April 23, 2011

Good Running Form.

Two years ago I joined the ranks of Minimalist runners.  At the time, I was not at all sure how long I'd be among the ranks, but I was intent on delving into this movement with both feet.  Fortunately, I started with some of the best Minimalist shoes out there: The Vibram KSO.  Other runners may start with something more transitional, like the New Balance Minimus, Nike Free or Merrell Trail Glove, but I did not.  Consequently, my changeover to a more natural running style was easy and a bit quicker. When it comes to overhauling your entire running form, however, slower is definitely better.  I could have easily sustained an injury because of my zeal.  Mercifully, I did not. Since that day, it's been a journey of learning, implementing and learning some more.  Each and every day I come across articles and stories from folks who are making the move to minimalist or barefoot running, and I try to heed each piece of advice or wisdom shared. Runners are not overtly unique. While some are indeed set apart in both athletic ability and mental toughness, most are people just like you and me, who want to run better.  More efficiently.  Without pain. 

Among the many training videos I've watched over the past year, there are two which explain as clearly as anything I've seen the basic steps to attaining better running form.  It involves primarily three areas:  1) Posture, 2) Mid-foot strike, and 3) Cadence.  But rather than trying to explain each in detail, simply watch the videos. They are short.  Indeed, there is no need for extensive prose on the subject.  A quick explanation of running form is necessary, but to see it demonstrated makes the point outright. 

Take a look at this website and click on the short video in the left sidebar.  And take a look at this one, too.  Running properly is not rocket science, so for some, this video may be uninspiring and obvious.  But to others (like it was for me), this could be a most illuminating instruction on the matter; a welcome wake-up call and the beginning of a renewed passion for running.

Happy Trails.