I pitched a mini-fit the other day about the misuse of ‘gait analysis’ and in all fairness, one of the things I should do is follow up with the advice I give to people who come to me for a shoe fitting.
If you’ve been in recently or if you are part of the #Zero25k group I will also have addressed the basics of running form and proprioceptive training for runners, but no harm reiterating.
As a runner it is important that you develop as a runner too. When running don’t just switch off and let the shoes, muscles and limbs do all the work. You have to engage your brain too.
What do I mean?
Well, when the watch or app buzzes, beeps or speaks at the end / start of each kilometer (or mile) do a 10 second top to toe check.
- How’s my head? Neck aligned or lolling around the place?
- Shoulders, relaxed or tensed?
- Arms? Crossing, or swinging pendulum like?
- Hips & pelvis? level, twisted, tilted?
- Legs? Running balance, stride same length, tension anywhere? Running relaxed from the hips?
- Feet? Where am I landing, where is the bulk of the landing force happening? Back, front, mid foot? Am I toeing in or out.
Boom! 10 sec check done, adjustments made and jog on. Don’t sweat the small stuff but stay relaxed.
Secondly when you are not running you need to be prepared for when you are.
One of the key things people do when they invest in the new running shoes is switch off their brain when running and place all the trust in the shoe.
To a point this is fine but as a runner you have to work on the feedback loops to stay aware of your body and keep your ‘brain switched on’.
Very simple things to do whether you are neutral or overpronating (but especially for those over pronating) is to practise your balance by doing a very simple drill.
When brushing your teeth (minimum 2 mins, morning and night) standing in your bare feet, try and balance on one leg. If you can’t balance, lightly touch the sink until you can. One minute brushing the top teeth, standing on right leg, one minute on bottom teeth standing on left. Check your alignment, if you are falling over it means your knee is dropping inside and your foot collapsing.
Practise this drill until you can do this without reaching for support for a whole week.
Once you achieve this you can progress onto the next stage. Which I will tell you about another time. One step at a time.
I’d love to have your feedback and hear what you do to improve your running.