31 Aug My Running Technique is Like Bambi On Ice!
A runner genuinely described her running technique as this at a previous Running Assessment she’d booked.
“I run like Bambi on ice, I don’t have any control of my limbs!”
This was before the camera had even made an appearance – not the best start I thought.
But to be honest – I take information like this with a pinch of salt.
You see, unless you’ve been videoed already, theres no way of knowing what your running technique looks like.
Pictures are good, but that one split second frame doesn’t paint the full story.
So this is why I thought I’d put a few key visual descriptions in this message to help you gain an understanding of what you should be FEELING rather than just doing.
So here are some key tips based on FEELING the run… This kind of thing is taken right from our Level One Course (starting in a couple of weeks) all about running technique, strength and fitness.
RUN TALL – I’m sure we’ve all heard this one before.
Well, as we tire the ole slouch kicks in.
As a result our backs flex and a lot of pressure is placed on our lower back, not to mention compressing our lungs too.
Not only does it not “look good” – visions of hunchbacks and runners staring at the feet come to mind… Not the best technique prompts!
Also slouching forwards tends to push your hips back as a counter balance.
Which, in turn, skews your centre of gravity and makes us land heavier on our feet too.
So, try this “feeling”…
Squeeze your shoulder blades back and together and tense your stomach around a 2 out of 5 – push your hips forward and try to “lead” with them.
This will encourage a tall posture, and ensure your lungs are free to expand and get some good quality H2O into them!
LONGER STRIDE – I’ve lost count of the number of times I say this one. But I never get bored of it!
A short stride is something the vast majority of us struggle with, and its generally a result of poor posture and/or the fact that many of us spend a little too long sat at desks or in cars.
Not a lot can be done about this, but we can place a focus on stretching those tight hip flexors as well as focusing on engaging our butt muscles when we run.
So try this one for size…
Pre run, stand on one leg and swing your other leg forwards and backwards. Whilst doing this, poke a thumb into the side of your bum muscle and SQUEEZE your glute (bum or whatever you want to call it… I’m running out of different terms!)
Its this feeling of squeezing as you swing your leg backwards that we want to encourage during your run.
It’ll encourage a longer stride (better running technique) and gain you a bit of extra propulsion/distance on each step.
INCREASE YOUR CADENCE – One of the most important aspects of Running Technique.
The feeling here is very habitual for many runners and quite a tough point to change.
Our current cadence (especially in the more experienced runners) is quite ingrained in our running.
You can look at some runners and wonder how they move their feet so quickly.
But it all boils down to how quickly you can get your feet OFF the ground. Kinda like if you ran across hot coal (not that I have ever tried it!)
So a very quick drill you can do at home before heading out is simply hopping (as long as you can do it without pain).
We want to get the feeling of a quick “tap tap tap” of our feet on the floor and carry this across to your running technique outside.
Will it be an overnight success?
But honestly, this is one of those things that if you keep practising, it’ll improve dramatically over time.
I’ve worked with runners who previously ran at very low cadences (around 140-50) and gradually built them up to the 160’s. And hopping is one of the most simple ways to assist this adjustment.
So before your next run, try 20-30 hops on the spot before going out for your run. Keep them short and sharp and see how well you can carry this into your run.
THE HERE AND NOW – Slightly less of a feeling more of a habit, but this one can affect HOW you feel during the run.
So many runners out there have their watches set to beep on each kilometre or mile that has passed.
Focusing on something that has already happened isn’t going to (or shouldn’t) affect what the rest of your run is going to be like?
So instead of focusing on the past and thinking either:
“That one was too quick I’m going to hit the wall” or “That one was too slow… I’m a failure”
Why not focus on the present as that is what you CAN affect – i.e. your current pace.
This’ll affect your current mindset and rather than knocking yourself for going out too quickly or struggling to hold a certain pace, you’ll only focus on the present situation and then you can make a good assessment on what needs to happen right now.
More tips just like these pop up all the time during the RunCamp Courses.
Thats what you get from coming along to a course designed by runners who have been there and done that.
Who have tried and tested out everything we teach – so we know it works.
Courses start week commencing 12th September in Southampton – with only places available on Wednesday Evening and Thursday Morning.
Plus we have a new Whiteley date coming (with a trial session on the 20th September). Secure your place HERE for just £5 – a bargain for all the tips you can pick up (and importantly implement) in this session.
P.S. We are going to be doing a weekly video through September in the RunCamp Run365 group with questions asked by the guys within it.
We have 201 members as of this morning, and with all the free information we are giving away I’d love for you to get involved in it too.
And if you have a question you’d like answered, then ask it on this thread in the Facebook group.
P.P.S. Also – Friday’s email will have some cracking info all about Intervals in it – plus a special gift… Cos I’m nice like that!
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!