NY Times discusses running form. My 2 cents

NY Times discusses running form. My 2 cents

By William D Charschan DC,CCSP, author Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain

A new article by Gretchen Reynolds of the NY Times health section discusses new studies that suggest the more we run, the better our form gets. While statistics make good stories if you spin them well enough, if this were true, then why are there running injuries? Most people would never think this way but most running injuries are from form, and many of these injuries happen to elite level runners who have many miles under their belts.

Since form follows function, it is more fair if we look at this more in detail. Clinically, people who have problems either running faster or more efficiently do so in response to their body style, or how they are built. This is not something health care providers are taught in school, but genetics among family members goes well beyond whose nose, eyes and hair we have. Look down and the story is more complete.

An asymmetrical build will cause an asymmetrical running gait. That asymmetrical running gait will have a secondary upper body movement to counter the lower body. In other words, over striding and under striding, which affects running form is inherited, and is a contributing factor in running injuries, because eventually the myofascia in the core muscles will shorten and tighten, with the effect being a shorter stride on one side and a longer stride on the other. The lack of symmetry causes an overall stride shortening, back and neck pain and because the impact to the ground becomes harder, stress fractures, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, calf problems and other associated issues. Check out her article below.

Finding Your Ideal Running Form

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Can people become better, more efficient runners on their own, merely by running?

That question, seemingly so innocuous, is remarkably divisive at the moment, with running experts on one side suggesting that runners should be taught a specific, idealized running form, while opponents counter that the best way to run is whatever way feels right to you.

Little published science, however, has been available on the subject of whether runners need technical instruction or naturally intuit the skill. Now a timely new study suggests that new runners eventually settle into better running form — just by running more.

For the study, which will be published in the September issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers with the Bioenergetics and Human Performance Research Group at the University of Exeter in England turned to a group of adult women who’d recently joined a running group.

The group’s members were planning to embark on a 10-week, self-paced running program, with a half marathon race as the incentive at the program’s conclusion, for those who wished to compete.

All of the women who agreed to be studied were healthy, in their 20s or 30s, of normal weight, and completely new to the sport of running.

Each woman was given a pair of running shoes that would not influence her natural mechanics, and each visited the lab before starting the running program.

At the lab, the women were fitted with motion-capture sensors, heart rate monitors and other measuring equipment and asked to run on a treadmill while being filmed. Afterward, the scientists calculated each runner’s aerobic fitness, particular running biomechanics or form, and running economy.

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