In case you haven’t heard, New balance and Good Form Running have partnered together to offer clinics for runners across the county, on the simple premise that the majority of amateur runners were never taught to run.
Ever since I started taking my running more seriously I have desired some kind of a coaching session or clinic, or simply someone to just tell me if I’m doing it right! I know that sounds silly, and maybe it is, but I have been slightly obsessed with reading various blogs and media just to get some pointers. I have also been consumed by the fear that I may get injured one day, and although I know I can’t prevent it – I still wanted to learn whatever I can to reduce the risk of injury. So when I found out about this clinic when I went into Track Shack for new shoes last month, I eagerly signed up for the next clinic, which was held on May 13.
I have been playing around with the technique all month, so I could get a feel for it – and now I will discuss my take away. Essentially, Good Form Running consists of 4 main points.
In the 2 hour clinic they videotape you running, then teach you the 4 concepts above, let you practice, and then you watch yourself to see what you were doing wrong. I would say it’d be worth it to attend the clinic a second time (especially since its free) and watch yourself videotaped again to see where you’ve improved, and what still may need work – I am hoping to be able to go back in a couple of months.
The most common issue with the individuals in the clinic I attended was mid-foot. I would say 90% of us were all stepping with our heel first, myself included, although I wasn’t the worst heel-runner. This is probably also the most important of the four, because repeatedly stepping on your heel is what causes injuries.
My favorite thing to focus on while I’m running is my posture. I don’t know why but I really like thinking about the different parts of my body working together to propel forward. The instructor told us to think about our body as though there is a zipper going up and down and not to cross your arms over the zipper. I like to think of it more like a toaster, and if you cross your arms over you’ll get burned! (I’m weird, I know)
What I’ve noticed by taking a few runs over the last month to really focus on these four things is that they all truly go together and help each other. For example if you focus on your posture, not stepping out in front of yourself, but directly under yourself, and you focus on having a quick cadence, your step will naturally fall more on your mid-foot
Lean is probably the least important of the 4, in my opinion, although I do think it helps with getting a faster cadence. I also feel like lean comes naturally; I don’t really have to focus on it too much. The only time I really think about this is when I start to get tired and want to vamp up my speed. Thinking about leaning forward and pushing off really helps during those times.
I will say that after working on these things, I feel as though I run more efficiently. I am less tired, and overall I have experienced less soreness from my workouts. I will say that my calves are more sore, but I think that I am working those muscles differently now – so it’s probably a good kind of sore!
Have you ever attended a running clinic?
What would you suggest to reduce risk of injury in running?