Running as a Skill
I mentioned on our Twitter page (@CFitBearden) last week about running been technique based and therefore in need of been practiced. I see people crushing workouts all the time until it comes to the run and they they fall apart.
As a former soccer player I am fortunate to have a good engine, I can keep going and push through a lot of things, but I hope people do not mistake this for lack of self critiquing and working on my running technique. This is something everybody should be working on. I know we all love adding 5-10 lbs on to our snatch PR, but we should equally love fixing our bad running technique.
If you are the type of person that hates running and wants to skip the workout when you see running in it then I cannot promise that fixing your technique will improve your desire to run, but I can promise you that if you improve your running technique that you will improve your times.
The thing is it really isn't that hard to correct most problems people have, it is more just a need to focus on the points that will improve performance. To put it simply running is just falling forward and catching yourself at speed, but broken down there are a few key signs to look out for.
1. Check your gate- You do not want a gate (stride) that is too long as if you are reaching out in front with your foot overtime you hit the ground you are creating a backward momentum and therefore you are fighting against yourself as you try to move forward. You also want to make sure you are pulling your non-striking leg up towards your butt using your hamstring.
2. Do not heel strike- This can come from having too big of a gate, but focus on landing on the mid-foot or ball of the foot. This allows a much better shift in momentum and helps you continue to move forward and not fight against yourself.
3.Relax your shoulders- it happens all too often. People start running and scrunch up their shoulders and tighten all those muscles around their necks and constricting the air supply that they need. It is important to relax your shoulders, have your arms at around a 90 degree angle at the endow and do not clench your fists. Staying relaxed up top is just as important as what is going on below the waist.
I am not saying these few tips will help you run a sub 4 hour marathon or a 10 second 100 meter sprint but they will help you improve your running performance. So the next time you see a WOD with running in make sure you work on your technique, it is just as important as working on anything else!
-Two Girls, a Guy, and a CrossFit Box.