I used to run competitively in high school, and I even completed a half-marathon when I was thirteen! Then, the freshman fifteen — pounds, not miles — came around, followed by post-graduation ballooning. The long winter months of the past several years have forced my body into a lengthy hibernation from which my summer exercise routines have not been able to overcome. As a result, I’m many pounds over my preferred fighting weight. One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007 is to get into better shape.
The easiest way to lose weight, aside from a week of solo backpacking, is to run. Even during high school when I was decently good, running has always been a painful sport. I’m well acquainted with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and other running-related ailments. In 2002, I got fitted with a pair of custom orthotics, which made walking long distances and running more comfortable. This year, I’m trying out two new techniques designed to make running more comfortable and easier: POSE and ChiRunning.
Both POSE and ChiRunning avoid heel-striking and favor either forefoot or mid-foot landing during each stride. Both techniques also tell you to pull or kick up your legs instead of pushing off the ground. From the videos that I’ve seen, you can use any running shoe with ChiRunning. Proponents of the POSE method prefer light-weight, thin-soled shoes like Puma H Streets. I bought a pair of H Streets a few days ago, and I learned that Felix is also replacing his running shoes with them too!
The H Streets are really light at 5.8 ounces, and running on them approaches the feel of barefoot running. One interesting thing I’ve found is that I can run in these shoes without my orthotics, and I feel fine. If I were to run in my normal running shoes without my orthotics, I would soon be experiencing pain along the bottom of my foot and shins. I guess typical shoes encase the foot in such a way that it can’t move naturally. Learning a new running technique takes time, and although I feel like I’m more efficient, there’s no doubt plenty of room for improvement. Such improvement will lead to the fulfillment of my ultimate goal to lose substantial poundage!