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Bad form when running? (Read 2105 times)

    Hi

     

    People keep telling me my running looks weird (i.e. I tend to throw my feet towards the outside - left foot towards the left and right foot towards the right). The popular description seems to be "running like a girl". No, I am not a girl :-)

     

    My old shoes with 1000K on them are worn in a diagonal pattern (right shoe is worn on the left side towards the toes and on the right side towards the heel).

     

    Should I try to do something about my bad form or keep running by instinct?

     

    Thanks.


    day after day sameness

      In general, there seem to be two camps when it comes to running form....one being that if it works and gets you to the miles you want without being injured, then why worry or change.  The other being that improving form for more efficiency is like improving any part of your running -- it helps to do it better.

       

      It can be fairly easy to get someone to coach you on your stride, many running-focused PT will offer video sessions on a treadmill and gait analysis, and I'd guess that many running coaches will help with this as well.

      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


      Feeling the growl again

        I know a guy with really funny-looking form who was a 13:59 5Ker and ran sub-30 10Ks into his 40s.

        I know a guy who wore through the sole of the inside forefoot of his right shoe in 200 miles like you took a knife to it.  He was a 1:52 800m runner.

        I know OF a guy who carries his left arm really funny from growing up running with his school books.  He holds the marathon WR.

        I know of quite a few people who screwed with their form and got injured.

         

        But.....

        I know a few people who screwed with their form and said it made running FEEL more smooth.

        I know at one point I started running with a shorter, faster stride....I don't think the conscious change worked very well but I think running under the cumulative fatigue of 100+ mile weeks forced my body to adapt the higher efficiency form naturally.

         

        But.....

        I don't know a single person who forcibly changed their form, and really nothing else, and could link that to a significant improvement in their times.

         

        So, basically, who knows???

         

        What I do know is that the body adapts and strengthens in response to running a certain way.  When you change things up you will work the body differently, in ways it is not used to.  It is like transitioning to barefoot.  There will likely be an adjustment period while you are hitting muscles differently and you may go through some injuries and niggles as you get to where you want to go.

         

        So the question -- do you really have a problem with your running and what you are doing now?  Or do you just want to change for the sake of changing or because someone says you should?  If nothing is wrong -- you don't have recurring injuries or anything -- why mess with it?  If yoru form may be contributing to injuries or to limits on your volume you don't like, perhaps it is worth the attention.

        "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

         

        xor


          Bad form when running is launching a snot rocket without checking the target area or guesstimating the trajectory first.

           


          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

            ...

             

            I know OF a guy who carries his left arm really funny from growing up running with his school books.  He holds the marathon WR.

             

            According to wikipedia, he still is #2 on the all-time 10K list and #2 on the the all-time 5K list. That's amazing.

            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

               So the question -- do you really have a problem with your running and what you are doing now? Or do you just want to change for the sake of changing or because someone says you should?  If nothing is wrong -- you don't have recurring injuries or anything -- why mess with it?  If yoru form may be contributing to injuries or to limits on your volume you don't like, perhaps it is worth the attention.

               

              No, I don't really have a problem.

              I feel good when running, with the exception of the day following my long run which seems to consistently feel bad for the first couple of Ks.

               

              I haven't ran this much until this year (I used to run 5K/3 times a week or so) so I was looking for some advice - I don't want to hurt myself.

               

              I did notice that if I jump(bounce? - English is not my native language) on one leg and land mid foot my knee goes inwards whereas If I land towards the ball of the foot the knee goes forwards.

               

              Anyway, thanks (to all of you, and esp. to @srlopez for helping me improve my dictionary by looking up 'snot rocket') for taking the time to write an answer - I'll go by feel and hope for the best.

              I don't really run for volume or pace - I run to keep fit - I like hiking up mountains and since running regularly I can literally run circles around my fellow hikers (and my wife) :-)

               




              Am I doing this right?

                Bad form when running is launching a snot rocket without checking the target area or guesstimating the trajectory first.

