Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Form and Technique

Every Tuesday my training group meets up at 7pm to practise. Tuesdays are a little tougher than Sundays since we focus more on power and speed. While running my coach Joanna broke down "how" I should be running, this is basically the positioning of your limbs as you run. From my head to my feet this is how my body is positioned for running:
  • Eyes: Keep your focus on the horizon line, this will give you a focus point and keep you from hunching over, conserving more energy throughout your run.
  • Shoulders: Keep your shoulders low and away from your ears (if you're training in the cold like me you may be doing this without even realising it), this keeps a lot of stress away from your neck and gives your shoulders more room to help propel you.
  • Arms: Keep your arms at a 90 degree angle close to your body. As your arms move back and forth, imagine a slicing motion along the side of your torso, you only want to slice from wrist to elbow. This will help you assume a good pace and get you through most of the marathon.
  • Hands: I used to keep my hands in tight fists and feel really exhausted after a run, I kept all the muscles in my forearms really tense for no reason, it wasn't helping my performance. Now I keep my hands straight with my fingers lined up (following the slicing motion of my arms). This really helps you relax and sprint towards the end.
  • Stomach: The stomach should be pulled in, not so tight that it hurts, but just enough so that your body sits in line frm hip to neck. I noticed that without holding in my stomach a little, it feels like your pulling dead weight in your lower half after 10k. Maintaining posture throughout is important.
  • Feet: Imagine your foot cut into thirds (Toes, Arch, Ankle). When you're running you want your foot to land in the upper middle third (between arch and toes). This will be more cushioning to your joints than the thud you would get from landing constantly on your ankle. This may sound weird but it will save your knees!!
Ever since I started concentrating on my form even while running, I don't even notice the distance go by. By keeping my mind focused on my position throughout I'm preoccupied more with running correctly. As a result, my endurance has improved by leaps and bounds. When you start becoming more aware of your technique you won't even realize that you're all of a sudden an hour into running.

As always if you would like to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada please click on the donate button below to go to my official Team in Training donations page:

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