Be Your Own Running Form Coach!

We talk a lot about 'correct' running form and proper technique at meet-your-running-goals.com, but on a run to run basis, it’s difficult for you to identify and correct your running form without the observation of another person. Difficult…but fortunately not impossible!

The next time that you’re out on your run, you can practice doing a ‘self check’, or as referred to in the chi running community, a body scan. This essentially involves raising self awareness of your running form by performing a quick a head to toe scan one area at a time during your run. It’s quite the same technique that you would use if you were attempting to achieve complete relaxation of your body by focusing on one area at a time, activating it, and then releasing. Performing a self check can be particularly valuable if you’re distance running, where fatigue sets in and sloppy running form slowly takes over.

Here is a quick and easy way to perform a body scan for the purpose of cleaning up your running form one area at a time.

This will sound very silly, but it’s also the reason why I remember what to do. Sung to the children’s nursery rhyme we all grew up with, ’Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes!’

HEAD

Bring your head up and back. This action should cause two things to happen. First your chest should come out like a proud peacock opening up your airways. Second, your posture should improve to avoid any leaning forward from the waist.

SHOULDERS

Shoulders refers to a complete relaxation of your shoulders, arms and hands. Imagine someone put an ice cold can of pop (or beer) on your bare back between your shoulders and do a quick shoulder shrug. Then completely release your shoulders and shake out your arms. Finally, with only your thumb and first finger touching, bring your hands up to your sides so that your wrists are gently brushing by your hip bones as they move back and forth.

HEELS

This is a reminder to bring your heels up quickly and directly under your butt. The tricky part is to let your feet fall rather than drive your feet back down to the ground. This brings awareness to your stride length and helps to avoid over striding – particularly in longer runs as you start to fatigue. It also helps to minimize pounding on your legs as you are touching the ground for as little time as possible.

ROLL!

Leaning (falling) from the ankles, picture moving forward with gravity in a smooth and fluid motion. I think of the caveman cartoon Thor and my legs move like the wheel. The faster I go, the quicker my cadence gets to keep up! Try counting your right steps and look to hit around 90 or more single steps per minute. A quick cadence relies heavily on your hamstring firing so this gets better with practice. *Refer to my ‘quick feet’ exercise on the running drills page for more info!


A Recovery Meal from Rachy's Table

Quinoa ‘Recovery’ Salad

This is a real beauty of a salad that is both filling and chalk full of fresh summer and powerful feta flavours. Since quinoa is a complete protein, mixed along with the feta cheese bits and peas, this awesome dish packs a real mean protein punch! This is great to have in the fridge to snack on or a meal side as an ideal recovery food! While the garlic will have your running partner’s eyes watering, the real secret to the festival of flavours in this salad is the fresh parsley and feta.

Dressing

  1. ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  2. ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 tsp of oregano
  4. ¼ tsp of salt
  5. ½ tsp of pepper
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Salad

  1. 2 cups of quinoa
  2. 4 cups of chicken broth or water
  3. ½ large red onion, finely chopped
  4. ½ English cucumber, diced
  5. 1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
  6. 2 ripe, medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  7. 2 cups chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 ½ cups crumbled feta cheese
  9. 1 540 ml can of lentils or chick peas, drained and rinsed
Instructions:
  1. For dressing, whisk together all ingredients; set aside.
  2. Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil; cover tightly and simmer on medium low heat until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes should do it.
  3. Fluff the cooked quinoa up with a fork and allow to cool
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and gently stir until quinoa and veggies are well distributed.
  5. Add dressing and stir to coat
*If you find the salad a little dry, add a little more olive oil. ENJOY!


Running Country!

Here's is this month's running music playlist. As with all running playlists, aim for 90 single steps per minute, but if this seems too fast for you, start out with a few slower ones. When it comes to ideal running cadence , the tunes in the list that are green are 'right on the money'.

**Here is the link to your country playlist in downloadable pdf format (this list has also just been uploaded to the running playlist section of the website**


Running Country Playlist


MYRG Quote of the Month

"Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have."

Norman Vincent Peale

Until next month, here's to you keeping pace with your running goals!


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