Sunday, February 27, 2011

Running form and speed

I've never given much thought at all to my running form. Put one foot in front of the other, make sure they're lifting off the ground, so that it's a run rather then a walk, go at a speed that I can sustain... That's about it.

Yesterday, myself and Krissy (my new running friend) ran with the local running club. We had the chance to run with Pete, an experienced runner that is coming back from an injury. Pete isn't the type of runner I'd usually run with because normally he'd be going much much faster then me. Right now though, his focus is getting back to it slowly and concentrating on his running form.

The one thing he mentioned was swinging the arms. I can't help but wonder if he brought it up because he noticed me doing it, but if that was his reason, I don't mind. I'm certainly humble enough to accept some advice from those who know a bit more. He was saying that *he* was focusing on keeping his elbows back and making sure his arms were going forward and back rather then across your front.

Now, I wouldn't say my arms were going totally across my front, but they definitely were going partway. Changing my arm motion felt a bit awkward, but it actually felt more efficient almost immediately. It's something I'll work on.

The other thing we chatted about is running speed. I know that I can increase my speed as I drop a few (dozen) more pounds, but I didn't realize how long I might be able to improve. Pete suggested that 10 years is about the amount of time most people can continue to improve their speed. He also suggested that it's likely to see if a 10-15 minute time increase in a 10k distance. To me that seems a bit optimistic, but if it happens, I'll happily take it.

What about you? Do you concentrate on your running form much? How long have you been running and how much has your speed increased?


  1. My run yesterday was all about form. Trying to think of posture, and running smoothly, and elbows back, and shoulders relaxed and low, and with light feet, and mouth relaxed, and keeping cadence up, and right body lean, and and and. My thinking is that if you run better you'll run faster. AND be less likely to overdo it or injure yourself. Which is the important thing.

  2. Right now my main thing is distance. I'm not really concentrating on speed just trying to go slow and steady for longer and longer distances. During the week I do interval runs which I think does help my speed.

    I also am trying to do chi running. Every so often I check my form. One thing Dan Dryer says is everything should be moving in the same direction, like you want your arms back and forth in the direction of motion. He also suggested pushing your arms back instead of pumping them. It's kind of weird and I've only tried it a few times.