Follow up for the Running Form Video Analysis
Running is beautiful, natural, healthy, safe and highly efficient. Everyone can be a runner. There is no age, gender, or ethnic limits. Of course, we are not all designed to run at the “same speed”, but all healthy human beings have the body structures and systems necessary for running success. These techniques are easiest to implement after a personalized Running Form Analysis.
Form and Technique:
- Relaxed steps should land on the mid foot/forefoot. The heel touches, just not first. Keep calf muscles relaxed … no springing off the calf. If your calves are tight or sore after a running session, focus on loosening the foot fall. Stretching and /or rolling calves is not the answer!
- Cadence. The number of foot steps per minute (spm); one foot, in one minute should be close to 90spm. Each foot will land 85-90 times in one minute regardless of how slow (pace) you run. At a certain speed the cadence may increase beyond 90spm. A 90spm cadence will establish an effective (usually shorter) stride length. Resist long strides with slower cadence. Keep your speed low until you’ve grasped the skill. See https://myrunningdr.com/ultimate-trail-running-high-cadence/
- Gravity. Forward propulsion comes from gravity’s action on your body. Fall forward from the pelvis (just below your navel) with the upper body more erect. Match the forward fall angle with desired speed. More angle = more speed.
- Hills. Using the fall angle, adjust the effort required for the terrain. Uphill fall slightly more forward. Downhill dial fall angle back. To limit needless braking with the legs on down hills, simply decrease the forward propulsion by decreasing the fall angle. Check out our website for blog videos on “Hill running”.
- Verticality. Efficient running occurs with very little vertical (up and down) displacement. “Leaping” steps are costly metabolic efforts that increase ground reaction forces. Keep ‘bobbing’ to a minimum to optimize smooth horizontal motion. Check out Arrow “7 Arrows of Awesome Running” Vlog post, https://myrunningdr.com/7-arrows-of-running-form/
Training and conditioning:
- Length of Run. Initial training runs should be based on present conditioning. To be successful and train injury free, work towards walking 60 minutes 4 times in one week. From that base, 5 times per week, 10-30 minute sessions of run/walk. Workouts should continue to be done until both your structures (body tissues) and systems (breathing, heart function) can accomplish 30 minutes of non-stop relaxed running.
- Run/Walk. For the first 2-4 weeks all sessions should be run/walk, alternating to comfort. Run as long as you feel good with no fatigue or irritation. Immediately walk when any signal or threat occurs. There should be NO discomfort of pain. Within each walk/run workout, the ratio will vary. It may range from 30 seconds to several minutes. allow your body the chance to adapt to the new load. Resist pressuring the advancement of your performance. This approach requires one to “listen to your body”. A successful run is achieved from training and feeling great during and after. Be mindful.
- Pace (Speed). Running pace is based on many factors. Begin your program with a very relaxed effort that allows for steady talking (7-10 words on a breath). The forces experienced from running increase dramatically with increased pace (speed). To remain injury-free, establish a deep base of relaxed running (6-8 weeks) before attempting any speed or intensity. This would include the initial run/walk phase progressions.
- Frequency. Begin with running 2 days, 1 day off, 3 days on, 1 day off. This does not mean that runs must be a prescribed progressing duration, distance or pace. Easy runs as short as 10 minutes are valuable any time in the adaptation of structural cells such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint cartilage and bone. Frequent exposure to running-loads effectively stimulates positive cellular changes. It is better to run 5 days for 10-20 min.’s than 3 days of 45 min.’s. Always adapt your workout expectations to fit the current state of resiliency, energy and capacity.
Building a strong running base will enable higher intensities and future maximal efforts injury free. That’s a good plan! Be kind to yourself and always create the opportunity for a rewarding experience. Enjoy!