pain, it may be a hamstring pull or something else entirely. I've thought numerous times about making an appointment with an orthopedist to figure it out. In the mean time it's probably a good idea to do more cross training to rest whatever gets aggravated when I run.

I checked my workout list before I stepped up on the elliptical machine and saw that I hadn't logged a session on it since June 11. I've taken every opportunity to run outdoors over the last few weeks and my early morning headlamp runs have contributed to that. I thought that an elliptical session this morning would be a nice way to use different muscles that could help strengthen my leg and lessen the pain. I then realized, for the first time in memory, that I had no pain. I was understandably happy but that made no sense to me. I ran a tough 4+ miles yesterday on the trails to top off a record mileage week. I should be hurting more, not less.

Perhaps it was the trails that made a difference. The softer surface absorbs the impact differently than running on pavement. If that's the case I wonder if I should be considering an even more cushioned shoe than the Brooks. The Asics are comfortable and it's my understanding that they represent the high end of the cushioning scale. Hard to know if it's a coincidence but I will plan more weekend runs at Bethpage and Stillwell if that's the case. Reminder to self: buy a compass.


  1. Go buy a pair of maximum cushioning insoles from your local athletic store. I've had bad pain in my right knee and ankle for the past couple of months. I put the insoles in for a 10k last Saturday, and was pain free.

  2. A friend of mine said that he's running on prescription orthodics and now it doesn't matter what shoes he wears. I tried cushioning insoles once and found that they didn't match the way I ran - too much padding in the heel and not enough in the forefoot. Maybe the higher-end specialty insoles would work better.


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