Friday Fun: How do you run?

My friend Becky (@TwoLittleBlues) posted this photo this morning.  

I think it summarizes a lot of people’s thoughts on how they run.  There are days when I’m totally in the zone and I feel like my movement is clean and easy.  Then, there are days when I’m “off” for some reason – tight hamstrings,  all my stress is hiding in my left shoulder… those days, I feel like I’m lumbering through my run like Frankenstein’s Monster.

Runner’s World, and other online articles, talk about running with the Perfect Form*.  I try, but it’s a work in progress.  For me, the key parts to remember are:

  • Shoulders.  Keep them relaxed.  I shouldn’t let them shrug up to my ears when I’m getting tired.  When I find myself shrugging and tensing, I drop my arms to my sides and roll my shoulders back to release the tension.
  • Head.  I have the habit, sometimes, of looking at my feet when I run.  I’m a little scared of the speed bumps that are in DC.  They’re monstrous!  I’m supposed to be looking into the middle distance – scanning the horizon, or some such.  Relax the neck.
  • Arms.  Arms should not cross the center of the body when running.  This happens to me when I get tired and start to tense my shoulders. 
  • Torso. Use cross training to better condition your core strength.  (Hello yoga, pilates and personal trainer!) Don’t have an exaggerated lean, either forward or back.  This can cause strain on the hamstrings, lower back or bootie.  I tend to lean forward on an uphill, and I can definitely feel the effect on the hamstrings!
  • Stride.  Turnover should be 180 strides per minute.  I have not stopped to count my stride rate, but I can feel when I’ve slowed down.  I’m going to try to work on this over the next few months. 
  • Feet. Do not, I repeat, do not heel-strike!  Your feet should not make a lot of noise when you hit the ground (apparently).  Good thing for me, heel striking is minimal and usually only when I’m not paying attention.

There are a lot of things to work on to be the most efficient runner.  Of course, I have also heard some people say, “Just run like you did as a kid! Carefree!”  And if you’ve forgotten what that might look like, this will help:

How do you run? Do you have any good articles on tips for good running form?

*I am not a doctor or a running coach or a stride evaluator.  I am not giving advice, just compiling articles I found on the Google.

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4 Responses to Friday Fun: How do you run?

  1. Omgomgomgomg I love that clip from Friends! I honestly do break out into wild running when I need to get out of my head and into the run. I look CRAZY but it’s way more fun!

    I’m going to reblog that photo, hope you don’t mind. So true for me.

    I’ve started a new blog about running and I’m looking for feedback. If you have a minute, please feel free to check it out and let me know what you think:

    • Suzy says:

      LOL feel free to steal my stolen photo!! 😀

      I’ve wanted to run like Phoebe before, but I usually end up dancing to my ipod or bootie shaking with Carly, so the flailrun isn’t part of my repertoire just yet… 🙂 But I do end up looking just as crazy when I dance!

      I read your TM post earlier today on my reader – so funny and so true! 😀

  2. An effective training plan focuses on both skill and energy. Skill comes from proper form and efficiency training. Energy development comes from balancing out speed, strength, stamina, and threshold workouts.

    For readers who want to know more about how better form can help improve their running, this video series will help you.

    Running Form Video Series>>>>

    Courtesy of Coach Ken at 5 Speed Running

  3. I love that clip from Friends. I think I probably look like that when I booty shake while running. It’s fun!!

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