Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Form

It was a late night at FootZone last night. That's not uncommon for the second Tuesday of the month when Steve Leary is at the shop. He and I often find ourselves chatting long after the last customer has left talking about biomechanics, running form, shoes, injuries, etc. Last night, Steve did a clinic for USAFITBend. A couple months ago, he did a great running form clinic for the entire FootZone staff. We appreciate his knowledge and his time.

I think its fair to say there has been a shift in how runners think about form in the past few years. The pursuit of better form has generally been associated with getting faster. Nowadays, there is unbelievable interest in improved form to reduce injury, increase enjoyment and hopefully allow us more longevity as runners. Surprisingly, there aren't that many resources out there to help improve form. There's lots to read and take in online but as far as nuts and bolts help with making form more efficient, not that many people feel qualified. Coaches know some drills and certainly understand principles of training and how to apply those but generally that's for people who are already pretty efficient in their running. So the question: should you try to mess with a runner's form? There's plenty of debate on this but the convential wisdom has shifted form "probably not" to "probably". You can't take everyone and just make them a midfoot/forefoot striker. However, you can probably apply some very basic ideas and create improvement for most runners.

This is something I'm pretty engaged with these days. People want to run for health and fitness and they want to get better at it. Lot's of folks across the nation have come into running who didn't grow up with it. Some of them didn't grow up with activity at all. The struggle is that to truly improve form you really have to be balanced and have enough strength to engage the core. That can be a struggle for the decades long runner and the new runner alike. Like so many things, there is no magic pill. However, I do think there are some opportunities to improve the information that's available. Stay tuned...Teague

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