Running Form

Since I started running again last Spring, I began reading more on running form.  When I bought my first pair of Newton’s, I read about the midfoot landing and transitioning.  I gave it a decent effort and I think I thought I was doing it better because the shoes “made me”.  Clearly not the case.

Buffalo Half Marathon - about 1 mile left.
Buffalo Half Marathon – about 1 mile left.

Here are a couple photos prior to physical therapy of my form from two separate races.

I’m running up a hill here so I know my heel strike isn’t as bad as it was in the other parts of the race.  I naturally lean into hills (they were my favorite part of running when I was in high school so I made sure I learned how to do them efficiently) but obviously, this could be way better.

St. Gregory the Great 5k - last race before I took my running hiatus for PT.
St. Gregory the Great 5k – last race before I took my running hiatus for PT.

And here I’m sprinting towards the finish.  I was dead tired, I was trying to beat the clock so bad (didn’t get the goal, but did PR!).  It’s hard to tell but I’m definitely overstriding and my landing isn’t too terrible, but it’s still not midfoot.

In physical therapy, Chris tells me to envision those Kenyans running so effortlessly.  What do they look like?  How do they make it so easy?

Easier said than done.  And yes, Kenyans do make it look easy… but I prefer to think about the form of these ladies instead.

2013-09-22-12-48-58This photo of Jenny Simpson which makes me so incredibly jealous because her form looks so incredibly awesome, which is from Running and the City.  She has some great pictures from the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile, so you should check them out.  I know this photo is small, but if you make it bigger you can see just how much power she’s getting off that back leg.  I need this in my life.

I will channel my inner Kara.
I will channel my inner Kara.

And of course, the lovely Kara Goucher.

I guess I can’t complain too much about my form.  It’s definitely a lot better than it could be and it appears I do get some decent push from my back foot (at least in that photo during the Buffalo Half).  But damn, making sure everything is happening the way it’s supposed to is hard.

I want somebody to follow me around when I run with a camera.  I want to know what I’m doing now; now that I know what I’m supposed to be doing and am working towards it.  I know I’m running on my midfoot, but I want to see what it looks like when I’m in my stride because I don’t trust myself that I’m doing it properly.

I noticed on Saturday’s run that I do tend to lean my upper body back, so that’s my main concentration point right now.  And I also worked on giving more of a push from that back foot.  It just feels like it’s taking more effort.  I haven’t quite mastered proper form at a slow pace… as soon as I start pushing off, leaning forward, and pumping my arms more I’m hitting 7:xx and my body just can’t handle that right now.  Or maybe it can and I’m doubting myself.

So far, the furthest I’ve run with proper form is about 5 miles with a break in between.  Saturday (or Sunday), my goal is to push for 6 miles with proper form the entire time – no break.  I think it’s time to invest in some more compression socks and some calf sleeves.


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

4 thoughts on “Running Form”

    1. I wish (to both). I love NYC and wish I lived there but I’m actually in Buffalo. I think when I see my PT in a couple weeks I’m going to see if he can take a look, this mid foot striking is making me more exhausted and slow than heel striking!!!!


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