Take it Easy + Find Your Form

My easy weekly runs are just that, EASY. In the beginning of my marathon training this was hard for me (yes, I know that sounds funny) but it was hard not to go all out. “If I’m not going all out, how am I going to make progress and hit my PR?”

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Now that I’m in week 10 of training and the miles keep increasing, I’m grateful for these runs. They’ve become my time to check-in on myself and my training. I don’t track my time or my pace. I don’t listen to music. I just let myself cruise paying attention to my breathing, the beautiful sites around me and my form.

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We forget that running is not as simple as putting on some sneakers and hitting the roads. Running is a skill and just like yoga it takes practice to learn and embody good form. According to Jay Dicharry’s book, Anatomy of Runners, 82% of runners will get injured. Yes, that’s right 82%!

What does good form look like? Here are some tips* to keep in mind as you take on your “easy” miles.

1. Watch Your Posture
Just like in yoga, posture is important. Stand tall with shoulders over your hips and then lean slightly forward like you’re about to give someone a kiss. Prevent rounding of the shoulders and the upper back.

2. Engage Your Core
The core is so important for stablizing our trunk and protecting our spine as we take on more miles in our runs. Make sure you’re not puffing your chest out and focus on knitting your ribs in.

3. Feel Your Stride:
Try to avoid “over striding” by placing the foot too far in front of your body. Keep the striking foot as close in front of you as you can. This will allow you to decrease your loading rate which will increase the elastic recoil in your step and give you more “pep in your step”.

4. Elbows Up
Let your arms be bent at 90 degrees and keep them close to your sides.

5. Find Your Cadence
Your average cadence should be 180 foot strides per minute. To calculate your cadence, count your number of steps for 15 seconds and then multiply it by 4. This will allow you to find your right rhythm.

6. Listen and Learn
Finding your “perfect” form takes practice. It’s not something that will take place overnight and just because your form is not “perfect” does not mean that you’re going get hurt. The body has an amazing way of adjusting and catering to imbalances. Be patient with yourself and have fun!

*A big thank you to Mark Cucuzzella for presenting these tips at the Healthy Running seminar

Categories: Yoga for Runners