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Need advice on correcting my running form (help me stop leaning back while running!) (Read 141 times)

    Hey everyone. I could use some help with my running form. I've noticed in the last year or so that I've developed a tendency to lean backward when running fast. I have no idea why I started doing this - I'm pretty sure I never did before I got pregnant, I used to have fairly decent form and look like an Actual Runner. Now I look like someone running for a bus. Caught myself doing it again yesterday during the back portion of an out-and-back and nudged myself back into correct form, but I'm wondering if anyone here has any concrete advice for me, e.g. does this particular poor form point to some muscle imbalance or core weakness I should be addressing? Are there any proprioceptive cues I could use? Anyone else had this problem and successfully addressed it?


    just a simple cat

      Confused  try tucking your chin in and breathing through your nose for two or three breaths?  It sounds like you are throwing your head back and your form is following. 

       

      Running is stupid


      Rusk Runner

        It sounds to me like you are already catching yourself and correcting yourself. Maybe you just focus on your form more often than tune out and disassociate yourself with the task at hand?  Many of us have less than ideal form as we grow more tired in a run.

        PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

        Just Run!!!

        zonykel


          Look up McMillan's form recommendations... I think he refers to it as running tall. Ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over ankles. I might have gotten something wrong, but you get the idea.

           

          i was also reading Dicharry's book on "anatomy for runners", and he talks about people who arch their back when they run faster (I.e. when finishing a race). Can't recall exactly what he said about it though :-)

          Nakedbabytoes


          levitation specialist

            I notice when I get tired, I tend to do this as well. I catch myself by my head sortof feeling like it is stuck in my back collar, then I laugh at my goofy self and correct it by resetting my form(swing my arms back and forth, raise them over my head, and then reset my posture. I find it odd that when I get tired, I do something that would take more effort to hold. How is a slight forward lean at the ankles, to which you basically are trying to catch yourself falling forward by stepping forward vs tilting back and basically trying to overcome a braking action, is conserving energy(since I do it when I tire), I will never know!

            So I have taken to resetting my posture at every mile beep on my watch towards the end of a long run. What else can I do other than try to catch myself doing it and fix it?

              No, no, no....!!  That's a typical tampering.  Leaning back does not necessarily mean head-back.  Furthermore, tucking your chin in won't do almost anything to the lean at all.  You'll have a runner, leaning backward, tucking his/her chin in looking down...  Ain't gonna look pretty.  Besides, you SHOULD be looking up because that would open up your chest to get more air in.  You look down, with your chin tucked in, you'll be restricting the air flow, shrinking your chest cavity...not a good idea.

               

              Confused  try tucking your chin in and breathing through your nose for two or three breaths?  It sounds like you are throwing your head back and your form is following. 


              Bottle Opener

                I generally think it is best to try and correct form issues through drills rather than trying to focus on one thing or many things while doing your normal runs.  Doing some hill work might help this issue as it is pretty much impossible to leaning back going up hill.

                Racing for Beer & Glory

                http://www.roadkillracing.com

                 

                  In most cases, when people feel like they are leaning backwards; that is because they are not pushing the ground with the back leg.  Running form is a combination of a lot of things and ALL of those would have to work in sync.  It is ALL wrong to focus one thing--like landing mid-foot--and ignore the rest won't do the job.  Many people have a tendency to think, in order to run forward, you have to bring your leg (foot) forward and plant it ahead of your Center of Gravity.  After all, that's how you move ahead, right?  It's like, I remember back in 1980s when I first came to the US and nobody was playing soccer or rugby (I played rugby in high school), I tried ti explain Americans how rugby works--you can't throw the ball forward.  "How do you go forward?" I always heard that.  Same thing.  You don't necessarily plant your foot so far out in the front to go forward, or go faster.  Your foot plant is pretty much, as it actually touches the ground, very close to the right underneath the C of G.  You gain all the forward momentum from pushing back with the back-leg.  Knee lift is actually extremely important too because that's what makes it easier to move your leg like a circle and bring your foot on to the ground on the backward cycle.  Without it, without good knee lift, you'll be moving your leg like a pendulum and you'll land hard on your heel with your foot sticking out in the front too far out.  Get this picture?  If you run like that, your tendency to lean backwards actually multiply.  It all happens from not lifting your knees high.  By lifting your knees high, that actually means you're pushing the ground back well and that will enable you to lean forward.  When you push the ground, at the moment of take-off, you want your entire body, from the top of your head all the way down to the toes, to be one line...get the image?  Many people today, by only plodding along and never learn to "run" tend to have this straight line, from the tip of your head to the heel, backwards when you land--get the image?  This is because you're "sitting in a bucket" as you run.

