Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Running Posture

I am getting mixed messages about running posture.

Last summer I read the book The Complete Book of Running for Women by C. Kowalchick. The author stated, "Good posture is the most important element of good running form. Imagine a big helium balloon attached to your head by a string and pulling your body straight up."

Right now, I am finishing the book Chi Running by D. Dreyer. The author explained that a runner should, "maintain straight posture while leaning" and "By tilting your body forward from your feet you place your center of gravity ahead of your foot strike. This changes your foot strike to the midfoot and allows your legs to extend as your feet leave the ground, radically reducing the amount of impact on your knees and quads. Leaning allows gravity to pull you forward, instead of your legs having to push you."

For the past year I have been trying to run "straight up" but I think Dreyer made a good point about "leaning".

How is your running posture?


Richard said...

Heh. Leaning is a good thing. Good posture/form, well, once it clicks, it just makes sense. My coach is all about form, and its hard sometimes doing things the right way when you know that the wrong way would be easier/faster ... for now. Proper form is faster in the long run though (no pun intended) and I believe it greatly reduces injury.

I don't go as far as pose, but a combination of a tight core, good lean, even foot strike (the important part here is not doing a heel strike, which jars your whole body every time), even breathing, and linear arm/leg swings... I'm still searching for it, but I do love the way it feels when I make progress.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Big fan of ChiRunning, April Anne. If you get a chance, you should attend one of Dreyer's clinics. It really helped me to feel the form better.

ChiRunning is so much more efficient for endurance running than the bad form that I had been doing. Its gentler on my body too. Running with big rubber cushions on my feet taught me a way to run that felt ok for my feet, but ultimately damaged my legs over long distances.

It takes some time to "unlearn" the bad form of running (heal strike), and to reteach yourself how to run so that you don't injure yourself.

You are on the right path, April Anne.

Susan said...

I read ChiRunning and it helped me focus, too. I'm not sure I have the lean yet, but I'm still working on it. At least I'm not a heel striker anymore--and the proper breathing really helps me.

Sarah said... have me thinking that I need to pick up ChiRunning. When I run, I concentrate on taking short, quick strides and trying to hit the middle of my foot. I don't know if that's correct form.

Richard said...

Sarah - you could sure do a whole lot worse :)