Fleet Feet Sports – Good Form Running Clinic

Fleet Feet Sports – Good Form Running Clinic

I was fortunate to attend a free Good Form Running Clinic at Fleet Feet Sports on Sunday. I’ve only recently started to take running and racing seriously. Since getting injured and working with my running coach,  I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my running form.

 

 

Just going out and running is fun, but there is so much more to think about. Making sure you don’t heel strike and that you land mid-foot is important to keep your chances of injury down.

Dave Zimmer is the owner of Fleet Feet Sports – Chicago and is a certified Good Form Running coach. Dave introduced us to the four points of Good Form Running that will help you transform into a healthier and more efficient runner.

4 Principles of Good Form Running

  1. Posture – you should be standing tall, toes pointed straight forward, running with your head up and keeping your eyes looking ahead of you.
  2. Foot Strike – many runners have a tendency to heal strike, which sends a shock up your leg, and actually acts as a brake when your foot comes down, forcing you to work that much harder to propel yourself forward. Instead, you should aim for a mid-foot strike, using the arch of your foot, as well as your knee, as natural shock absorbers.
  3. Cadence – you should aim to take more, smaller strides to reduce the amount of time your foot is in contact with the ground. This will cause you to run light, and avoid your feet pounding the ground. The ideal cadence (the number of times your feet contact the ground) is around 180 per minute.
  4. Lean – a slight forward lean will allow you to use gravity to your advantage, where you’re essentially constantly catching yourself from falling. Basically, you’re letting gravity do a lot of the work of propelling you forward. You should be leaning from the ankles, not bending at the waist. Imagine yourself standing, and starting to lean forward from your ankles. There will be a moment when your center of gravity shifts forward, and you have to put your foot out to catch yourself – that’s when you start running, and the position you should stay in. You should be constantly catching yourself from falling.

 

Dave Zimmer & I

 

After Dave went over the four points and told us about his experience with Good Form Running, he video taped us running.  We ran once with our shoes on and once barefoot. Then he played back the video of us in slow motion and stopped the video to show us our stride and point out our strengths and weaknesses.

Dave said I have good running form (yay!) but I swing my arms too much which causes my torso to rotate at the waist.  I also tend to slightly strike my heel when I land.

We watched the video of us running barefoot and surprisingly I got a much better review. I was still twisting a little too much but I landed right on my mid-foot.

Dave was not trying to convince us to be barefoot runners but trying to show us that our bodies’ natural tendencies force us to have better form.

I definitely recommend this clinic for all runners. I won’t be a barefoot runner any time soon but I do plan to employ some of the tips.

 

About Sara

Comments

  1. I’ve been wanting to go to one of these clinics for a while because I know I’ve got a jacked up form. Your review was helpful and makes me want to go to one soon. I’m glad you got a lot out of it.

  2. Those are great tips, and it pretty much describes how I’ve changed my form since going barefoot. It is MUCH easier to change your form when you’re barefoot, like you said the body basically requires better form barefoot. That said, being barefoot is NOT for everyone and I’m not trying to convert anyone, just saying I definitely agree with this post! I wish I had understood all this years ago, heel striking just doesn’t make much sense once you start looking into a midfoot strike.

    • I concur, it’s not for everyone but I think there are some benefits. It’s best to ease into it so you don’t get injured.

  3. Thanks for this Sara! Now I know what I missed–I was going to go to the Clinic at my local Fleet Feet, but I feared I’d have to do some running….As you know, I’m not allowed yet, doggone it! So this was just like being there! 🙂

    • I hope you can run soon Cherie! Do they have the GFR class at your Fleet Feet? It would be good to learn how to prevent any more injuries.

  4. Awesome! Thank you so much for this post – I found it really helpful. I wish we had a running clinic like that here. I have never been to a form clinic, but I would love to do something like this sometime.

    • Thanks for stopping by Sara! Check out the Good Form Running website, there’s a lot of great info.

      • WOW!! I just got a message that the clinic is coming to Fleet Feet in Columbus in a few weeks – I’m so excited since I JUST read your post about it! I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

  5. Wow–I love this! Have you ever heard of Chi running? Just wondering how it might compare. I would love to get my form analyzed. Super jealous, you lucky girl!

    • Thanks Melissa. 🙂 Dave did talk about Chi running. He said Chi running can be complicated so that’s why they created the 4 points of Good Form Running.

  6. I think my form has improved a lot in the past 2 years but I might need to go see Zim to verify. Great post Sara!

  7. Those are some great running tips! I like to think that I have pretty good form, but who knows!

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