The other day, I went out for a run and decided to focus on my form. I've been a heel striker since I started in August, but have been reading about landing on the midfoot and decided to give it a shot. My legs felt better instantly. It still takes concentration to keep hitting the midfoot, but my body is already thanking me. I also started to work on my back kick (which is a term I'd never heard until 4 days ago). I immediately noticed my speed increased without effort; it seemed far more efficient. I could go faster longer. I'm starting to think there's something to proper form. Thoughts?
Roufa Runner's Husband
Proper form is very important. It helps one to be more efficient and also less prone to injury. It will take time for you to get used to your new running form, where you can do it without having to think about it. I still have to remind myself to stop looking down and "stand" a little more straight up, yet be leaning forward at the same time. My biggest thing is whether I can take a longer stride yet maintain the same turnover rate. Not sure I want to experiment with this until after the half marathon I am entered in the first week of June.
To paraphrase Newton, "A body in motion tends to stay in motion", so keep those feet moving ....
Year 2 Year 5K - 12/31 - 1/1
Tinkerbell Half Marathon - 1/29
Rock n Roll Pasadena Half marathon - 2/19
Old Agoura 10K - 3/24
O2O Half Marathon - 6/3
City Impact Half Marathon - 6/16
Channel Islands 10K - 7/4
Disneyland Half - 9/2
Marine Corps Marathon - 10/28
There is no doubt that it matters, though you can still run efficiently with less than perfect form. One thing I like about midfoot plant is it almost actively discourages overstriding, which I think is much more of a problem than heel striking. The work comes in learning about what is generally considered good form and figuring out what you can eaily adopt and make work for you - not everything will. There's always a lot to learn.
Another thing I've noticed about concentrating on form is that the focus distracts from other aches and pains.
Roufa Runner's Husband
I'm only on week 2, but was getting discouraged because I couldn't finish all 6 runs. So, I went out again yesterday and concentrated on hitting mid-foot during each of the runs. What a difference! My legs had been getting really tight, which made me stop and walk before were now ok to go the full 90 seconds each time. I didn't have to walk except when I was supposed to, and my legs feel ok today. Not sure I'm ready for week 3 just yet, but this certainly made a difference to me!