Any advice on form?? (Read 987 times)


    Hi there! I just started running about a month ago. My girlfriends and I are training for the Rock'n'Roll marathon this June. I was hoping that someone may have some pointers on how to identify and correct problems in form. I seem to run very heavy on my feet (I sound like a Kleidsdale horse galloping)...I try to stay conscious of how I am running, and to roll my foot as to lessen the impact and such, but it doesn't seem to be working. A couple of weeks in, I injured my foot and now my left knee is aching like crazy. Do you have any suggestions, or is there somewhere I can go to get help with this? Happy running!
      Have you tried going to a running shoe store and asking them to watch you? If you live in San Diego, I highly recommend going to Movin Shoes in Encinitas and talking to Gordy. He's been a runner for 30 years and is a very successful high school track coach. I highly recommend you see a chiropractor too. Mine has been a huge part of training. I know many people don't like them but I thought I'd toss that out there for you to think about. If you need the name of someone, the one I see is in PB... Good luck with the RnR! I ran it last year and will be there again this year. Big grin
      Jennifer mm#1231
        A couple of articles that may be helpful... http://www.pccoach.com/newsletters/Dec03/gall_form.htm http://runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267-268-8210-0,00.html If you're trying to change your form, I'd suggest working with a coach or following the expert's advice. Hope your knee feels better.

        CPT Curmudgeon

          A) Don't worry about your form. It will improve on its own. B) If you're absolutely convinced that your form is the problem, and it has nothing to do with being new to running, and trying to get ready for a marathon in 6 months, then go out and get thee to an actual coach. C) Landing heavy on your feet....try to land softer. Don't concentrate on rolling your foot. Concentrate on trying to run quietly. To me the biggest thing here is that you've been running for a month. How much do you run? How often? How fast? I'm willing to bet that you're upping mileage too much. too quickly, and that you're trying to run faster than what you should be. Generally speaking, I wouldn't worry about "correcting" your form unless it causes chronic problems that are severe enough to prevent you from running.

            Thanks so much for all of your advice. I checked out the articles...I definitely don't run springy and quiet, but I am going to stick with it and see what happens. I realize it's my first marathon, and I'll only have been training for 5 mo. once the date rolls around, so at this point I'm just trying to finish (at least this is what I'm telling myself Smile). Be healthy and happy. Thanks again.
            Mile Collector

            Abs of Flabs

              I agree with Scout7. Don't worry about form. You just started running so your muscles are still weak and imbalanced. As you get stronger, you'll get into better form. As for the heavy feet, take shorter strides, which will force you to land softer. Good luck!

                Form should improve as your body adjusts to running. Few words of wisdom though: 1) Go slow and listen to your feet/body 2) Increase your distance slowly 3) Buy your shoes at the running store; they can asses your gait and body mechanics and recommend the right shoes 4) Work on flexibility, stretch some before run and stretch a lot after your run 5) Don’t forget to warm up and cool down with each run 6) If you have time, cross train. 7) Take rest days seriously Have fun, stay injury free and good luck!!!!
                  I have the same problem - heavy heel. I didn't think much of it until I developed a shin splint. After doing a little research I found an article talking about how many distance runners run in a stiff, up right posture. It also said a common mistake of new runners is to lean forward while running. This apparently leads to heavy heel strike and forces your calves to do more work commonly leading to shin splints. Not to mention it's an inefficient use of energy while you run. One simple thing it did suggest is arching your back while you run. This changes how your weight is distributed during your step. I tried this recently and while it felt really awkward, it did result in a more balanced, quiet foot strike where I landed more on the balls-midsole of my feet. I had some muscle fatigue on the fronts of my shins, but I noticed my calves were not as tight and my shins splints were not there. It was easy to revert back to my old bad habits, but I just had to make myself think about it and the run was much better. Hopefully it will become second nature soon.
                    Stephie, Running form: A book I've seen recommended before for running form is called "Programmed to Run". I have not read the book, but I'd thought I'd pass it along. Running a marathon so soon? Have you considered just doing the Half? Then you could save your marathon goal for future motivation. You would also have more training and wouldn't be out there running for such a long time. Even so, you can do it. Go slow with all your training runs at conversational pace. Stay away from speedwork for this first Marathon. Also, I would consider walk breaks too as part of your race strategy. Finish your marathon AND stay injury free! Good Luck, Steve

                    2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

                      Run softly and silently.
                        Way back in HS, my cross country coach told me I ran with my arms way too high, sort of like I was a boxer (not that extreme). Ever since then, I run with my hands quite low and relaxed, and my shoulders do not move very much. This upper body position keeps me from bouncing up and down too much. I sort of shuffle along, but there isn't much pounding going on, and I seem to run better. Something to try.