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How to Improve Running Technique: Lower Body

Let’s look at yoru form from the ground up!

You’ve probably heard a thousand different things when it comes to running techniques such as “make your stride longer!”; “heel-toe, heel-toe!” or “run barefoot !”

So here’s my two cents…

As a runner myself, I’m an advocate for running on the balls of your feet as described in the POSE METHOD® – by Dr.Nicholas Romanov. Several pointers about his technique for the lower body are as follows:

  • Bend legs with your body directly above to minimize impact, thus decreasing the force placed on your knees, ankles and feet.
  • Increase stride frequency (or turnover) to go faster, not your stride length. (See previous blog post – https://ironphysicaltherapy.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/can-they-hear-you-coming/). In his book, he gives a great analogy of a person on a unicycle. This person’s movement is based on leaning forward (to initiate the falling effect of gravity), and pedaling the cycle underneath their base of support. To go faster, they must simply increase the turnover.

WARNING – If you’re currently more of a heel striker and are interested in trying this running method, my advice would be to start SLOW. There is a significant muscular shift that increases the demand from your Gastroc-soleus complex (calves) so you’ll likely have some new soreness. Listen to any Achille’s tendon or calf soreness and back off. In fact, I would slowly transition over a 6-8 week period to minimize the risk of injury by allowing for tissue adaptation to these new neuromuscular demands.

If you find this is too aggressive for your calves, a mid-foot strike would still be more efficient than a hard heel strike. Bottom line: feel things out and listen to your body.

IRON PT WOD – 8/28/2012  – Light, recovery run – 4 mi

IRON PT WOD – 8/27/2012 – A day of rest after the 16 miler…

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