Do you remember that grade school trick to pat your head and rub your belly? It always starts by one kid come to school on Monday having learned it over the weekend. By the end of recess every kid is walking back into class patting their head and rubbing their belly. Tricks like this involve complex motor pathways. It probably took you a couple tries (or maybe more for some of us….I’m not the most coordinated person, I’m just the most stubborn, refusing to give up til I get it!) Once you got it, it became easy. That is of course until flash forward 20 years from then your child comes home from school patting their head and rubbing their belly with a tummy wrap. Then when you try to show them you could do it too, it didn’t come so easy again.
That is what training running form is all about. With patting your head and rubbing your stomach you have 2 variables, circle motion vs. tap and left vs. right hand. Running involves endless more body parts (arms, legs, head, core, butt, knees, ect, ect!), different types of terrain, different weather, and not to mention all the other countless variables (being sick, tired, hungry, too full, too heavy , too skinny, hot, cold, ect ect!) How can you keep that coordination trick right without practicing it ALL THE TIME!
The cool thing about learning coordinated movements is that it helps our neural functioning. Just like crossword puzzles have been shown to keep minds sharp; complex movements also build neural connections through out the brain and body. These added neural connections make you sharper not only in your movements while running and otherwise, but also in those meetings later on during your day and challenging discussions with your teenagers who seem to have gotten so “smart” all of a sudden 😉
So don’t skip form day. You don’t want to be that person who is actually just RUBBING their head and RUBBING their tummy.