As usual, the RBF comes thru in spades. I have suggestions for bunion blister cures coming outta my ears. And I will try each and every one of them until something takes. Or until I maim my podiatrist-to-the-stars (the stars being the Washington Wizards. On my last visit, Dr. P. told me a long story about how he had to stitch up a gash in the eye of one of the Wizards. I found that oddly reassuring. For when I fall on my face.)
On this morning's six-miler, I tried Dawn's cure of Blister Bandaids. After one day, BB's were a no go. But I'm gonna give 'em a good workout this week, Dawn.
Moving on: Let's talk more about my feet.
Our man Bolder has taken an avid—and I must say most flattering—interest in them, (having had—and overcome—a similar problem—let's just be crystal clear about that) and he sent me a suggestion that had nothing to do with potions, lotions, or footwear. Instead, it's all about stride:
The simple concept behind 'strides' is that a runner's normal cadence is low, and inefficient. When you are running, count your left-foot strikes for a minute. Optimal is around 95... most people stride around 70...trying to turn over more stride will force you to shorten the length of your stride and all kinds of good things will happen with it. For you, you should see less pronation, and less blistering because of reduced foot impact and movement.
So, this morning I counted my right foot strikes for one minute: 85. Not quite optimal, but not crappy either.
But wait! Here's more from Mr. B.: He writes that while "winding down the weekend," reading this excerpt from Runners World (July 2006, p. 44), he thought of me:
Another way to look at how a low cadence manifests itself by having 'too much' bounce in your stride:
Q: My running friends say I have "too much bounce in my stride"... how can I change that?
A: Bounce, or vertical lift, causes your head and body to move up and down too much, wasting precious energy. The longer you're in the air between steps, the more you decelerate. Your quadriceps will fatigue more quickly, too.
To minimize bounce, run lightly—low to the ground with shorter strides, which will increase your cadence (or your steps per minute). Try imagining that you're running below a ceiling that's just inches above your head. Land with each foot-strike as a quick touchdown below your knees. Take more than 90 right-foot steps (180 total steps) per minute, and lean slightly forward so your shoulders are ahead of your hips. Keep your elbows bent at about 90 degrees through the
arm swing, as unhinging the elbows encourages upward motion.
—Bobby McGee, a biomechanist in Boulder, CO has coached beginner and Olympic runners and is the author of Magical Running
So, less bounce, more footsteps, shorter strides, low-to-ground, imaginary ceiling above head: check!
And the sock trials continue.