Celebrating New Beginnings: Use The Sandpit For Running Recovery To Reinvent Your Stride

Path of Earth around the Sun

The knowledge of conic sections can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Menaechmus is credited with the discovery of conic sections around the years 360-350 B.C.” This finally made sense of the movement of the Earth around the Sun, and it got rid of all that epicycle nonsense.

FitOldDog runs across the sandpit at the UNC CH track. Photo by a kind passing runner, Brandon.

FitOldDog runs across the sandpit at the track. Photo by a kind passing runner, Brandon.

Whenever the winter solstice comes around, I always think of that long-forgotten Greek guy, Menaechemus (never made it into Citation Index – silly magazine!). I also think of new beginnings, which is what I’m doing on my run, now that the Osteopath fixed my hip subluxation. Hooray! Running recovery commences. If you are injured, take the opportunity when you come back to start over and improve your technique – for instance, use the sandpit to fine tune your stride.

I learned the sandpit trick from Danny Dreyer, of Chi Running Fame, and it really works. Just take a close look at the four prints I made today, (D) is almost perfect (thank goodness), as I just ran across the sand without thinking. The three others I set up, as demonstrations, by running with a heel strike (bad for the ankles, knees and hips, and it slows you down), toe push off, which can induce considerable strain on your Achilles tendons, and to complete the square, and just for interest, mild pronation.

Prints in sand pit by FitOldDog

Running recovery sandpit impressions by FitOldDog – (A) mild heel strike, (B) hard push off from toe, (C) pronation, (D) close to OK. Photos by FitOldDog

The sand pit works. If you were sidelined by injury, and now you’re returning to running recovery, remember to reinvent yourself – such injuries are a great opportunity to improve your run stride, reduce risk of injury, and set you up nicely for the next season, injury free.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.