I am preparing a lecture for our state podiatry meeting at the end of June this year. It is entitled Running vs Walking: How are they different? As I prepare for the talk, I find this blog and any comment you may have will be very helpful. There are many theories out there on what the right running form is, or the right running shoe, or is running better than walking, etc etc. I will begin to analyze in this blog post that I will update constantly over the next 2 months. It will be a work in progress to fine tune my thoughts.
So, what does a podiatrist want to accomplish with more information about running, walking, and running shoes. Probably most of all to help patients avoid injury or speed up the rehabilitation of an injury in progress. And, this information can be imparted to the athlete on how to make running much more enjoyable and actually better in the long run.
Most know that running and walking provide similar health benefits (better cardiovascular, less diabetes, less blood pressure and cholesterol), you just have to do 2.5 times the amount of walking than running to accomplish that feat. Thus, one hour of running produces the same amount of benefit to the body as 2.5 hours of walking. A benefit of running however is that it releases peptide YY to reduce appetite so runners are leaner for sure. Walking definitely has less injuries and less wear and tear on the body, with studies showing 40-80% of all runners getting injured every year. Real Age Benefits of walking: 10,000 steps per day makes men 4.1 years younger and women 4.6 years younger.
Where does a podiatrist fit in? We must be able to help patients with injury treatment that includes: shoe recommendations, orthotic devices when needed, running style changes, training guidelines, stretching and strengthening help, and advice on what makes sense and what does not.
I think that will be be part of this lecture recognizing fads, shams, great ideas well tested, and you definitely have to keep an open mind.
Most will agree that there are aspects of running form that create smoothness, efficiency, less injuries, and more power. The image above clearly shows some of them: upright posture, arm swing compact, slight forward lean of the trunk, foot land under or just in front of the body.
There are a few tricks out there for better running: cadence of 170-180, lighter shoes, lower heel height, slight forward lean with pelvic/core training.
To be constantly continued.....