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3 Things Your Coach Never Told You About Running Form (and What to Do About It)

Like any amateur runner who has run competitively, I’ve had several coaches come and go. All of them taught “good running form” to some extent. The problem was – and still is – that achieving good running form requires 3 things.

These things are:

  1. The realization that form is a skill
  2. The patience to train your muscle memory
  3. The desire to learn correct form

In other words, the problem was me.

Sounds too obvious, right? Well, have you ever “learned to run” properly? Have you ever tried? Did you even know there was such a thing as a correct way to run? I sure didn’t. Because those three points are things a coach can’t teach you.  You have to be open to coaching before you can make progress.

The Stubborn Teen

When I was very young, I had absolutely zero desire to learn proper form. I mean, ZERO desire. You couldn’t have paid me. Chasing me around with an angry beehive may have been the only way to get me to do it properly. The only time I actively tried to run with good form was when my coach was videotaping and I didn’t want to get yelled at (It’s possible that I had just knocked over the camera goofing off).

And yet, I got injured ALL.THE.TIME.

Being the little brat I was, I would get angry about it. I couldn’t make the connection between the pounding I was inflicting on my body and the injuries that I kept getting. I was tough! Invincible! Well, by the time I was 18, I’d had issues with my left hip, my left knee, and my lower back. By the time I turned 25, I’d also had issues with both feet, both knees, my back, and assorted other injuries that I dismissed as aches, pains, and general soreness. Supposedly at my athletic peak, I could no longer run pain-free. I’d seen family and friends with various ailments and seen them fight through, sometimes for years. A friend, who is a former ultra-marathoner, could no longer run at all.

So, is the Conventional Wisdom True?

I began to fear what people had told me my entire life was true. If I ran too much, I’d just keep getting injured. The human body wasn’t built for distance running. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve heard the comments from the peanut gallery too.

Not if You Run Smarter

But, I refused to to accept that. I refused to accept injuries, constant visits to doctors and therapists, expensive insoles and orthotics. If you’re still reading, you probably refuse to accept this too. Because you can run injury free. Don’t run yourself into the ground. You just have to run smarter, not harder!

You don’t have to make the mistakes I made.

The goal of Sleek Running is to share all of my knowledge and give you the advice,  information, and coaching that I’ve learned throughout my running life.

So remember these 3 things:

  1. Good form is a skill
  2. Training your muscle memory takes patience
  3. Have the desire to learn good form

Knowing that, you can’t fail.

Good luck.

Tags: , , ,
February 6th, 2012
Written By: Brett

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