Float and flow, like a bionic runner

Like thousands of other people, I caught the running bug after reading "Born to Run". The only running I had done beforehand was 50 and 100 yard dash in elementary school track and field and the 1 mile turkey trot every year for Thanksgiving in PE. I was blazing fast back then. The only speed I knew was sprinting. I thought the 100 yard was a bit excessive and preferred the 50. I only did the turkey trot because it was mandatory. I thought a mile was a long distance race back then. Even so, I sprinted it. I got a few first places in the 50 and 100 but only ever got 2nd in the 1 mile. Tyler Cowley always pulled ahead of me.

I picked it up again in my twenties. I figured it would help my Kung Fu, which I dabbled in. I also thought I could develop an iron fist by punching a sand bag every day. I'm glad that one didn't stick. My hands are already pretty messed up from typing and clicking everyday. Running a mile was much easier than it was when I was 8. I had more self control. This was casual running, the kind of running I'd see people doing with their dogs early in the morning. The loping heel striking kind. So I'd go out running 1 mile every other day or so and checked working out off the list. I still wasn't interested in committing any more into running than that.

It wasn't until I found out that people were capable of running 100 miles in the mountains with car tires strapped to their feet that I wanted to try running longer distances. Not 100 miles, but a few miles. And I wanted to do it in minimal footwear. And so began my discovery into how to run like we were meant to.

Most of that discovery is through injury. The human body's primitive error reporting system. The problem with this messaging system is that it is managed by an intelligent albeit ignorant interpreter, the brain. It belligerently pushed me through error message after error message until I could go no further, only to follow prescribed rest and recovery procedures so I could "heal" and do it all over again. And thus began my vicious injury cycle that lasted 10 years.

I know there are many others out there that have yet to discover how to break their injury cycle. I've read statistics that anywhere between 50% - 75% of runners each year get injured. Many of those injuries I'm sure are chronic. I'm not a physician, a physical therapist, or an elite runner. I'm someone that had to rethink what I knew about running and to break misconceptions that plagued me for a decade.

In these posts I'll share what I learned from my error/warning message feedback loop, hence the name "Bionic runner", and hopefully help others break their injury cycle.