How’s your run action?

Runner-in-starting-blocksWhen I first started with my current coach, Emma, she took me to her local track. I felt very afraid, she is an elite athlete, I might die of exhaustion just trying to keep up with her!

She videoed my run form as I ran intervals on the track. Then showed me the video afterwards. No wonder I struggle with pace! 

I am a visual learner, I definitely benefit from seeing something, you need to prove things to me for me to accept them and learn from them. That’s why I love video gait analysis in running shops! 

From the video you can see that my upper body collapses on each step. If you think of this as a kinetic force, moving forwards, each step I take, the propulsion that is supposed to eb created by my hip flexors and quads / hams is being absorbed by my collapsing upper body, thus making me almost a little leaden footed if you will. 

Have a little look around next time you are out and notice other runners. Are they nkeeping their back straight, standing tall, driving from the hip? I was surprised how common an error this is among runners. Well, at least I am not alone! 

So, I set about trying to correct this. It was might hard work. My hip flexors hadn’t done the work properly before and I felt very tired for a while during the adaption process. I also felt like I was running along sticking my chest out like betty boop! Here is a video clip I asked hubby to take just a week later, so I could have a look and see if I was doing it a bit more properly. Remember, only 1 week of trying the correction.

I have been working on this now for over a year, and I would like to think I am much better at it. I certainly do not notice the fatigue, and now know what Chrissie Wellington is on about when she talks about ‘buns of steel’! Until you stand up straight and correct the action, you do not realise how much the glutes and hip flexors are supposed to be working to help move you forward faster, well, I didn’t! (But then, I am not a runner… well, I WASN’T a runner!) 

Here are some proper runners:

I’m still working on it, there is always something that you can do to make you better, faster, more efficient! 

Top tips:

  • get someone to video you, dead easy in today’s smart phone world. slow it down and have a look at it, are you standing tall right through the foot strike?
  • Imagine when you run, that your legs are the only thing that should be moving. Elite triathlete Adam Bowden is a great person to watch, or in fact a good track runner. Their head doesn’t move up and down very much at all, their upper body is solid, their legs do all the work.

One Comment on “How’s your run action?

  1. Pingback: Training tools: Coaches eye | Melanie Ryding - Ryding2Health BLOG

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