If you’re like me, then maybe you did a lot of running while you were in school: I played soccer for about 17 years, and ran track in the off-season to stay in shape. I vaguely remember discussions with my track coach about better running form, but it was always more about pumping my arms and not slouching so much; it appears I’ve always had a problem with good posture, something I’m only NOW coming to work on.
I thought about this again when I was buying a new pair of running shoes a few months ago. As any good shoe store will tell you to do, I was out in the parking lot trying out each pair of shoes I tried on. The guy who was helping me asked me ‘are you new to running?’, to which I replied, ‘no, just haven’t done it in a while’. Then he told me to remember my form while getting back into it.
The Germans don’t mince their words, and I appreciate it. In America, I probably would have heard ‘your running form is interesting, how’s that working out for you?’ instead. And that wouldn’t have been helpful.
I don’t know about you guys, but my form isn’t ever something I think about FIRST while running, or learning a new technique, or sitting in my comfy office chair. I think first ‘DO IT’, and then once it’s been done and I CAN do the thing, then I start to modify the technique.
I have a tendency to hunch while running, and I also definitely let my heel hit the ground first, which it shouldn’t. Well, not hard, at least, and I let it go hard. These are the things I need to work on.
Most likely due to my bad posture, I’ve got lower back pain issues. I’ve always had them, just like I’ve always had bad posture. I think the two are related. I’ve also noticed that when I get back INTO running after NOT having run for a while, that my knees give me pain.
A lot of new runners complain about knee pain, and there are a LOT of reasons to have knee pain when you’re running. Most of the time, it’s due to weakness somewhere else in your leg, and that’s usually my problem, since I don’t have the hip adduction/abduction machine sitting in my living room.
But often, we experience pain because our form is poor. So below, I’ve collected some links for those of you who might be getting back into running and have an interest in checking to make sure you’ve got the right running form!
Active dot com: Perfect Your Running Technique (has a link to a helpful video!)
While doing my Couch to 5K run yesterday, I made sure to be conscious of my form and to try to follow the guidelines: it was the first day where I felt NO pain while running!! Progress!