Archive for the ‘Running form’ Tag

Runners: Use your legs as shock absorbers.

Running Tip of the Week: Think of your legs as shock absorbers. As you land, use each body segment to dampen the impact of your body reconnecting with the earth. First the forefoot, then the heel, then the legs, with knees and hips bent and relaxed, all contribute to a ‘soft landing’.

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Running Imagery: Your Spine as Washing Machine

A strong image can often be helpful when learning a new skill or modifying one, and running is no exception. So, the next time you go for a run, think of your spine as a washing machine!

Envision your spine as the center of your running form. It is long, tall and straight, from the tail bone to the top of the head. This pelvis-to-head segment leans forward from the hip joint, and is the source of propulsion for your run.

One of the many misconceptions about running that I encounter is that the torso should move through space like a brick – shoulders and hips held square, with little rotation of the shoulder and pelvic girdles. However, this approach actually blocks the natural movement of the spine and the natural mechanics of running.

Instead, think of your spine and your torso as a washing machine. The spine is the agitator, long and tall and the center of activity. The water and clothes follow along with the movement of the agitator, passively moving back and forth with the current initiated by the central source of power and movement.

The movement of the spine when running is similar – the spine at the center, vertebrae rotating left and right moving the shoulder and pelvic girdle, the contents of the torso following along with movement initiated by the spine.

So, the next time you go for a run, think of your spine and your torso as a washing machine. The spine is at the center, the central power source of your run. And remember, the spine moves the pelvic and shoulder girdles, which move the legs and the arms.

Don’t resist natural running form, relax and let your body do what it is beautifully designed to do.

Runners: Don’t hurt the ground!

I’ve been fine-tuning my running form lately. As a yankee who lives in the deep south, summer is my off-season, a time to cut mileage, build strength and fine-tune my form. Each time I go out for a run, I’m focusing on one particular aspect of form. It’s not a well-planned thing, it just seems to come to me when I step out the door.

I’ve recently been working on my landing (I’d noticed that my left foot was landing too flat) and lifting my legs with both my hip flexors and my heel (I’ll describe this better in another post) and have been pleased with my progress. But I like to get to the point where I have some general image in my mind rather than a strictly mechanical, this-body-part-does-this approach. Continue reading

Running Form Tips

In running and especially distance running, form is vitally important. The adage goes that you should first focus on form, then repetition (distance), and then speed. It just makes sense that you want your body to be properly aligned when running so that you will lessen the wear and tear on your body, prevent muscle imbalance and run most effectively (and enjoyably!)

Here are three basic concepts that are important for every runner to understand before amping up their training. Continue reading

Running Clinic begins Monday, May 9

Please join us in Hattiesburg for the Long May You Run Running Clinic. We’ll begin by videotaping each participant on the treadmill, then share the information, techniques and reinforcing exercises that will help you re-learn the running form that you were born with so that you can continue to run long into your life.

Earlybird registration, with discounted pricing, has been extended to Friday. Register today to hold your place.

Clinic limited to 20 participants.

I hope you can join us!

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