One of my goals for 2014 is to run 4 half marathons….and my other big goal is to complete training for them without injuring myself. The day after I ran my first half marathon, I started having IT band issues that sidelined me for about 3 weeks. Three days after running a half, I couldn’t even go 2 miles. It was the most frustrating experience that I don’t ever want to go through again!
So, I’ve decided to dedicate time each week to injury prevention. This means flexibility exercises, strength training, proper rest days, and perfecting my form. I know that these things will not only keep me running, but will also help me become a better runner!
The local running store in Atlanta, Big Peach Running Company, holds monthly classes called “Good Form Running”. The class is two, 2 hour sessions, and this morning was the first session. My friend Kim signed up with me, too. We learned about the four components of good form running: posture, mid-foot striking, cadence, and lean. I thought we’d be doing more running, but today’s class was more about explaining the mechanics of what happens when you have good form versus bad form, and it really helped highlight the importance of getting this right. We did a few drills, and just being aware of what we should be doing caused all of us to change our form slightly by the end of the class. The instructor took video of each of us running, and is going to email us the video with commentary and tips as to where we can improve. My cadence was spot on (90 strikes a minute per foot), but I need to work on moving from heel striking to mid-foot striking, which I’ll be working on over the next couple of weeks. Also, I need to work on strength training in my glutes and hips, which the instructor said will help my IT band issues. We will have our next class in two weeks!
Below is a graphic from the Good Form Running website that describes the basics of what we learned today. On the website, you can also see locations near you that teach Good Form Running. If you’re in Atlanta, I recommend the course at Big Peach Running. As a bonus, you can do a little shopping afterwards. I had a gift card, so I bought a new Nike Element Half-Zip–I’m excited to take it for a run tomorrow!
Have you taken a Good Form Running class? Any tips on moving from heel-striking to mid-foot striking?