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Good Running is Springy and Quiet Part II - The Lunch Hour Athlete

Training Log For: 12/14/09

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Posted by Matthew

One of the things I like about this blog is that the three authors (Yvonne, Mikael, and myself) are all just normal people from the most part. When we write about fitness and exercise, we are not writing as professional athletes. When we give advice or fitness tips it is because we have tried it ourselves, and as normal people, have seen results by adding these tips to our own fitness routines. There are no paid endorsements or product plugs, no hype or gimmicks. In this article I want to discuss my experiences with attempting to analyze and correct/improve my own running form.

To recap last week, proper running form involves adjustments and awareness of quite a few different body mechanics. The runner must evaluate the way their foot lands, their upper body posture, the positioning of their hips, shoulders and arms. What started out as just moving your legs faster becomes this ordeal in gaining a new level of self awareness. On top the added stress of running on public streets and knowing people are watching you (and yes, possibly judging you), the novice runner must also worry about things like posture, form, heartbeat and that one headphone earbud that always seems to fall out in regular intervals. So I decided to try the techniques from the last article and apply them to my own regimen.

I will start first with the results. Overall I did notice an improvement in my efficiency by actively correcting my running form. While focusing on my form so much did make the run less enjoyable, making adjustments along the way seemed to keep my legs from hurting and fatiguing as they normally do. I noticed that my stride resulted in less noise when my foot made contact with the cement and my stride seemed to have more forward momentum and less vertical push.

Towards the end however, as my legs became more fatigued it became harder and harder to focus and correct my form. By then I felt like it was enough to just continue moving forward and finish the distance I had predetermined. For us mere mortals, it will probably take a lot of running and patience to get to the point where having proper running form and technique becomes a habit rather than a chore. From what I have read though it seems like even professionals and more experienced runners still have to make adjustments and corrections to their form, they just have a basic technique already dialed in. Until the next time, keep running and improve that form!