                 

                 

                Don't forget to play the wind also.

                No excuses....

                Shoe


                  Most of what I've read has suggested most form errors are corrected naturally as you run more, and that consciously adjusting your mechanics does not reduce load and while it might change what injury you have, it will not reduce the incidence of injury, and there have been studies suggesting that it reduces your running economy. 

                   

                  If you are having injuries, etc, it make sense to try for sure, but personally I'm a little cautious about messing with what works even if it's not pretty.

                   

                  This of course is not to say you can't work on strengthening regardless (running drills, core strength);  However, it is possible if you just try to overcome what is wrong not with strength or adapting to more miles, but by concentrating on it, you might not realize what all is interconnected and what you could lose.  Don't want to lose perspective of the big picture for one thing that is not causing problems. 

                   

                  I definitely think this if you are not running for performance but for fitness, and haven't had problems.

                   

                  (Full disclosure, I have atrocious running form and have run 25000 miles in the last 12 year without injury so there is some personal bias here.  However, that doesn't mean poor running form isn't limiting my performance; just that I have decided I have a lot of more pressing, less potentially troublesome things limiting my performance before focusing on that.)

                    I thought this was a good piece on running form. Not just because the author mentions Plato, Jehu.

                     

                    I don’t think runners arrive at SGCT/MSPD and high running economy and speed by adopting the various individual elements of good running technique. I think they reduce their ground contact time and deceleration simply by trying really hard to keep running fast despite mounting fatigue in training, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. This repetitive exertion of will stimulates an unconscious evolutionary process whereby the runner’s neuromuscular system gradually figures out how to move his unique body to generate more speed with greater efficiency.


                    The Irreverent Reverand

                      Bad form when running is launching a snot rocket without checking the target area or guesstimating the trajectory first.

                       

                      Unless the guy spit on you earlier. Then, it's fair game. ;-)

                      Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. National Guardsman. Runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

                       

                      Goals for 2014:

                      Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                      PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

                        Hi

                         

                        People keep telling me my running looks weird (i.e. I tend to throw my feet towards the outside - left foot towards the left and right foot towards the right). The popular description seems to be "running like a girl". No, I am not a girl :-)

                         

                        My old shoes with 1000K on them are worn in a diagonal pattern (right shoe is worn on the left side towards the toes and on the right side towards the heel).

                         

                        Should I try to do something about my bad form or keep running by instinct?

                         

                        Thanks.

                         

                        If THAT is your problem, you probably won't have to worry too much about it as many people have already said.  Assume you run more or less mid- to fore-foot landing???  When your forefoot touches the ground, your foot is still in motion and the tendency of your heel to roll inward is quite high; this makes it appear that your foot is pointing outward.

                         

                        One of the best milers in history, Brits Steve Cram, had very distinct forefoot landing form.  It really made it look like his foot is pointing outward in exess:

                         

                        Here's another image but there's even a better image, a few steps before this image, in the book written by Peter Coe/Dave Martin.  Cram is the one in the middle--compare his left foot on the ground with the left foot of the guy on the right (#351):

                         

                        When someone tells you that you have "the incorrect form" or you feel your form is off, think if it's causing a problem.  If it's causing some injury issue or something like that.  It is actually more dangerous to try to "fix" something that might actually be compensating something else somewhere else. 


                        Closed for repairs

                          Holy crap Steve Cram is a scary looking zombie dude.  Or is that normal in Britain?

                           


                          Fast Ninja

                            LEARN CHI RUNNING!!

                             

                            works for me.. its like running with using your legs less Big grin

                              I thought this was a good piece on running form. Not just because the author mentions Plato, Jehu.

                               

                               

                              Sure, Jeff... whatever you have to tell yourself. 

                              "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                              Jack Kerouac

                                LEARN CHI RUNNING!!

                                 

                                works for me.. its like running with using your legs less Big grin

                                 

                                So if you're using your legs less, does it rely on some of those magical hover shoes? Or do you run on your hands?

                                When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

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