Half marathon running diary: best foot forward
My right leg is longer than my left. Not enough to make me appear lopsided to your average onlooker, but enough to affect the way I run, explained Stephen Makinde from the Perfect Balance Clinic (www.perfectbalanceclinic.com), who yesterday identified the problem within seconds.
The funny part? It was the first I’d heard of it. ‘Many people go decades without realising,’ said Stephen, ‘The first they hear about it is when they hit middle age with crippling neck problems.’ However, while I would never have suspected my mismatched limbs, the revelation did shed light on the various pains I’ve been experiencing on my right side while running: neck aches, knee pain, and a injured foot which left me unable to run more than a mile (thankfully, the latter is now better).
According to Stephen, the difference in the length of my limbs put extra strain on my right side and caused me to have developed a flat foot (yup, singular). The different leg lengths had also left me with a tight hip on the right side.
‘We need to treat this quickly and effectively,’ he advised. Amputation? Thankfully not; Stephen referred me to a podiatrist to make a temporary insert for my right trainer to provide extra support while I run, and hopefully correct the lopsidedness. He also gave me a list of foam rolling exercises for knee, calf and hamstring.
Wonky anatomy aside, my training regime over the past week has been smooth sailing, albeit a little slow. A couple of long runs (10K) and a 5K run into work last Monday. Peculiarly, the latter run was the hardest of them all. I blame pavement-blocking commuters and the general lull of Monday morning.