There are common patterns that new runners demonstrate when acclimating to distance running. Quite often overstriding, poor knee drive, and poor upper body posture are seen. So here’s a good episode that demonstrates these patterns and simple things that most new runners can do. This week’s superstar is Emily. She has been active in a number of ways, but only recently taken up distance running. Here is video initially.
From behind and in front, you can see extra rotation of her shoulders and arm swing that slightly crosses the midline. From in front you can also see the bottoms of her shoes which is a sign of overstriding. From the side she demonstrates a forward trunk lean (bending at the waist instead of at the ankles), as well as limited hip extension.
So what to do about all this. First a simple hip flexor stretch, every runner should be doing some variation of this!
Next a simple version of A-skips. Essentially her instructions were to skip focusing on driving her knee upwards and landing with her feet underneath her body. Done correctly, this can address her upper body posture, foot strike and improving knee drive.
Lastly, running with small weights held in each hand out to the side. What this does is decrease the amount her arms/shoulders are able to rotate and forces her core to become stronger and more stable with the rotational forces through her hips and lower abs.
After all this, here is the new and improved Emily!
From behind her arm swing is more forward/backward instead of rotating and crossing the midline which is a sign of improved efficiency. Her overstride is also decreased. From the side she has better knee drive and decreased forward trunk lean.
Again, being a new distance runner it will take constant attention to these drills to continue to develop more efficient form, but she’s off to a great start. Great job Emily!