Some people think they have near perfect running form and can be found talking about it all the time, while others haven’t even thought about it at all. There is, however, a third group of runners that I like to think I can most closely relate to – those that think about running form and try to do the right thing, but are not quite sure if they are getting it completely right.
This third group of runners may read books, magazines, and blogs and think they understand, but without a knowledgeable individual giving an honest assessment they can never be completely sure they are correctly implementing what they have understood from their research. This is where I have found myself for so many years. I am proud of what I do know, but truth be told I have a lot to learn.
Kyle O’Day from Continuum Sports is one of those knowledgeable individuals I am talking about and this past Sunday night was our first of the “hands on” sessions in the sold out Running Form Clinic put on by West Stride in Atlanta. What this meant was that my running form was starting to be put to the test so to speak. I was a bit nervous, but excited at the same time to see what I was doing wrong and what I could do better.
The evening started with a short run to a nearby track. This was interesting given the busy roads that surround West Stride. I am not used to dealing with that kind of traffic where I run most of the time, and so I was getting a little impatient having to wait for traffic lights.
This first session was focused on posture and upper body form including arm and hand placement. This brought back some memories of some techniques I learned while running Cross Country over 20 years ago, techniques that I still use today in my running.
We started working on some drills that we will incorporate in later lower body sessions. It is a bit odd seeing adults doing drills. I watch my daughter and her team as they do drills, however as far as adults go, I think too many of them don’t think about drills or chose to ignore them. We are all so busy that we just head out the door and run – only to get upset and wonder why we get injured.
Kyle watched us as we ran and worked on what we had been taught. I was happy to be doing exactly what I was taught, but too bad that wasn’t because I have always had perfect form, but rather because I was really good at faking it while being critiqued. :) It was good to hear that encouragement of a job well done, but I am still concerned on getting it right while I am out running on my own. I guess that comes with time and lots of disciplined practice.
How would you rate your running form? Which group do you fall in? Do you seek out knowledgeable individuals to help guide you in the right direction?