Is a good running form needed to win a race, or is it just one factor in how you have adapted to running?
Is there a good running form? Many coaches may suggest how to run but does science prove that a certain running form is good for everyone? Recently, Runners World Magazine explored this idea.
Many marathon winners such as Paula Radcliffe have peculiar running forms, yet, they win marathons. Sure, Priscah Jeptoo who is a silver medal winner at the Olympics marathon in 2012 had horrible knee form, yet she is a winner as well.
While I am not suggesting that strange running forms will cause injuries, although many stress fractures, back and knee problems that are related to running are due to poor form. On the other hand, what is optimal for one runner may be causing injuries in another.
Our running style and abilities are adapted and developed from when we are very young. Learning to move, walk and run begins when we are very young, and the brain memorizes many patterns that ultimately result in our running form. If you are built asymmetrically, your body will adapt to it. That adaptation can be problematic for many of us, and sometimes the help of an orthotic or chiropractic manipulation and myofascial release, along with some sort of repatterning training can reduce that persons likelihood of injury and improve their running times.
Conversely, some runners adaptations work for them such as the two examples I cited earlier. Runners World offers some interesting insight into running style and form. Check it out below.
Stop Trying to Achieve ‘Perfect’ Running Form
There is one factor that determines good form, but it doesn’t come from drills, orthotics, or videos.
BY LAUREN STEELE
DEC 19, 2018
We all dream of gliding across finish lines with the same look of effortless speed as Shalane or Kipchoge. But for every platonic ideal of a racer, there’s another feet-flailing, arm-chopping abomination who’s probably passing them for the win.
Yet the world of running is packed with “crucial” tips about holding your head still, keeping your arms at 90 degrees, driving your knees up, and avoiding pronation at any and all costs. RunnersWorld.com even has a running form guide for the form-curious. But where’s the proof any of it matters?
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What does have proof: ugly strides kicking ass. Look at Paula Radcliffe’s marathon world record run from London 2003. Her head was bobbing like she was at a rave. Haile Gebrselassie, another serious contender for running’s GOAT, had a crooked left arm swing that left him looking like he was sweating flies out of the way throughout his entire record-breaking career. Or, take Priscah Jeptoo, a favorite target of running form critics. Jeptoo’s knees collapse in so far they look like her legs will snap. Yet she holds an Olympic silver in the marathon (2012) and won the New York and London marathons in 2013. Heck, even Usain Bolt, the fastest human the world has ever seen has an asymmetric stride.