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Back to Basics: Running Form Workshop

March 10, 2012

My crossfit box hosted a running workshop today. This was similar to the workshop I went to a couple months ago, but a bit more comprehensive and in depth. I’ve been back on my bike the past few days, and once again biked to the gym — about five miles. But it was cold this morning, sunny but only just above freezing, and very windy. So despite wearing gloves my fingers were frigid by the time I got there. I had just finished stripping my layers and started warming up when I heard we were going outside for the workshop, since there were classes going on inside. Sigh. Okay. Guess it’s a good thing I biked though: at least I had those warm layers to pull back on. If I took the bus, I probably would have only had warm street clothes with shorts and tshirt underneath! (As a side note, by the time I was biking home, it had warmed up enough I was much more comfortable!)

We went over a lot of the mechanics of good form running. Now that I’ve been working on my mid-foot strike for several months, it was helpful to go over it again. In the video analysis, when I was barefoot my form looked really good. Yay! I’m not going to try to report everything we covered today, but some key takeaways for me: (1) when I’m standing around, think about standing with my toes pointing straight forward instead of angled off; running with toes straight forward will keep knees and hips aligned and minimize how much extra work they have to do. (2) Stretch my hip flexors a lot more! (3) My feet and legs look pretty good when I’m barefoot, but my core is too loose and shoulders too tight, work on tightening up the core and loosening the shoulders. (4) Think about minimal running shoes as a training tool. Let’s be honest: padded shoes are more comfortable and running on streets, etc, as we all do, there’s a reason for them. Minimal running shoes will force you to run with a mid foot strike (because it hurts to land on your heel), but as you learn how to run with a mid foot strike, you can run that way just fine in a more padded shoe as well! And (5) despite being told by a podiatrist years ago that I have flat feet and should use arch supports, my arch is fine (a doctor specializing in helping runners with foot issues was there as part of the workshop, and he looked at my arch and said it’s fine). Standing still, it’s a little on the flat side, but not that bad. And more importantly, when I run, the foot forms an arch like it should — meaning my arches bear weight like they are supposed to. So really I should be able to get rid of the arch supports and stability shoes as I work on good form running.

I put in an order for New Balance Minimus running shoes (at 20% off), which I should get in a week or two. Time to put what I learned to work. Those won’t become my primary running shoe. I’ll wear them maybe once a week for shorter runs. But I like how my form feels when I run in them. I know my form changes as soon as I put them on. So as a training tool, I think they will help me continue improving my running form. Hopefully by the time I’m logging serious miles later this summer my form is in better shape.

253 days till Ironman Arizona.


From → form, running

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