Are You Running Correctly? Am I?

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Recently a lovely reader named Karen passed along a video to me about running. This video shows a woman running with proper form in the left screen as well as with improper form on the right screen. The only difference? She was barefoot in the left and wearing sneakers in the right.

Apparently, what this video shows is that when she is wearing sneakers her body + brain compensates for this fact by pointing the toe upward when it is preparing for landing. Pointing the toe upward places unwanted strain on the IT band, quads, hamstrings, etc. However, when she runs barefoot her form is correct and her toes are not pointed upwards.

You can view the video here:

 

I must say I have never really given my form much thought. I mean sure, it has crossed my mind, “I wonder if I run funny.” but aside from that I just carry on on my merry old way. I got some orthotics made for me last fall because I have flat feet. I figured that aside from getting orthotics, there probably wasn’t much I could do.

Oh was I wrong.

Enter Karen’s email. She not only showed me this great video above, but she told me to look into the POSE method.

Oh…the POSE method. You mean the one on America’s Next Top Model. I got that one down. Smile Wit Yur Eyes.

Not that one? There is a different POSE method?

So I Goggled it of course.

[Again I ask, what did I do before Google? I think I leafed through an old, dust covered dictionary. Now THAT is scary!]

And I found a whole website dedicated to the POSE method for virtually every sport you can think of! If you can play it, they can tell you the proper form for it.

Their slogan goes something like this:

Pose Method® [pohz] [meth-uhd] – Efficient, injury-free movement taught through poses. Use the Pose Method® techniques to prevent injuries and to dramatically improve your athletic performance.”

Prevent injuries? I think we are onto something here.

I clicked on POSE for Running.

pose-stance-full

POSE Technique Running Characteristics:
1. S-like body position with slightly bent knees
2. Forward lean from the ankles to employ gravity and work with it not against it
3. Pulling or lifting feet up under the hip not behind the buttocks
4. Ball of foot landing under your body (your GCM – general center of mass)

Now I am not sure, but I think I just may be a toe pointer-upper! Could this be part to blame for my injury?

Their website also boasts that POSE Method of Running reduces impact on the knees by 50%! Yowza. Now we are talking.

After a hefty search, I think I found the starting point for reading up on the POSE Method for running. Click here for the link.

And if you really want to see the most amazing running form, watch this guy’s video.

[Am I the only one who finds the POSE website to be a complete MAZE? I’m lost! MY eyes keep averting across every which way on the page. All I want is a link that says “RUNNERS: DO THIS”.]

Tonight’s Question: Have you given your running form much thought before? What about for other activities like swimming, cycling, and skating?

Have you ever heard of the POSE technique or practiced it before? Do you know how I can get started?

And yes, I do realize the irony that I am posting about running after our discussions about it the past 2 days. I work in weird and wonderful ways, don’t I?

Angela_Signature

I’m off to pester Eric to video me while running. Hopefully I will have something funny for you to watch tomorrow. I also am going to post the recap of my workout today on my RUN page shortly.

READER quote of the day:

One day my husband saw me take a green monster out of the fridge and drink it- he said "OMG you drink that stuff? I thought it was for cleaning!!" So needless to say -I have no tips on getting your hubby to drink one.”

~sminnick

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny April 28, 2009

I try to focus on my posture while running, because I know that when I’m doing it right it FEELS right. These are great tips Angela!

And OMG, I don’t know what I did before I could just type in anything and everything and immediately get an overflow of information!! Thanks Google ;)

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2 Kara April 28, 2009

I seriously just posted about how I don’t know why my knees have been hurting. This might be the place to look.

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3 Stephanie April 28, 2009

I have often wondered what I look like when I run…sometimes I think I probably look like a dork with a horrible running form!! Sadly, I’ve realized that I just won’t be able to run, no matter how badly I want to. My weak ankles (had Severe’s disease as a child, and am now battling tendinitis) just won’t be able to take it! I’m trying to be able to be ok with this…but it’s hard! Thank you for all your inspirational posts!!

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4 Run Sarah April 28, 2009

I am trying to work on my running form more — I get my fiance to give me tips as he’s had professional training. When I swam it was all about form, form, form and very structured, I find I like how running is somewhat more intuitive.

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5 Christina April 28, 2009

I read an article about the correct way to land your feet while running but never remember to think of checking how I do it when I’m on a run!

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6 Michelle Hisae April 28, 2009

Hmm, I’ve never heard of this. Something to look into…

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7 Alisa - Frugal Foodie April 29, 2009

This post is so interesting, and well timed for me, as I was just thinking about this today.

We just started a new workout program inside our home (rather than at the gym) and didn’t want to mess up the white carpet with our shoes, so we did the (very cardio) workout barefoot today. I have had knee surgery, and still have bad knees, so I was sure between the jogging, squats, and lunges that I was in for it … but for the first time in years, I was actually able to do squats (usually my knee hurts too bad)! I am really wondering about this now. Thanks for the great post!

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8 Bec April 29, 2009

what a great post!

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9 Danielle April 29, 2009

Oh thanks for the information!
I have always been curious about my running form. Recently began looking into a running clinic where they watch you and help you. I need to start trying to prevent more injuries.
I will definitely be looking into the research.
My boy tells me I run a little funny, almost a limped run as I favour my one side (right leg always hurts)…I should probably try to fix this

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10 Susan April 29, 2009

Funny you should post this, because I was JUST reading up on how form can cause shin splints last night. I’ve got a book called “The Runner’s Repair Manual” and the author says shin splints are often caused by working the calf muscles too hard. He says a lot of people have wobbly feet when they run, which makes the calf muscles work harder to stabilize the feet. The book also says that some people (maybe including me!) tend to “grip” with their toes when they run which also strains the calf. It’s all verrrry interesting stuff!!

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11 Shelby April 29, 2009

Whoa, this might be my problem! I’ve been running more lately with gym shoes and my ankles, knees, and shins are aching! Thanks for the tip!!!

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12 Lindsay April 29, 2009

haha I love that reader quote. it also doesn’t help when you use too many berries and the green and purple mix gives you a sludgy looking green monster!

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13 shawna April 29, 2009

Thanks for all the wonderful info, Angela. I’m definitely going to do some research. I’m currently being coached by someone who just finished the Boston Marathon, and she recommended that I don’t bend my knees and kick my butt so much as it uses excess energy. But rather, keep your feet lower to the ground to conserve energy. Hmm, I’m going to see which feels better on my next run. She recommended the book Chi Running.

Lots of the best marathon runners from other parts of the world train barefoot due to lack of shoe availability when growing up, so it’s not too surprising that you can run like a superstar without shoes; however, I do think being fitted properly for your running shoes is a HUGE step. My first workout with my shoes last year completely eliminated my shin splints. Amazing how little things such as the proper support for my feet made such a difference.

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14 jessica April 29, 2009

I use the elliptical instead of running because I get shin splints, but lately my knees have been killing me. After going to the gym I end up feeling my knees cracking with every step, ugh. I’ve tried this positioning advice but maybe it’s not right for the elliptical? It doesn’t seem to work though :(

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15 ttfn300 April 29, 2009

i have thought about form, but i’ve never gotten advice about it from a coach… i’ve been thinking about it though!

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16 Ashley June 12, 2010

I’m seen those heel striking videos before…definitely pretty crazy! I was a hard heel striker with knee + back pain and shin splints before trying out the Vibrams. I never had any serious injuries from running but always issues here + there…as soon as I put the Vib’s on all of those aches + pains vanished…until I ran too far too soon..lol. But that was my own dumb fault ;)

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