The Wall

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Real Running Form Review: An Age Grouper Video Analysis

19 March

There’s a lot of chatter inside Team MN about becoming a better runner; as a coach it’s a fine line between talking about fitness vs proper technique.

But at the end of the day there’s no hiding from the camera…I am putting the video below out there for folks to see not because I am a great runner, but as an example of the constant quest for improvement; the comments and feedback I get from my teammates are what help me improve each and every year.

Background

I am a sub-3 marathoner by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin, and have run a 3:15 in an Ironman (Texas 2012). I played soccer all my life and then got into collegiate rowing before turning to running and then triathlon. I am 6′ 2″ tall, about 190 lbs here in this video (race weight is 180). This was the first of two mile repeats on my day, this one was done in 5:48.  I am currently training for Boston and trying to stay sharp with “just enough” running intensity.

The Video

Elements I Like To See

There are two things here that are good that bear pointing out.

First is the foot strike being right below the knee, with the shin never extending beyond vertical — this is smooth, continuous running with no “braking” motion from overstriding.

Second is the nice high hands; I am a firm believer that higher hands promote / support a faster cadence, and I do that well with some relaxation.

Elements To Work On

Of course, there are a few things that need some serious help.

First is the hip tightness I exemplify. Running faster requires either (1) more steps or (2) longer steps…. I like my cadence right now and don’t want to lose the natural length of my gait as I get older.

Second is the arching of my upper body, as my hips are tight and my core is weak, I end up arching to retain what I perceive is excellent form. I often find myself cracking my back when running (twisting to release it).

Third is just tension of the upper body. My hands are relaxed but I still carry tension through the shoulders / traps and I’d like to reduce that.

Elements To Ignore

The one thing I would put under this area is rotation. I am not so worried about the rotation of my upper body or hands crossing my midline; that’s pretty natural especially at mile repeat pace. Besides, you can’t fix everything at once!

Got Feedback?

If you have some input for me, I’d love to hear it. Please post it in the comments below, thanks!!

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