Footzone offers a free Good Form Running Clinic a few times a year. This is meant to be a basic 1 hour intro to GFR. Discuss the 4 basic principals (Posture, Cadence, Lean, Mid Foot), and give some suggestions on how to make it happen. They also offer a more advanced class a couple times a year that cost $25 and is put on by a local PT Professional. This is meant to go a little deeper in the theory and give you some additional exercises to get your body into a GFR position.
I attended the Good Form Running 2 class this past Tuesday and had a bit of a mixed feeling. There was a lot of anatomy discussed which I know nothing about, but it also gave a lot of the theory behind why GFR is good for you, and that helped me understand what is happening to my muscles while i’m running and what I need to focus on.
Here are my key takeaways from the class
It’s all about 180 Foot Falls a Minute
Yup, the same thing we were taught in GFR 1 applies here. Run in the magic 180 footfalls per minute and a lof of your other issues will be taken care of. You don’t have enough time to overstride, it brings your feet underneath you.
the magic 180 also will reduce your vertical displacement, which is essentially wasted movement and energy. We filmed each other running at our normal cadence, then with a metronome. The difference in vertical displacement was amazing.
I use iSmooth Run on my iphone when I run and it has a nifty feature that will overlay a metronome noise over your music while you run. You can turn it off and on throughout your run, I will typically just leave it on for a few of my runs. Can be annoying as hell, but it helps train my body and mind what 180 feels like. Over time it will become more natural.
One suggestion he had was to do 12 minute miles at 180 footfalls per minute. I tried it on the treadmill and it was hard, but really gave you the idea of what it should feel like.
Get those glutes going
Yup, we spent a lot of time talking about the Glutes and why they are so important. Most of your forward momentum should be coming from your glutes. As your plant your foot, it should be the glutes that drive you through your stride. During the class we performed several exercises that can be done throughout the day to awaken your glutes and get into the game. They included.
- Penguin Walk
- Squeezing Glutes while walking up Stairs
- Squats and lunges
My key takeaway from this was try to incorporate your glutes in your day to day living. You need to wake them up and get them going.
I know i’m guilty of this, keeping my hips back and bending over at my hips. Most of us spend so much time hunched over sitting at a computer that our abdominal muscles are pretty weak can not keep our hips forward very long. More core exercises! (stay tuned for a quick exercise tip on this).
Strength and Active Strength Training
Strength training is good and needed, but will do you no good if your aren’t using the proper muscles while running. Keep doing weight training, but also incorporate hills at a 7% incline or more to get the glutes firing. He said it was nearly impossible to run from the calves with a 7% or more incline.
There was a lot discussed in the 90 minute class, and something a I may retake after putting some of these key items in place. The best thing was to get a better understanding of what should be happening when I run, and spending some time running focused on form and cadence only.