I really enjoyed watching all of the Olympics. The time of day that I could actually see any of them, however, was during Prime Time TV. So I got to see a lot of swimming and a lot of Track and Field. Perfect for me!
I loved watching each of the athletes and seeing them for their personalities. I mean, Usain Bolt made me smile. He is an athlete with a sense of humor, that is for sure. When I watched the female runners, one thing struck me about one runner in particular. Allyson Felix.
I loved to watch Felix fly. Her legs were like large spinning fans. They went so fast! But her form – I even said it out loud, “She runs like me! Straight up and down!” I found this picture of Felix from the 2012 Olympics, same form, with legs out front, pulling her along.
(Aug. 5, 2012 – Source: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)
This one is of me – not nearly as cool as Felix’s photo, but same kind of idea. I run up and down and let my legs pull me along. For me – I was a heel planter. With my plantar fasciitis and heel spur, the heel plant was one of the first things I was forced to change.
It wasn’t until I couldn’t plant on my right heel anymore that I realized how much I relied on it. Learning a new form was HARD! I had no idea it would be so tiring and unrewarding to plant mid foot. But the stride was only one thing I did wrong.
I let my legs reach out in front of me and pull me along. Years of cross country and running through bumpy ground – I look down when I run! Plant on the heel, saggy torso, legs reaching out, looking down.
To reiterate an old thought:
My heel spur has forced me to focus on my stride. I must plant mid foot now. But in general, my form needs work! 2 other things I’ve been taught come back into focus to really help me focus on my form.
- Sometimes I imagine there is a rope tied around my hips. And it is pulling me. If I run under the notion of being pulled by a rope around my HIPS, the run is actually easier. My legs go under me, not reaching out in front of me.
- Even before the spur, if I run with my chest up – things go better! I look up. The rope on the hips mental game helps keep my chest up too.
Allyson Felix is a real bad mamma jamma – and she runs up and down, too! Not at first – She’s got great form starting a race. But heck – she’s fast! I don’t know if she is as focused on form as I am since I have so much room to grow!
But I need to work on it, still. Good form is not second nature to me. I’m still plugging away at remembering to tie the rope. When I get tired, I get droopy, and I don’t even realize it, things get hard. Keeping my whole self in shape, focusing on the core muscles in cross train days, helps keep my running posture upright and high without me even realizing it.
Here is a good look at a good vs. bad stride from an affiliate site.
I’ll catch on soon (fingers crossed)!