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I've always turned my right foot in and kicked my right leg out to the side a little as I ran. If I pay attention to my form, I can keep this down to a slight pronation. In highschool, my doctor gave me heel inserts that also had some arch support, but I really didn't like running with them. I always stretch out pretty well after about a 1-mile warmup, and I've never had any injuries whatsoever in 15 years of running, except for getting shin splints when my shoes wear out, but that really doesn't count. As I start to add distance, though, I've noticed that my left foot bothers me a little after runs of 5 miles or more. This is just a mild pain in the outside of my left heel and along the top of my left foot in front of the arch. This confused me a bit, because I've always thought that my only problem is with my right leg. That is, I thought that my right knee didn't quite bend the right direction or something, and my real problem was just keeping that leg and foot straight. If I take a day off after 5+ mile runs, this is all a non-issue, but I don't like that option because I'm trying to get more serious about running. After looking around, I've found multiple sources of information that point to this as classic symptoms associated with Leg Length Discrepancies. The longer leg (my right) pronates and the shorter leg (my left) supinates. My right shoe (pronating foot) has a lot of wear on the outside heel and a little more wear on the inside toe. My left shoe (supinating foot) has extra wear on the outside midfoot. It's all starting to make sense. So, I'm sure right now that 99.7% of smart people will say, "You need to go to a doctor and have all this checked out." Well, maybe I'll get around to that sometime, but like I said, this is not a major issue, and I haven't experienced any injuries. I really don't feel any need to spend the cash and several afternoons going to different specialists just to eventually have some guy tell me, "Yep, your left leg is a little shorter," and give me a heel insert (orthotic for the fancy people). I really don't like running with heel inserts. It's uncomfortable, and I'm already used to years of running the way I am without injury. There is no way I would want an insert to fully make up the difference in my legs. I'm already an uncoordinated person to begin with; That's why I stuck with track instead of basketball in highschool -- following the line in a circle was easy! Since my body is used to compensating for it, I don't want to make any major changes. I would like, though, to try adding a little padding to my left shoe. Does anybody have good experiences with that kind of thing? Any recommendations? Perhaps just a pair of Dr. Scholl's gel thingys and throw away the right one? I guess I made this post way too long. I should've just said, "Hey, what do you use for a little extra padding in your shoes?"

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A few rambling thoughts here..

What kind of surfaces are you running on? No matter what kind of gait you have, if you're on the devil's concrete or slightly better, asphalt, any kind of mileage increase is going to tweak something or other. Be sure you're on softer surfaces..dirt/woodchip/grass trail or roads.

How about the camber of those roads? If your left leg is shorter and you are running on the left side of the road, odds are the camber of the pavement is making matters worse for that leg. Have you tried running on the right side of the street to use the camber of the road itself to "correct" the leg length discrepency?

You might try 2 socks on that foot just for an experiment.

When trying the inserts, instead of using only one. Try them in both shoes first. Those flimsy "sockliners" that come with running shoes are worthless. I toss mine right away and put in a SofSol or Dr Scholl type of insert and get a much better feel. And if the aches are still there, go ahead and try one shoe with the insole and one with the old sockliner.
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Well, I'm sure you're onto something there. 100% of my running is on hard surfaces. I don't run on the side of the road, though, so it's always pretty flat -- mostly bike paths and some sidewalks.

I really need to do more off-road running, but I have trouble with that. I feel like I'm just going to tip over. I'm sure it would help me if I just got used to it. I usually feel like I'm going to hurt my ankles when I run on grass, though, and I must look really stupid because it feels like I'm all over the place. It also feels like my energy is just being sucked away by the softer surface.

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I'm convinced it's one of those "elite" kind of "secrets". Seems like any biography I come across of elite runners, by and large, it's a common trait to have a forest trail or something similar where they log the majority of their miles. I was just reading about Christine Clark, our only female marathoner in the last Olympics, that aside from using the treadmill in the depths of an Alaskan winter, the bulk of her mileage is on pine needle carpeted forest trails. European runners in Norway and Finland have been doing this for decades. And I recall reading about Frank Shorter putting tons and tons of miles on the same looped trails in Gainsville Florida.
It's a lesson learned for me.. hit the trails
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Hmm... that's good enough to convince me. Any suggestions on finding trails in my area?
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I'm certainly having trouble thinking of where there'd be trails in my area. If I try to run off to the sides of the bike paths, I think I would usually be running on a slope, then I would end up hurting myself.
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Call me crazy, but I'm not seeing any park to the north or reservoir to the south.

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There are fields all around, but not much in the way of trails: I suppose I should really just explore all the different paths until I find a good place to run. I've found a few small parks, but they're very small, and not suitable for running.
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Everywhere you see a railroad track is actually a bike path now.
Geez... maybe take up biking instead!
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I was refering to the state park here outside of Yellow Springs and the reservoir down near Waynesville. Probably worth the drive to get away from the pavement a couple times a week. Especially for a weekend run when you'd be putting down some longer mileage.

Personally, I'm such a "new trail" junkie that a 5-15 mile drive or bicycle ride is nothin' for taking in some good o' mother nature.
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Hey! You can see where I used to live on one of these maps! :wavey:

Really...you can!
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Ahh... That park would be Glen Helen. A lot of hippies sitting around smoking the weed in that park (not that there's anything wrong with that), and no mountain bikes allowed. It's a beautiful place, but I'll have to check if there are any trails that would be practical to run on.
It's not that far away. A lot of times I'll leave my bike in Yellow Springs, then run the 10-miles up and ride the bike back.
I got some fairly thin arch-support type orthotics, and I think it's making my left foot hurt more. I'm going easy on it for a few days to see if I just have to break it in and get used to it.
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You'll get a lot of that at Yellow Springs too...that and Birkenstocks...tie dye shirts...
Sorry. I'll let you get back to your discussion here.
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Breath deep as you run by and I bet your run will feel like you're flyin'!!!
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