good form running clinic

Last week, Kristin and I attended a free Good Form Running Clinic by New Balance at one of the 1st Place Sports locations in our area.

I was incredibly stoked about this clinic. I was really looking forward to some tips on improving the way I run. For the most part, I think I have the will, desire and determination. It was time to look at my technical style.

The instructor took a few minutes to cover the basics. He discussed the importance of posture (standing straight with relaxed arms and shoulders), mid-foot striking, cadence (striving for 180 steps per minute) and forward leaning (just slightly, while running).

After sharing this information, he lined us up and had us run past a small video camera on the floor. It took a few minutes for the 15 or so of us to finish our turns. Due to the time change, and lack of sunlight at 6:00 PM, we were confined to a kind of cramped area, but I think it was enough for our purposes.

One by one, our strides were replayed, paused and reviewed. The majority of people were heel-strikers, and were advised to work on landing on their mid-foot. Some were leaning too far back, some were overstriding. In slow-motion on the big screen, it was fairly easy to see the flaws in our respective form.

It was somewhat surprising to see that I was one of the mid-foot strikers. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I felt like I was doing something right. The instructor pointed out that I did have a little bit of a bounce in my stride that I could work on eliminating.

When we had all received our critiques, the instructor showed us proper cadence. With the use of a small metronome, he had us jog in place to the somewhat peppy beat of 180 steps per minute. We then moved to a quick run around the (dark) parking lot and finally, we made another pass of the camera. The majority of us were able to adjust our form by the second go-round, and I feel like we all left with a good sense of areas on which to improve and things to keep in mind for the future.

Cadence made a world of difference for me. It helped me shorten up my stride and somehow felt more efficient. When I put it into practice for a seven mile run two days later, I felt like I had so much more energy and stamina. My moves felt so much more controlled and powerful. What an improvement!

If you are in the vicinity of a 1st Place Sports or similar store that offers these free clinics, I highly recommend you attend.  You can read about good form and study the diagrams, but it’s really helpful to have someone working with you to point out the things that might specifically help you be the best runner you can.

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18 Responses to good form running clinic

  1. theresa says:

    Love this picture of two of my favorite girls!

  2. I think I could really benefit from something like this! My dad is a chiropractor and he watched me run one time and noticed how badly my left foot pronates, so I’d love to have a professional running coach or someone help me with other aspects of my form! It could only be beneficial!
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Marathon Training – 16 MilesMy Profile

  3. This clinic sounds great and just in time for your half marathon in January! Eliminating a bounce in your step is a good idea – you don’t want to waste any energy going up instead of forward. It sounds a little sad (!), but don’t let it bring you down! ; )
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…10 Goals for the WeekMy Profile

  4. Shannon says:

    I so want to go to one! I’m guessing my cadence is a lot slower!

    Sounds like a great experience!
    Shannon recently posted…San Francisco – Part 1My Profile

  5. Loved this, I learned that I’m a MAJOR heel striker and my cadence is way too slow. I may be the annoying girl running with a metronome here pretty soon!
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Twenty Mile Weekend!My Profile

  6. That’s really neat, I would love to get someone to help me improve my form. Except I’d probably get all irritated with them lol
    ari @ whatarisaid recently posted…Oregon on my mind…My Profile

  7. Diana says:

    I thought I was a mid-foot striker until I had my gait analyzed at a shoe store, and the fact that I was a heel striker is even more obvious in some race photos I have. I also can’t run at 180 to save my freaking life. I think the closest I’ve ever come is high 160s. I need a clinic. LOL
    Diana recently posted…Cold Front (and back, and sides…)My Profile

  8. Anne says:

    That is so awesome! I’m about to get feedback on my running form. My brother used to help me out in that vicinity and it was insanely beneficial but these days I would love to get a professional point of view.

    How awesome that you’re a mid foot striker!
    Anne recently posted…A Scale That is Actually InterestingMy Profile

  9. jan says:

    That sounds awesome!! There was a clinic maybe 90 min. from here, but I decided it was too far to drive. Next time I will go for it! Glad you learned so much, and yay for mid-foot striking!
    jan recently posted…Veteran’s Day SnowMy Profile

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