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Bad form (Read 1160 times)


I'm back!

    I have been told many times that I run like Donald Duck. My feet splay out sideways on the backswing. This is pretty typical:

     

    HHFMM finish

     

    Simple question, are there form drills or exercises I can do to minimize this? It seems like there is some potential efficiency to be gained.


    Queen of 3rd Place

      You're in good company

       

      Ex runner

        You do have a distinctive run gait. It must be evolved from looking at the Garmin so much.


        Needs more cowbell!

          At least you look like you're hauling ass!  I always look like I'm out for a casual stroll in my race photos. Undecided

          I shoot pretty things! ~

          '14 Goals:

          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          zonykel


            If you're not getting injured, I'd say don't worry about it...

             

            I think strides are supposed to help you improve your form. The idea is that you run fast (I think 1-mile or 3K pace), but it's not an all out sprint. It's supposed to help with running economy. So you don't necessarily run strides to get fitter or faster.

             

            McMillan (from McMillan Running) sent an email recently to those on his mailing list regarding form. His basic idea is to "run tall". Not sure it'll address your specific concerns, but it might be worth reading. He posted it on his website as well:

            http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/index.php/articlePages/article/13

             

            There are other drills that track runners use, but I can't say whether they address form or not.


            I'm back!

              Thanks zonykel. I do do strides,and various form drills. I was just wondering whether anyone could recommend a specific drill or exercise for this particular problem. I don't think it's causing injuries; I just want to be more efficient.

               

              Thanks for the "run tall" link. I'll try that. That's also something recommended by Matt Fitzgerald in his "Brain Training" book, as I recall; he has several "proprioceptive cues" to focus on. I think the closest here is to imagine you are suspended by your head.

                On running tall, our coach used to have us picture ourselves as Christmas ornaments.  We preferred wind chimes.

                 

                Where do your feet point when you're just standing around or walking?  I have a friend who's incredibly fan-footed, and not just when he runs.  I'd be worried about a potential downside to trying to turn feet straight that structurally favor being more splayed. The foot bone's connected to the shin bone, the shin bone's connected to the knee bone, ...

                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                Feeling the growl again

                  In general, running a few weeks at a mileage level that you are not yet fully comfortable with -- forcing yourself into a place where you are running a bit tired -- will coax your body to make itself more efficient in form.

                   

                  Accelerations where you spend ~75m running faster than mile race pace also can help smoothen our form.

                   

                  Plyometrics I've found good for snap and explosiveness but less useful for form.

                   

                  However, if you have no problems from your current form, is your energy best spent screwing with your form or going after other areas where you could get larger benefits?  There is also the possibility that you run with that form to compensate for something, and screwing with that could actually CAUSE problems.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   

                    <Thread hijack>,  I probably would be worried about my form too and heel striking just looking at a static picture, but I was complimented on my form during the race(I guess he had not much else to say about my sorry running at that point).  But I know my shoes wear pretty evenly so guessing I am midfoot striker and do not need to worry about it after all. 

                     

                    monkey1

                     

                    monkey2

                     

                    If I tried to correct that my calves would hate me more than they do now.

                     

                    </Thread hijack>

                      Thanks zonykel. I do do strides,and various form drills. I was just wondering whether anyone could recommend a specific drill or exercise for this particular problem. I don't think it's causing injuries; I just want to be more efficient.

                       

                      Thanks for the "run tall" link. I'll try that. That's also something recommended by Matt Fitzgerald in his "Brain Training" book, as I recall; he has several "proprioceptive cues" to focus on. I think the closest here is to imagine you are suspended by your head.

                      Just quickly (then I gotta run...literally); yes, strides would be a good idea, however, the thing you're talking about, unless you are being careful and be very specific, it may even backfire or, chances are, actually, it probably may not do much.

                       

                      If you run like that--with your foot pointing outwardly--, unless you go deep and find out WHY your feet are doing that, chances are, you'll be doing that while doing strides and that'll get even more deeply ingrained onto your form.  Remember, it's NOT "practice makes perfect"; it's "PERFECT practice makes perfect."  You can be doing something wrongly over and over and it'll never gonna get any better.

                       

                      Chances are, unless you KNOW that you're doing that with your feet ALL THE TIME, that picture seems to be at the finish and a lot of people, even some elite runners (Joanie is different because she does look like hell nowadays anyway!!), at the finish where they "let it loose", they tend to do that.  So basically, ONE picture taken at the finish probably won't say much anyway.

                       

                      Correcting your running form is not just merely running faster or "thinking about it" (brain training).  It's mechanics and muscle balance.  Also, not that slight twist here and there will make you that much faster or slower.  I have a picture of Soh brothers, one is 2:09:05 and the other is 2:08:55 marathon twins.  One leans on to his left; the other leans on to his right...  Older brother, Shigeru Soh, is actually worse; his feet sprays out, shoulder sticking up...  He ran 2:09:05 in 1978 and, with some ??? on Derek Clayton's then world best time of 2:08:33, some claim THAT, at the time, was the world best time.  Up until recent marathon craziness, he was the only one in history who ran sub-15 for all the 5k splits up till 25k.  Oh, and he did so without ANY rabbit.  He was all by himself by 5 or 7k and was running into the wind.

                       

                      Joannie is balanced in her own way.  She wasn't the most smooth runner to begin with and, with some muscle imbalance issues, it has gotten worse.  But she IS actually balanced in her own way.  If you try to "correct" it, she probably wouldn't be able to run as well.  It's the same thing with Bill Rodgers' right hand flapping.  I'm not saying, in your case, it's better to leave it or you should fix it.  I'm simply saying don't jump it unless you understand what's causing it.  And even then, correcting your form needs to be a very careful process.  The best one actually is to strengthen it naturally.  You tend to sit in a bucket what you run--go run some hills.  You don't lift your knees high enough--well, go run some hills.  You don't use your ankle much at all--well, go run some hills!!! ;o)  You get the idea. 

                        Practice makes better. Never perfect. Jus' saying.

                        Ricky

                        —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka

                          Generally - as others have said - if it ain't broke don't fix it. If you're having injury problems then maybe look at form. But otherwise trying to deviate from what comes naturally may be a good way to become injured.

                           

                          One suggestion from one of Matt Fitzgerald's books (IIRC) is to try and run more quietly - that is don't think about the form itself, just think about the noise your feet make as they hit the ground and try to reduce that.


                            There is also the possibility that you run with that form to compensate for something, and screwing with that could actually CAUSE problems.

                             

                             +1

                             

                            I can't remember his name but there was a top athlete who used to run with one arm out real wide (not Haille). After he retired it emerged that he had one leg shorter than the other.