Monday, October 22, 2007

Running Technique

Running is pretty easy. You simply put one foot in front of the other and repeat...over...and over...and over. So why do so many people have problems with running injuries? Most often the problem is too many extra miles...or miles run too fast...or both. Speed and distance need to be moderated. But that's not the only issue. The real problem is that we don't know how to run! We have poor running technique. Did anyone ever teach you how to run? How to lift or place your feet? How to move your arms? Fortunately we have several good books and DVDs on the market that address this educational lapse. My two favorites are POSE and ChiRunning. They each teach how to run--and come up with remarkably similar guidance. Both books are very informative (I prefer the POSE one) and they each have an associated DVD (I prefer the ChiRunning one). What are some of the keys to proper running form? Keep your body (head, shoulders, hips, feet) straight, but tilted slightly forward from the ankles (use the force of gravity to pull you along). Lift your heels up, not your knees. Don't push off with your feet. Use short, quick strides and never extend your front leg ahead of your center of mass (don't reach out with your front leg/foot). Land on the ball of your foot, not the toes or heel. For more guidance on how you can run faster with less effort and prevent injuries, check out these two books, DVDs, and web sites. Before you know it, you'll be running light on your feet and ready to tackle a trail ultramarathon. I have a good one I can recommend.

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