Friday, May 13, 2011

Playing with form

There's a great article in this month's Runner's World about Running Form.  What is the perfect form?  Is there a perfect?  Who would best represent that?

The article basically says that Ryan Hall has what the experts are saying is ideal running form - mid-foot strike, loose arms, etc.  They offered a few real-life examples of how you can improve your stride.  I was reading this article last weekend, and was intrigued by something they said about your arm/elbow angle.  There's a girl who runs in my neighborhood who runs with her arms almost fully open, hands by her hips.  I always thought it was interesting - it must be comfortable for her?  After reading the article, I decided to open up my elbow angle a bit and see what happens.

Well, long story short, it was magical.  I consciously worked on opening the elbow angle during Sunday's long run.  I immediately felt more fluid & powerful, and even near the end of the run, dropping my hands again gave me a surge of power.  It made running feel easier.

SO!  That was a fun little experiment.  It never dawned on me to drop my arms.  I did notice that as I got more tired my hands would start creeping up towards my face and going more side-to-side-ahoy-i'm-a-pirate.

I played around a bit with my stride on my treadmill run Wednesday night.  Nothing for sure there yet, but I did notice that my stride feels much shorter when I'm on the treadmill.  I think it's my subconscious coming into play - I'm always afraid I'm going to pull my computer off of its stand when my headphones are hooked into it, so I try to run at the very front of the belt.  Odd?


  1. Thought it was an interesting article too. Will have to play with my form when I get back!

  2. I also liked that article.

    About the arms. I try to keep mine down as much as possible -- something I learned in cross country. And keep your hands loose, too.

    Check out Jeff Galloway's stride. It is super short, but I can see why it works.

  3. Haven't read the article but you have me curious. Anything to improve the run. Awesome it made you feel powerful and fluid! Thanks for sharing.