                   

                  It's hard to work on correcting form by picking one part at a time and try to change that one part.  You'll really have to work on it as a whole movement and a flow.  It will get better as you work on hills, forcing your body to push back with your back-leg.  Some, when their legs are too weak, tend to still sit back and try to bring their knees up (finally!) to gain momentum.  But you'll very quickly find that it's even harder doing it that way.  You get on the stairway (to heaven!!) and go up, taking 2 steps at a time, concentrating on the posture.  You'll very quickly find it's harder to go up by simply bringing your front leg up and drag your body later...  It's so much easier to push off and gain momentum that way.  When you get it right, you feel like you're "rolling upward".  THAT is the body position you want to carry on while running.  By trying to change your form one piece at a time, you're more likely to get some sore spot because those parts will be working alone, not in sync with other parts of the body.  You can't "sense" these things if you're trying to sprint up the hill as hard as you can (short hill sprint) because then your form goes out the window.  Go up the hill, with slow forward momentum, focusing on good posture...  That is the best way to work on your form; not focusing on individual parts.

                   

                  Hey everyone. I could use some help with my running form. I've noticed in the last year or so that I've developed a tendency to lean backward when running fast. I have no idea why I started doing this - I'm pretty sure I never did before I got pregnant, I used to have fairly decent form and look like an Actual Runner. Now I look like someone running for a bus. Caught myself doing it again yesterday during the back portion of an out-and-back and nudged myself back into correct form, but I'm wondering if anyone here has any concrete advice for me, e.g. does this particular poor form point to some muscle imbalance or core weakness I should be addressing? Are there any proprioceptive cues I could use? Anyone else had this problem and successfully addressed it?

                    Good one!

                     

                    I generally think it is best to try and correct form issues through drills rather than trying to focus on one thing or many things while doing your normal runs.  Doing some hill work might help this issue as it is pretty much impossible to leaning back going up hill.

                      Thank you everyone for all your advice! It's definitely more like a leaning back from the hips than a holding my head too far back.

                       

                      Nobby, I think you nailed it - the way I "corrected" myself yesterday was to bring my foot plant back under my center of gravity (I think of it as landing under the hips). And the knee lift, yes! I looked at some race photos to compare pre- and post-pregnancy running form and that is one of the things that struck me: I used to lift my knees a lot higher and drive forward off the back leg.

                       

                      Fortunately the hill portion of my training plan (Running Wizard!) starts in March, so I'll be able to spend a few weeks practicing good form while running uphill. Until then I may go out and do some hilly trail runs...and otherwise just pay more attention to what I'm doing.

                       

                      In most cases, when people feel like they are leaning backwards; that is because they are not pushing the ground with the back leg.  Running form is a combination of a lot of things and ALL of those would have to work in sync.  It is ALL wrong to focus one thing--like landing mid-foot--and ignore the rest won't do the job.  Many people have a tendency to think, in order to run forward, you have to bring your leg (foot) forward and plant it ahead of your Center of Gravity.  After all, that's how you move ahead, right?  It's like, I remember back in 1980s when I first came to the US and nobody was playing soccer or rugby (I played rugby in high school), I tried ti explain Americans how rugby works--you can't throw the ball forward.  "How do you go forward?" I always heard that.  Same thing.  You don't necessarily plant your foot so far out in the front to go forward, or go faster.  Your foot plant is pretty much, as it actually touches the ground, very close to the right underneath the C of G.  You gain all the forward momentum from pushing back with the back-leg.  Knee lift is actually extremely important too because that's what makes it easier to move your leg like a circle and bring your foot on to the ground on the backward cycle.  Without it, without good knee lift, you'll be moving your leg like a pendulum and you'll land hard on your heel with your foot sticking out in the front too far out.  Get this picture?  If you run like that, your tendency to lean backwards actually multiply.  It all happens from not lifting your knees high.  By lifting your knees high, that actually means you're pushing the ground back well and that will enable you to lean forward.  When you push the ground, at the moment of take-off, you want your entire body, from the top of your head all the way down to the toes, to be one line...get the image?  Many people today, by only plodding along and never learn to "run" tend to have this straight line, from the tip of your head to the heel, backwards when you land--get the image?  This is because you're "sitting in a bucket" as you run.

                       

                      It's hard to work on correcting form by picking one part at a time and try to change that one part.  You'll really have to work on it as a whole movement and a flow.  It will get better as you work on hills, forcing your body to push back with your back-leg.  Some, when their legs are too weak, tend to still sit back and try to bring their knees up (finally!) to gain momentum.  But you'll very quickly find that it's even harder doing it that way.  You get on the stairway (to heaven!!) and go up, taking 2 steps at a time, concentrating on the posture.  You'll very quickly find it's harder to go up by simply bringing your front leg up and drag your body later...  It's so much easier to push off and gain momentum that way.  When you get it right, you feel like you're "rolling upward".  THAT is the body position you want to carry on while running.  By trying to change your form one piece at a time, you're more likely to get some sore spot because those parts will be working alone, not in sync with other parts of the body.  You can't "sense" these things if you're trying to sprint up the hill as hard as you can (short hill sprint) because then your form goes out the window.  Go up the hill, with slow forward momentum, focusing on good posture...  That is the best way to work on your form; not focusing on individual parts.