Posts Tagged ‘technique’

I’m a simple man and I like simple things. I believe that, in many cases, there is a simple solution and that solution is often the best.


Take running technique.


There is a well-known distance running coach in the USA who has become known for tinkering with his athlete’s running styles and techniques on a micro-scale. Going down to the level of detail where he is advising a particular athlete on how to position his thumb on each hand while running. These aren’t straight off-the-couch running types either. We are talking about seasoned, experienced fulltime professional athletes. Now whilst all this running doesn’t guarantee them the knowledge to handle any and all running issues themselves, it does guarantee that, over the weeks and weeks and months and months and years and years of regular, consistent, every day running, of 100-mile plus weeks, their bodies will almost certainly have found the optimum technique for them to run in.


It may not be the most efficient and, when analysed there may be areas that look ungainly or unusual when compared to other runners or runners who are recognised for having a “good running technique”. But the point is that, this runner’s body will have developed, call it evolving if you want to get philosophical about it, a pretty successful running technique. Otherwise they would not have been able to maintain the consistency, the quantity or the intensity of the running over all those years.


Now scale this back from the elite or sub-elite level. It can be applied to runners of any ability, any level and any amount of running experience. Think back to when you were a baby. Ok you don’t remember that, and neither do I, but here’s the deal. You had to learn to walk. That’s the important bit. You had to learn. Nobody taught you to walk. I didn’t teach my two daughters to walk. The closest I could come was maybe to hold their hand while they toddled about. Your body figures it out. Pretty clever really. And I believe it is the same with running.


Everybody can run. That’s a fact. Even if it is only for 10 seconds to the other end of the train platform. Our bodies inherently know how to do this. Running 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then half an hour, on a regular basis, and your body will sort itself out – to the best of its physical ability. That bit is important as it pertains to the “style” or perceived “good technique” mentioned earlier. Just because it looks less than perfect doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for your body. We all know a certain British marathoner, possibly the greatest marathoner the world has known, who has a famously uncomfortable running technique, bobbing head included. Has it held her back? Records suggest not.


So get out there, get running and worry about getting fit. Don’t worry about “how to run”. Let your body take care of that.


The ability to walk and the ability to run is in-built in all of us. Let it out.

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