Thursday, March 19, 2009

Running Form Analysis

Last night, I assisted Greg Pelican in putting on a running form analysis for a group of the Bethel Triclub members. We met at the shop and all jogged easily over to the Bethel high school track. The group ran a 400 trying to find their desired pace which was supposed to be equivalent with the goal pace they'd be running in their key races. Then, Greg videotaped each person from the side and the front at this pace. We made the easy jog back to the shop and Greg uploaded the video to his computer where we used dartfish software to analyze each persons form. I then made suggestions to each person, based on their specific running form.

This was an interesting project and most of the runners had a few things in common:
  • at "10K to 1/2 marathon pace effort" their upper body became more tense, and many shrugged their shoulders, drawing them up around their neck.
  • many of the runners overstrided or had too much action out in front of their knees. This creates a negative effect on running progression, slowing the runner down.
  • many had tight hip flexors or psoas muscles creating a limited stride and rear leg extension.
  • many had weak or 'disengaged" gluteal muscles which throws off hip stability and again, limits hip range.
  • many had a lot of wasted lateral motion.

This workshop made me realize that most runners and triathletes would really benefit from doing drills frequently in their weekly schedule. I showed the group a bunch of beneficial running drills, which I plan on videotaping (well, I plan on coercing Baker into videoing) and putting up on my site (well, in which Alan will put up on my site). And to all the athletes I coach out there, guess what you will be doing at least three times per week from now on?




Anonymous said...

I'm no Forrest Gump myself but I do feel that run form is the most neglected aspect of trigeek training.

People spend all day analyzing (and I think overanalyzing bike position) yet there are some pretty awful sights out there on the final, most fatigued leg of the race.

What I think of when focusing on run form: non vital muscles relaxed, all motion forward, relax the face, no wasted side to side motion and quiet foot strikes.

I'm not a treadmill guy but you can use your shadow from the sun in certain light to see "what's shaking".

Off to my colonic now.


Eric said...

Right you are Straz. Spectate the run of an IM and watch how many actually look like they are running.

Anonymous said...

I am a treadmill guy, hate the cold, and running in front of a mirror or window really helps focusing in on form.

As far as overstriding I find myself doing that when I up my pace to the 5K setting. I have to really focus about getting back on top of my feet and staying there.