Wednesday, December 26, 2012
As I wander through the pages of Spark people and other publications I notice the pictures of people running since I am a running coach. I am continually amazed or appalled; choose one or both, at the faulty running mechanics displayed in those photographs. The runners are over striding, landing heel first with knees locked and with their centre of mass behind their foot strike. Why are these pictures which are used? Is a puzzlement
I would think that a fitness website would have an obligation to edit the photo content to ensure that pictures of faulty mechanics for any exercise activity not show poor form. People are visual by nature and will mimic what they see more frequently than try to replicate words which they read. Poor form leads to injury in addition to the discouragement of not finding an activity comfortable and rewarding. While people will pay to have a personal trainer correct their form on gym machines, or pay a pro to improve their gold stroke or tennis stroke seldom is a trainer consulted concerning running form.
In today’s Minneapolis Star tribune is a picture of a mother and son running in a race held yesterday around one of our numerous lakes. Taken from the front the picture demonstrates the running form of the two runners in the foreground of the picture revealing their running form. The mother is over striding and about to land with a locked heel strike while her 7 year old son is landing on the ball of his foot with a flexed knee and his centre of mass over his foot strike. Does this reflect that as adults we somehow lose the muscle memory as to how to run which we had at a young age?
The next time you see a runner notice how they are running. Are they all herky jerky or are they flowing smoothly appearing to barely touch the ground? How loud are their footfalls, is there a slapping sound or a thudding? Then take notice of youngsters running, preferably those under ten or so years. Running is or should be a series of controlled “falls” landing on the mid foot with a flexed knee under your centre of mass.
How are your running mechanics?