Running Form – Sometimes Things Are Not the Way You Think

I have been reading or re-reading a bunch of books on running lately:

  • Chi Running – Danny Dreyer
  • Natural Running – Danny Abshire
  • Your Best Stride – Jonathan Beverly
  • Master The Art of Running – Malcolm Balk
  • 80/20 Running – Matt Fitzgerald
  • Run – Matt Fitzgerald

Trying to figure out this running thing a bit more and finding out that I like reading them on the iPad than hardcover or on other electronic formats. I think that I have read more books since I started using the iPad than I have in a long time. Oh well, that is a different post, come Harold – get focused back on this running stuff.

Anyways, the other night I was re-reading Master The Art of Running and came across the below:

Which got me to thinking about how much my form has changed since I started using Chi Running back in mid October. It really feels as if I have made a LOT of progress on changing some of how I run.

At least that is what I believed.

Well, today I asked the trainer at Planet Fitness to video me in slow motion to see how much I had actually changed my running style.

I ran at various speeds (6.5 to 9.3 mph and then slowed back down again), because I believed that your form changes as you change speeds. I didn’t try to force things and just let myself run – I figured that would be the best way to see how much of the Chi Running stuff I have incorporated into my running.

  • Align Posture – not really
  • Slight lean – nope
  • Midfoot landing – nope
  • Landing under hips – nope
  • Lifting foot – nope
  • Arms 90* angle – maybe
  • Running everything going forward – nope
  • Cadence 170-180 — 175 spm

Saying that I was shocked at what I saw when I watched the video for the first time would be an understatement. I have watched it several more times since then and each time I can believe how little my running mechanics have changed.

The strange thing is that I felt really good running during this video, nothing hurt, I felt smooth, in control even at the 9.3 mph speed. I thought I was running with a much more of midfoot landing and was leaning into the run. I guess I had a classic case of Faulty Sensory Awareness and wishful thinking that I had actually improved my running form.

I found this old video from 2013 and except that it is not in slow motion, the form is basically identical – no changes. If anything my form now is worse than it was then. Needless to say I am disappointed, but after reading Your Best Stride (before I did the video), I was not as surprised as I would have been before I read that book.

It seems that I have not made a whole helluva lot of progress on improving my stride in over four years.

Well, I don’t have a lot of answers and the video only raises more questions about my running and how I do it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my stopping running with Bennie was more of the solution than “improving” my running form with the Chi Running program. Which I had a sneaking suspicion might be the case, when I wrote my end of year reflection.

Now to keep moving forward. I have a feeling that Finding Your Best Stride might become the book I refer to more as a reference for improving my running – it seems to be where my body is taking me. Which is okay, after reading and re-reading it again many of the things that the author discusses or recommends makes a great deal of sense to me.

Which means not so much starting over, because Chi Running does a good job of recommending many of the same positive running form features, but more going on slightly different path that better fits who I am and where I am with my running.

It seems that I have a bad case of Faulty Sensory Awareness – oh well that is pretty minor in the overall scheme of things.

Still Treadmillin – RunLog 12-29-17

Not much has changed up heah, it is still damn frosty 0*F was the high temp of the day in the yard. We started the morning out at -19*F and then it warmed up a bit. It is really tough to get up the old gumption to do a whole helluva lot outside when it is those kind of temps.

Even Bennie is thinking that this going outside naked stuff might need to change. I have a feeling that tomorrow, I might even try to put an old doggie coat on him and see if he moves at all. He hates things on his back and refuses to go anywhere when wearing something – he likes being naked.

Which meant another day on the treadmill.

It really isn’t that bad and beats having to bundle up so nothing is exposed, not wear my glasses (they fog up), put on my screw shoes (the road is iced over and will not melt) and then go enjoy the great outdoors. Instead I got on the treadmill in shorts and t-shirt for a nice easy pace and kept it there for 4.0 miles. Although if you look at the Strava pace graph you would think I was all over the place. So nothing special happened on the run.

Just puttin miles in.

What I am finding is that I really, really like the Newton Gravity 3’s. They are comfortable, don’t bother my feet and I can run well in them.

The colorway is really a Harold color and to say that I like it would be an understatement. There is an identical pair in the closet today (they arrived this afternoon) and when these wear out, I will be have another pair just like them ready to go.

I did have Tyler the trainer at Planet Fitness video me in slow motion on my iPhone and it really was not what I was expecting to see after working for a couple of months on improving my running with the Chi Running program. Disappointing to say the least, but I have a separate post planned for that. The video was enlightening to say the least.

Below is a screenshot from that video and just in that one photo my footwork is exposed. The right arm was increasing the speed at that point.

Later in the day I did 5.0 miles on the elliptical, just going easy and enjoying “treadmill TV” and I got to run on a “trail” video. They do help, now if I could place my iPad such on the treadmills at Planet Fitness so that I am not dropping my head down to watch it while I run, that would be cool. However, I see me putting in a lot of miles on the elliptical in 2018, since the old body doesn’t do as well with the higher volume that goes along with training for what I would like to do going forward as an old fart.

Gotta be smart too.

Other than that I will just keep whinin about the damn cold and keep running on the treadmill until it gets back in the 20’s. Although, I am getting antsy to run outside again – maybe I will “dress-up” a bit and do 3-4 miles outside this weekend. I know how to run in this kind of and it is more a bit of mind over matter, if I don’t mind, it won’t matter.