Friday, September 21, 2012

On my (apparently) poor running form/stride

 I ran a 3k fundraiser „race“ yesterday organized by my employer (700 people employees just from our Hannover location ran, amazing). I ran hard intervals on Wednesday and doing another hard intervals today so that would mean 3 days of running in a row which is not smart but it was only 3k and for a good cause so I did it. And it was not really a race so I could have just plug along (which of course I did not do, I was the first women, but some did 6k and some 9k so). Anyway, organization was superb and they had some kind of physical mechanics/education/something PhD guy (I saw his business card) with treadmill there. So I asked him to look at my running stride.
So I jogged for a minute or two while he was videotaping me.
Then he asked me whether I used to run track. Yes. And proceeded to tell me that I run like a sprinter.  I kick my heels way too high towards my butt and I run on my toes. And I “jump” upward way to much with each step and instead should use that energy to move forward.
In addition, I kick my right heel way higher than my left one. I saw it on a video. Weird, since that’s the leg that’s is giving me problems so he said he would expect that knee to move in shorter range.
I do not overpronate or oversupinate, so that’s no problem.
However, he said that if I want to be a distance runner that I should run like one.
Swimmers learn how to do 4 different styles almost perfectly. And runners should do that too, he said and there are only 2,5 running styles (sprint, mid-d and distance) so runners have it easier. Therefore I should learn distance runners styles, because maybe my heel kicking, raw power, bouncing, front foot striking is a reason why I have these problems.
He said that I should do my runs in “grandma style”, just slug along very slowly, shuffling my legs, landing mid-foot (I have been working on this for the past 7 months but apparently it is not perfect yet!), learn how to run more efficiently, effortlessly, without kicking and bouncing.
Interestingly, or rather not interestingly, it just proves that I am indeed running this way, CH said exactly the same thing to me in January: I use raw power to run, not efficient, waste a lot of energy and land and stay on my toes. He said he did not think I “jump” too high though.
So, I am going to continue working on my running form. I do not know whether it is a reason for my ITB problem, but if my distance running is inefficient overall it does not matter whether it is causing the injury or not, I should still work on it. Too bad I do not have someone to watch me from time to time and give me some feedback.

On a different note, my trans-Atlantic move is pretty much all planned: bike is packed, clothes are packed, apartment secured, rental car reserved, leaving Germany tomorrow morning to visit my fam for four days and then to the US next Wednesday.
I LOVED Hannover (except for pool situation) and Germany is now on a list of countries to consider when settling down if I cannot stay in the US (along with region Alpes Maritimes and Pays basque in France). And even if I do not end up living here in the future, I will be back. For that Erdinger beer glass!!! Plus I am thinking Wiesbaden 70.3 in three or so years.


  1. Ya if you're gonna do distance triathlons (70.3 and Ironman) then you def need to learn how to run efficiently. That doesn't necessarily mean slow, but efficiency is KEY!

  2. I know.
    I am going to do only one though (next year) and then go back to short distances. However, it is important for those as well because even 10k is a looooooooong way to run.

  3. you're killing me with suspense... what was your 3 km time?

  4. It was not a real race, although they even had a clock. But I have not checked it because I realized it only later. And we ran through buildings. It probably was not even a 3k. So not that important:)