Why is form important?
Form is important for a couple reasons:
- It makes us more efficient runners.
- Why would I want to be a more efficient runner you ask? Because you will expend less energy. Less energy expended means you have more energy left to run faster for longer leading to more pr’s.
- It is crucial for injury prevention. What injuries could I get from poor running form?
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and/or Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (commonly known as runners’ knee)
i. This is most commonly caused from internally rotating during ground contact. (Or not keeping your knees in one linear line.) Obviously, working to keep your knees in alignment helps fix this, but we will always settle into bad habits if we don’t strengthen our booties and hips specifically the glute min and med. (think clam shells, monsters walks, and glute bridges!)
ii. Another cause is hip movement. If your hip drops or elevates when striking it puts your IT band under more stress then needed. Working to rise from the hips and keeping the hips square will help alleviate this.
B. Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendinosis, and/or Patellofemoral Pain syndrome (runners knee again)
i. All three common injuries can be caused by pronation. Shoes can help solve this problem but it can also be fixed by focusing on foot strike. (Think midfoot strike toe dorsiflexed so you push off through your big toe and not the side of your foot.)
C. Shin splints and Stress factures (bad juju!)
i. Overstriding (not landing with your feet under your body) and heel striking are the major causes. This can be fixed by working on your forward tilt and increasing your cadence (steps per minute) without increasing your speed.
As you can see, good running form isn’t just about how you look. It also is connected to how you feel! Running right=running fast and injury free!
Who has the best form in each?
Hint: Who is in the lead?