9/5/2016 – 8 AM run, cool, 8 miles easy
When tired, many runners’ form deteriorates. Bad form can lead to symptoms such as neck/ shoulder cramp, lower back pain, knee and ankle strain. Ultimately, if persisted for a long period, it can cause even blisters and other injuries.
I slouch. Which means my head and shoulders sink forward, instead of being erect and aligned with my hips. At times, this happens even I am not tired. This is a bad habit that I am working to correct. Especially running in minimal shoes, feedback is acute and immediate.
On the other hand, good posture makes running in minimal shoes more natural, efficient, and pleasant:
- Natural – without the head and upper body leaning forward I no longer had to fight to pick up my knee from every step. It just feels more natural and less effort. Plus I am looking straight ahead, not looking down at my foot (a telltale sign of bad form).
- Efficient – when the head, shoulders, hips and feet are aligned, every stride is 50% muscle & 50% elastic. The running mechanics takes advantage of the recoiling force from each stride and uses it along with the elasticity of the joints to raise the leg in the return cycle.
- Pleasant – good posture is relaxed and comfortable, important for any distances not just the marathon. Barefoot or not. It also reduce the chance of injuries and minimize the aches and pains.
Running fast with poor posture versus running slow with good posture, which would you pick?