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Run Form Show & Tell

Lets have a little fun today, folks. Everyone has their opinions about run form and today, I'm going to provide you with some video (maybe not the highest quality) and still shots from a recent track workout I did (on a gorgeous 65 degree January day in Colorado, BTW). Feel free to provide some of your feedback...but I'm going to provide you with some of my thoughts first...after all, it's my blog!


The video has clips of me running 400 repeats at ~5:00/mile pace (+/- 5secs per mile). It also has clips of me running at 8:00-8:15/mile...and the very last two clips are at Ironman pace, ~7:00/mile. 




























The things that I'm primarily looking at are:




Something that I believe is important at all paces is cadence. In all of these clips, I'm running with a cadence of at least 88 foot strikes per minute, per foot. Please note that there's a difference in pace of more than 3:00/mile from the fastest running to the slowest running. Just because I'm running slow doesn't mean that I can't run with decent form and quick cadence. How does one run with a quick cadence at slower paces? My top two mental cues are: little power application (yuh, power is relevant in running, too!) and short strides. 


*LOCATION of foot strike


Check these two photos. 






























The first shot is at the 5:00/mile pace...slightly further out in front of my body than the second shot, which is at 7:00/mile pace. I'd like to try to get my foot closer to the 7:00 pace location while running at the 5:00 pace. The shot below, is just prior to foot strike at the 5:00 pace. GAH!

































*Stride length


As speed increases, so will your stride length. What is important is the length of your stride behind you. I've displayed in the above photo what not to do, which is lengthen your stride in front of your body. That leads to a whole slew of problems generally relating to hamstring strains and excessive heel strike (which then can lead to another whole list of problems). 


Two things that blend together that I like to cue myself with are: powering with the glutes and hip extension (one leads to the other). The three photos below are from decreasing speed from left to right. Far left is 5:00 pace: long posterior stride length and open hip, all produced by strong glute contraction. As the speed gets slower, less power is applied and the hip extension decreases along with it. Keep in mind however, that the cadence remains decently quick...just the power and stride length go down.



























One of the major problems that a lot of triathletes have is tight hip flexors, which can limit the amount of hip extension that you can get. Things to help with this are simple dynaminc hip flexor stretches and glute strengthening exercises. 




Two of my main postural thoughts are to: a) run tall and proud....stick that chest out! b) When running fast, try to keep a relaxed upper body. It's real easy to get tight in the shoulders as the speed and effort increases. I try to keep my hands and face odd as it may sound, doing that can help release some tension in the other parts of your body.


What are some of the things that you think about with regard to form when you're out running? 

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