Nearly 9 weeks post-op and have just started jogging again

So on Christmas Day I did my first walk/run, having seen my surgeon a couple of days before who said that was OK. He’s a runner himself and knows there is no point telling me not to run!

I have a question though. What is the risk of running on roads as opposed to trails/grass? Is it merely wear and tear on the prosthesis or is there some other danger? I don’t anticipate doing very much in the way of road running but I would like to do my favourite10k race next year, which is all on tarmac. I’m just a little confused about the advice and the basis for it. I’m light and I try to run mid-foot rather than heel striking – does that make a difference too? Also, what about track running? My running club does a track session that is for all-comers (i.e. very mixed ability) and I’d love to go back to that again at some point, but not sure if track running is OK? I wouldn’t be trying to sprint, but the intervals sessions are really useful for building up a bit more speed/stamina.

Thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Nearly 9 weeks post-op and have just started jogging again

  1. I don’t know if there is enough information out there to suggest that you should or should not run on the roads, tracks or do speed work. I think that is part of the whole problem, there is anecdotal information only, like what you see here and nothing really from the manufacturers of the prosthetics or the surgeons.

    I will say that faster running is smoother than slow running and you spend less time in ground contact phase. Being light would be a huge factor. If you can move forward in your propulsion, rather than vertical oscillation then there is less impact on “landing”.

    Although saying this, most of the time we should run 80-90% of our running easy, medium, steady and strong paces and keep the anaerobic speed work down to a minimum, but do it in phases (different convo).

    There is an incredible amount of misinformation in the market on shoes and your feet. The truth is – and Leonardo da Vinci was the first to say so – the foot is an incredible suspension bridge – a fantastic feat of engineering.

    Think of a ballet dancer, they are light and incredibly strong. They wear slippers. The greatest distance coach of all-time Arthur Lydiard hated the bloated shoes of the big shoe companies. If you look at the great runners from before the 1980s, they wore glorified ballet slippers. He used to call Plantar Fasciitis, “American shoe disease”.

    There is an incredible amount of power that you can develop with your feet and ankle and lower leg area. Typically, with the cushioned and control shoes, we baby our feet and build great leg muscles. The feet are the most sensitive touch point in the process of running and we put mattresses under them. Stupid.

    For shock absorption, we should mid-foot/forefoot plant, under us and toe-off with forward movement, not vertical.

    Will it matter if we run on asphalt/tarmac, then? I think it would be much less of a problem with strong, well-developed musculature around the foot. And the side benefit is you will be able to run faster.

    Two side benefits I found with wearing less shoe was that I was never injured (the hip was congenital, not from running) and I didn’t care which pair of worn-out shoes I put on, my feet were strong. I could wear sole-less shoes with the heel cup removed and no “life” left in them and go on a three hour trail or tarmac run and care less about it. BUT it does take a very gradual process to get strong enough – if you adapted right away to less shoe, you will get injured and that is what all the fuss is about regarding Vibram Five fingers – a totally misdirected paranoia by shoe people.
    Too many people just dropped the cushion for the minimalism, too soon.

    Try running on a football pitch or sandy beach without shoes. You will automatically move to the mid-foot, forefoot. That’s how we naturally run. Now you can’t run barefoot on the roads because a road is unnatural, but you can go to the pitch and do strides every week. Smooth, good form, chin up, arms like pistons, back and forth, good heel kick – walk back – 8-10 second fast, but not racing strides. Uphills are your friends too. Brilliant stuff. Hills are magic.

  2. Hi Jenny, Yes running mid/fore foot will help you but I would also suggest you make sure you have a fast cadence. The more steps you take per minute the lighter you are on your feet and the less impact, I now run around 180 which is the recommended cadence for all runners. If you run barefoot on the beach as Chrsitopher suggested you will probably find yourself with a higher cadence than that, I try to run that way once a week. This year I’ve ran over 2,000 miles, the vast majority of that on the roads, grass and sand are lighter surfaces but not always easy to find, concrete is the hardest surface so try not to run too much on that. Track work is fine as a surface, but for me the speed work does hurt my hip so I don’t do as much as I would like to. I have about 10 pairs of shoes that I run in, from minimalist, racing flats up to well cushioned shoes (e.g. Brooks Glycerin) but not the maximal cushioning shoes like Hoka’s. Many people here love the Hoka’s but I can’t run in them, I feel like I roll in them and also get heat spots that I don’t in any other show. For me the lighter, minimal drop shoes are what I prefer but I think it’s personal preference. I hope this helps a little. Don’t overdo it, listen to your body and make sure you incorporate strength training for your glutes, core etc to help your running form and look to incorporate some cross training like swimming and/or biking. Good luck and let us know how your journey goes. Dave.

  3. Dave,

    Here’s a question. I haven’t started running yet as I am just four weeks from surgery, but hope to.

    Long story short, up until about four or five years ago when the hip got in the way, I was running a minimum amount per week, plus additional easy mileage all I want, ala Arthur Lydiard. So a low week would be 60 miles or 90K and a high week would be 80-100 miles 130-160K. Often I found the sweet spot of 70 miles or 113K as good mileage, where I could put effort into a couple runs and not need too-too much napping.

    With the hip and the idea behind being careful with too much volume, would you suggest doing three key runs per week and the rest should be similar exercise but not running, like pool running, zero running, spinning etc etc?

    So just three core runs would be: Long (on Sunday) tempo mid-week and fartlek (Friday)? Something like that?

    Two of those runs would have faster cadence anyway. The long run, I would suspect would be completely off-road, which I have good access to.

    Thoughts?

    1. Yes as Tom stated I think that’s a good compromise to start with and then adjust from there. For me I think a lot of my issues are with the muscles around the hip rather than the actual hip itself, so I would recommend you have a massage at least once a month, I do about 1 every 3 weeks. I also use a foam roller which I think is great, I use one from Trigger Point (http://www.clevertraining.com/fitness/triggerpointperformance_1). I also ice a lot, I have ice compression pants from 110%, they’re expensive but have served me well, you can probably improvise to save money. I don’t take anything for inflammation but I do eat many anti-inflammatory food to help me.

  4. Christopher. I think that your plan is an excellent one. The similar exercises would count as active rest and contribute towards your overall fitness. We often get locked into the mindset that if we aren’t maintaining a set amount of mileage each week, then we are out of shape. Having a tempo run, long run, and fartlek as a consistent part of your weekly schedule and inserting active rest in between may provide the best balance between maintaining a desired level of competitive running and fitness while helping to avoid injury. Good Plan.

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