One month until the Cooper River Bridge Run. Have you been gradually increasing your mileage? Are overuse aches and pains settling into your feet, knees or hips? If so it is possible that your running posture and biomechanics are setting you up for failure and breakdown. Focusing on form and technique can help you stay injury free.
In 2004, Danny Dreyer wrote Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running. He outlines a running form and posture to prevent injury and provide energy efficiency. Based on the physics of body mechanics and some of the teachings of Tai Chi he recommends the following:
1) Run Tall- Stand straight without slumping your shoulders or bending at the waist.
2) Lean Forward- A slight forward lean from the ankles while keeping your spine straight.
3) Land on the Mid-Foot- Land with a mid-foot strike when you run while allowing your feet to land underneath or slightly behind you.
4) Run from Your Core- Keep your pelvis level by engaging your lower abdominal muscles throughout the run.
5) RELAX- Keep all your muscles as relaxed as possible and let your forward lean propel you.
It is possible to change your running technique, but it takes time to break inefficient habits. I have personally switched to the Chi Running techniques for the past 6 months and I have eliminated many of the nagging injuries I have been dealing with for years. Give it a try. Who knows you may find yourself running farther, faster and with less injuries than ever before. See you on the Bridge!