My daughter had a basketball game this afternoon. We were running a little bit behind schedule so as soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the YMCA, I told her to hurry in without waiting for the other two kids and me. So off she ran.
With beautiful, picture-perfect form. In basketball shoes, no less. I was more than a little bit envious.
She was running naturally, without thinking about it, and her feet fell the right way, her arms swung well, her stride looked nice - all of it. At 9, she can do what I at 33 only wish I could do.
And with that as my gripe of the day, here's some of the myriad problems I saw in the videos posted previously:
- I hunch my shoulders
- I heel strike in a major way
- I swing my arms laterally
- I don't bend my knees
- I sit back in my stride
- I have this funky side to side hip action like I'm a boxer trying to duck and weave
On the bright side, I'm not as bad of an overstrider as I used to be, so at least that part of my supposedly "improved" stride is better.
Now that I've seen the video, I have a better idea of what I'm trying to do. Most of the problems above are a result of my posture as much as anything. I've actually implemented a brand-new stride over the last two runs. I stand up taller, straighter, with a slight forward lean. I land on the middle of my foot, concentrating on picking up the trail foot and bringing it through. I do run with my hands more in the style of Ryan Hall (as opposed to Meb - look at them side by side and you'll see the difference) and I don't move my arms at all; I let the movement of my legs make my arms move.
The new stride is much faster - running at a 6:30 pace feels smooth, which was never the case before - but it's going to take some work. I still need to engage my core/elevate my hips a bit more, and I have to get my hip abductors/adductors stronger. I've started doing some ab workouts and weightlifting to help. And my calves are on fire with muscle soreness today. It's almost like starting from scratch, so I have to be careful. My wife is planning on taping it soon so I can take a real video look at how I look and if I have other things I need to tweak, but based on my shadows on the ground when the sun was at my back today, I'm much smoother and better. And it feels silent.