Running - I've been doing it wrong all along
It had been about a month since I started running and I was beginning to get some pains around my ankles and knees. I wear a good pair of running shoes so I guessed it must have been one of two things stopping me.
Either I was going too hard too soon and should back off a little or possibly I needed to look at my running style. So I took a couple of days break from running and thought I'd look on the web to see if there was anything about running styles.
I was quite interested to see that there's quite a bit on running style. The first site I found was about something called Chi-running. Don't get put off by the title as it's not away with the fairies. It's pretty down-to-earth stuff about how to run efficiently and safely without injuring yourself.
The idea is that running heel to toe is a big bad no no. Instead you want to have the ball of your foot come down first and then the heel ever so slightly. It also talks about making sure that your posture is good and that the point of impact on the floor follows a line through your hips, back and neck. There's many other steps which I won't bother going into as I won't explain them as well.
The two sites are commercial but there's plenty of information about this that's free online.
After watching some videos on how best to run I decided to give it a go on my next run. I must admit that I found it pretty tough as I was using muscles I hadn't used throughout my regular training. Most noticebly I found that I was getting a stitch (most likely from breething differently due to the high cadence) and my calf muscles were aching for days after.
However, I have been for two more runs since and I am finding the new running style much better. It does feel less strenuous on the legs and I seem to combat the hills with some breath left.