Minute 1: Three ways to fix your form
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” That’s one of our favorite training aphorisms – probably coined by a football coach, but even more relevant to endurance athletes. We would only offer one small amendment: Smart, hard work is even better. We consider working on our running form to fall in the category of smart work. You can grind out miles forever, but if your mechanics are off, you may be wasting energy and risking injury. That’s why this story caught our eye a few days ago: “Three easy ways to fix your running form.” The recommendations make sense to us since they rely on a natural self analysis rather than a golf-instructor-styled micro tweaks to your form. Developing a strong and consistent stride can be done through the use of speed workouts and interval training. To go fast, your body will naturally tighten up its form to be as efficient as it can. Once you’re at high speed, pay attention to your posture, knee height, and cadence, and then try to maintain a similar position even at lower speeds. If you need a few ideas on workouts to try, look at “5 Speed Workouts for 5K Success.” Next, footwear has a huge impact on the way you run, and going barefoot can be like taking the training wheels off: it'll really show you where you need to improve. Barefoot running can be quite risky if you don’t ease into it, but by starting with short barefoot walks or jogs on a soft surface, you’ll build up the muscles and tendons in your feet over time. To learn more, read “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Barefoot Running.” The last tip is to try running in a perfectly straight line. Unlike in most sports, lateral motion is an unnecessary dimension of endurance running that can reduce your efficiency. Keep your head steady and your feet on a narrow line so that you learn to go forward, and not side to side.