Me and my running form

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate this badass…

NikeAirPegasus_MoFarah_1_original.jpg

I love Mo Farah. When I first started racing, I would watch his 10K pro tips video on Youtube whilst I ate my pre-race breakfast. (Sadly, that video has since disappeared). Mo is one of my favourite athletes, and I’ve spent many an hour watching his form, reading about his training, and trying to learn by osmosis. On a side note, I will be absolutely heartbroken if the allegations about doping made about him turn out to be true.

But I digress. I saw this picture a few weeks ago on a running forum, and it’s stuck in my mind ever since. Just look at that form! He looks like some kind of super-lean, superhuman, gazelle-like running creature!

And I, personally, am not. I’m not meaning to sound pessimistic, but let’s be honest, my form is nowhere near that standard. I’ve been told by my physio that I have strong glutes but they fail to activate, and I can often feel myself “crumple” in the middle when I get fatigued during a race or training run. Since doing (minimally) more glute work and conditioning in the past few weeks I can definitely feel a difference in my strength and form- and so now I’m making it a focus.

So when I feel my form going, or I’m feeling fatigued and like I have nothing left to give, I channel Mo; specifically, his form. I run tall and push from my hips. This in turn makes my core and glutes kick in, and I’m able to lengthen my stride. It sounds so small, but often when I’m tired, it makes a huge difference.

So go Mo!

What do you focus on with your running form? Any particular tips or mantras?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

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6 thoughts on “Me and my running form

  1. The thing I focus on with form is actually my upper body. I make a conscious effort to keep my spine up straight, don’t lean forward at the waist, and relax my shoulders and keep my head up. I also try not to cross my arms in front of me (harder than it sounds!), and carry low, aka, keep the elbows bent at 90 degrees and fists closer to my hips than my chest. Just lots of little things like that.

    I don’t really do any specific drills for it, though, I just try to be conscious of this stuff while I run.

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  2. For me, I try to stay conscious to make sure I’m mid-foot/toe striking and not heel striking. I also try to pay attention to the impact on my legs. If I feel like I am jarring, I will make little adjustments so my stride is a little smoother. Oh, and when I get tired, I tend to look up instead of keeping my head level, so when I notice myself doing that, I’ll correct it. For me, looking up means that I think I’m tired, so leveling my head out is a mental trick to get myself to believe that I’m not actually that tired.

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  3. I focus a lot on standing tall, engaging my core, and breathing from my belly instead of my upper chest. You’re not alone with your glutes not activating though, there was actually a whole article about it in the Washington Post here in the states not too long ago. One thing I’ve read a lot about (and believe it more and more) is that one issue with a lot of strength work runners do isn’t done in way that translates to running. For example, glute bridges are great to strengthen the glute, but it doesn’t create that muscle memory of activating the glute like it’s done while running – so doing a glute strengthening move that is done while standing up like a single-leg squat or a single-leg dead lift can help. One of my biggest things I have been working on for the past year is my arm swing. I tend to swing my right arm across my body which actually slows me down!

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