Taking that gait video was super helpful for me, I suggest everyone make a video of themselves running. It’s easy enough to do and will show you so much. Mine was totally last minute after my run, didn’t plan it and I used a normal camera that has a video setting.
As mentioned in the comments of that post, I have a list of things to work on, but also, there were a couple things I was happy to see, beyond overstriding repair.
My arms, while not in exactly the place I want them on the Y-axis (up/down) were pretty fab on the X-axis. They don’t cross my body, pretty much stay to the side, so this is something you want to watch for if you do a video. Some crossing is fine but you never want your arms to cross your midline.
Also, my cadence is spot on. This is the stride rate and something I worked on a couple years ago but barely think about anymore. If you do a video of yourself, you can check your stride rate by going to this cool site. Just listen to your footfall or count as you watch your video and then tap along at this website with your spacebar. In this video, mine is around 190bpm…a little faster than it needs to be, actually.
There were a couple comments about whether I was heel-striking and I have to say this: At this point in time, heelstriking doesn’t concern me, though I was pleased as hell to see that when I took it frame-by-frame (and I made about 10 passes for each view, btw) my feet, while dorsiflexed to the max, were landing predominantly midfoot. That was a bonus! Heelstriking is last on my list. The things I want to fix are in this order:
Arms (which are intertwined with posture)
Shins, check! Now For The Knees and Hips
I’ve made a great start in fixing the overstriding problem and yesterday, my running mentor, A Muse, mentioned that I’ve been focused below the knee, and that now I should move my attention to the hips and knee drive. So last night I practiced some easy butt-kicks and knee-lifts in my tiny apartment to get the feeling started. Was good!
Today I did 13, should have left earlier, it was 85 degrees when it was over, but I concentrated on driving my knee forward and also, how the whole lever works as far hip, knee and where your foot goes in relation to your butt and energy spent, etc. Also, a comment from Ewen about my hips possibly tilting back in the video was a great cue, by bringing them forward and trying to engage them as Adam (A Muse) suggested, that put the top of my body more in alignment.
The hardest part of all this for me is absorbing the kinesthetics of it, the “feeling” of how everything is coordinated. It’s one thing to say, “get your foot up closer to your butt”, and you can work on that, but like I’ve said, nothing is isolated, so that foot comes up to your butt because your knee is lifting, etc.
One thing’s for sure…I love working on this stuff! Sorry for those of you who find all this form talk boring, I know it’s not for everyone, but if it interests you, maybe you can apply bits and pieces to your own running.
A GREAT book for dissecting the elements of form is Explosive Running by Michael Yessis, he breaks down each part and there are tons of frame-by-frame photos of men and women running with commentary of what they’re doing right and wrong. If you’re into this stuff, definitely get this book. OMG, just realized that it’s out of print and that they’re charging $169 for a new one and $50 for used? YIKES!! Try to find a copy somewhere, it’s worth it.