What is Proper Running Form? There is so much debate on how to run properly these days and I want to give a little insite as to why we need to look at how the body is designed to naturally run and how to do that. I hear so many people say running is so bad for you, it is so hard on the body, people should not run! Take a look at kids, look back in past where we hunted chasing after our food, running as a messenger during war. We are built to run! Can we have poor mechanics, poor stride, or muscle imbalances, that can make running bad for us? Absolutely! I can be out on a run and almost guarantee that during that run I will see at least one person that I want to say should not run. Now is it that they should never run? No! It is simply that if they keep running they way they are they are bound to injure themselves. However with the right training, movement patterns, and soft tissue (fascia) work, they can run efficiently, and where it would not be harmful to their bodies.
Heel Strike vs Mid Foot: This is something that has been debated for so many years and who knows if it will ever be put to rest. The fact is that heel striking simply put does not allow your body to absorb shock when you land, therefore sending a large shock wave clear up to the base of the skull. We have had shoes that are designed now to help absorb this shock that we created by thinking it was correct to run on our heels when we land. Now we are getting into barefoot running and the shoes however we are still landing on our heels and not absorbing that force that we are producing and creating more injuries. I am going to include a great article that really shows how the body absorbs shock with heel strike, with “Fore foot striking” as well as barefoot and with shoes on. You will see in the video’s how smooth it is to run, Running Barefoot:Biomechanics. There are so many injuries that are related to heel striking, such as various types of knee pain, hip and lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, and shin splits. When you land on your mid foot or your “Fore Foot” you are allowing your arch of your foot with all the facia to absorb the shock which is what it is designed to do. Then you are able to properly propel forward if your Biomechanics are correct and run with less chance of injury and be pain free. Now in order to have you absorb shock as you land mid foot and properly propel you, you have what is called your fascia that runs all throughout your body. If you really want to learn about the facial systems then look up Thomas Myers. He is phenomenal and the leader in the industry when it comes to myofacial meridians, understanding the myofacial lines throughout the body and how they all correlate with one another to make the body work in uniscine. The facia throughout your body will connect everything from head to toe almost like a full body spandex suit, webbing, over, through and around your muscles, tendons and ligaments, making sure everything is connected. What you do with your Big toe can have effect movement in your knee, hips, shoulder, neck/head, due to the fact that everything is connected by your fascial lines.
I don’t think that running is bad for you, I do think though there is inefficient running form that can hinder you and injure you. If you love to run or you want to get into running I suggest getting a gait assessment done where someone watches your stride while running. There is a big difference on your stride from walking to running so not just an assessment walking but an actual assessment where you are running the way you run the most. If that is outside it needs to be outside, if it is on a track it should be on a track, if it is on a treadmill then on a treadmill, make sense. Your assessment should be true to you and what you do to get the most accurate test. Remember, your run should feel effortless, your pace should be that that you feel efficient.
What are the proper shoes to run or workout in? Well it depends on what you are going to be using your shoe for. There are many different types of shoes out there. My biggest suggestion is that you go get fitted for your shoe, not from a Name Brand store, but from an actual running store. They will have all different types of shoes from, running to walking, to cross training shoes. They will have Vibram’s to motion control shoes. Whatever you are looking for and whatever is the right fit for your foot they will have it. I hope that this answers a few of your questions between this post and the links that I included in here. If you have more questions or would like to set up an appointment do not hesitate to contact me at Katrina@TrueFitnessByKatrina.com