Let’s Talk About Form, Part Two
Hola Factorians! Enjoying the rain? Ya know, there have been times in my eleven years of running that I have been forced to do something I absolutely hate: DREADmill running! It’s just not that fun for me. And as I look at of my corner window at work and see how much rain is going on out there, I am reminded of the times I have had to suffer through the treadmill in my parents basement, or at my apartment complex. It also reminds me of a buddy of mine, we will call him Big Larry. Big Larry was a fantastic runner- physically a very strong guy, but had as much, if not more heart than almost anyone I have come across. Larry had a fire in his heart when it came to running (unfortunately that fire in his heart also became somewhat physical and a congenital heart problem has kept him from being medically allowed to train any more…) that could not be kept down.
As a result of his heart troubles as a junior in college, Big Larry had to spend a lot of time one year running on the treadmill should he need to stop and get attention. Larry never had perfect form, but he always tried. One of the problems Big Lar had with his stride is something a lot of people struggle with- arm movement. The best way I can describe how the Big Guy moved his arms, is “the salt and pepper shaker” movement- hands moving straight up and down. For someone who had such fast legs, his arms were only keeping him back. To get an idea of what arm movement should look more like, let’s take a look at another form photo from my college training partner Andy, and one of my best friends:
The picture above represents what forward motion looks like. The hands should always be put in a “wrist-up” formation, so that your thumbs are facing up. As you rotate your arms, you should move them in a “cheek-to-cheek” motion as our old friend Rich Airey likes to say. Arms should be bent at approximately 90 degrees, and move from your hip (or your booty cheek) to your face cheek. If you can imagine your hands as arrows, the arrows should always be pointed in the direction of your movement. By driving your hands and arms forward you carry the momentum in your body in the direction of your movement (that means you run faster, easier J).
Going back to the sage of Big Larry and the DREADmill, how did he move past his problemo? He took the treadmill in front of the mirrors at the gym and saw what he was doing wrong. When he realized what he was doing incorrectly, he concentrated on a drill Coach Joe taught us called fast arms. In order to understand what this entails, check out the vid!
There you have it, Factorians! There is just a little more about proper running technique! There is plenty more to come, with more great drills and fun stuff to come! Dr. Love saying keep it forward, keep it fast!