Good Running Form

My friends who are just starting with running always ask me what the proper running form is.

Is there really a proper way to run?

Is it wrong to heel strike?

Will I injure myself as I land on my toe?

I can run a fast 100 meters but can not sustain it after, is it my running form?

There’s been several arguments on the answers to these questions. And, I am not a running coach so I am technically not an expert on the subject matter.

From my own experience, I believe that improving your running form can help one run faster, more efficiently, less stress on the body and reduced risk of injury.

I started running in 2009 but seriously trained in November of that year when I decided to join my first marathon . Our Coach (Saturnino Salazar) trained us first to run efficiently, basically same principles as the Pose Running Method. Since then, I tried to apply and follow the same principle in running. Todate, I have finished several short and mid distance, marathons and ultramarathons injury free. I’m still a work in progress though but every training day I know I am on my way to be better at it.

Let me answer the question by sharing some videos and articles I found in the internet.

When I started with Crossfit last year and learned about Crossfit Endurance, I am surprised that the running techniques concept discussed by Brian McKenzie is exactly the same as what I have learned (and is still learning). (He is a Pose Level 2 Certified Running Coach on top of his ISSA, CFT, and SSC certification)

What is the definition of good running technique? There isn;t one. But why? These are questions that Pose running’s founder Dr. Nicholas Romanov has asked since 1979 and that I’ve been asking, well, since “shin splints” entered my personal lexicon. So what is good running style then?

There are laws that govern us all and there is no changing the way gravity affects us. In every sport the elite all have some things in common: they use gravity to their advantage; they are compact in their movements; and everything is done with almost an effortless approach. How do elite athletes run? If you were stripped of your shoes and asked to run barefoot on the road, would you run the same way as you did with shoes? Why not? Because unless you already run Pose-style, or like Haile Gebrselassie or Michael Johnson, you probably run with your foot landing in a manner that quite destructively sends shock waves up your legs into the ankle, knee, and hip joints. In most cases, your foot will land in front of you (photo 1). Think about this for a second. If a car were traveling down the street would you stick something in front of it to speed it up?

The complete article can be viewed here: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/64_07_PoseRun_Techniques.pdf

You can also view the video of Dr. Nicholas Romanov, founder of Pose Running Technique on how to get started with the method. This is exactly the drill I used to do when I was starting to learn this 🙂

More video on the pose running technique can be viewed in youtube under posetv.

Here are some drills which I used to do, exactly the same ones posted by Coach John P.

1) 2 foot hops in ‘S’ springiness body position (elasticity)
2) Pose Stance (body position, alignment, balance)
3) Change of Support (unweighting, elasticity, pull to Pose)
4) Hop in Place (pulling, elasticity, alignment)
5) Pony (minimal change of support, elasticity, unweighting)
6) Front Lunge (pull with hamstring, lean, elasticity)
7) Double Lunge with Switches (Pose body position, coordination)
8) Forward Change of Support (Falling and changing support)
9) Pose Skips (elasaticity, timing, relaxation)
10) Forward Pony (Falling, minimal change of support)
11) Forward Lunge (Pulling, timing)

I also came across this article over the Internet at http://www.superskinnyme.com/how-to-run.html which answers this question in a more illustrative manner.

How to Run: Proper Running Form

20120216-182037.jpg

Photo illustration from http://www.superskinnyme.com/how-to-run.html

20120216-183914.jpg

(photo is from KB Runner)

This is one of the stolen shots of me running the Bataan Death March 102k, somewhere during the last 20k of the race. My Coach for BDM told me to ensure that I keep my running form until the end of the race. That’s what I actually did. Like I crazy girl, every time I felt like giving up I talked to myself and tell her to correct her running form. I guess the picture shows it all (but I need to correct my habit of my arms criss crossing in front of my chest….)

My two cents, it’s not an overnight thing. You can start by doing your research, watching videos, doing the drills, consulting with fellow runners or training with a Coach. I believe it would be worth the investment, if you want to be better/faster or if you simply want to enjoy the joys of running longer.

Categories: Feature, Training

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