Small changes to running technique can reap big benefits!
Having signed us up for the Berlin Marathon last week, one of my first steps was to pay a visit to Chris Kay at Bristol Running School. Chris and his team run analytics on running technique and within a few minutes can pin point issues that are potentially going to slow a runner down or cause injury. Chris Kay also happens to be our running technique coach at the Devon Running Retreats so this is a great opportunity to showcase exactly what folks will be signing up for when booking the Running Retreat.
Running technique analysis is invaluable knowledge for improving running speed and endurance. Most of us are never taught ‘how’ to run. As a fitness coach, I write progressive plans to improve endurance, speed, aerobic threshold, core stability, flexibility, strength etc but this is way more specific. If running posture or technique are out of whack, the runner is definitely ‘missing a trick’ as Chris put it.
A sensible major first step for anyone considering starting running, considering an endurance run or hoping to improve their speed would surely be to check out their technique and biomechanics to optimise running style and reduce injury risk.
I had this check many years ago but was interested to see if I’d fallen into any further bad habits.
After just a few preliminary questions about my training plans, Chris had me jump on the treadmill so he could video me in action both from the side and from the back. Back in his office we went through the video and the stills in detail and a few interesting facts came out. Three issues were prominent. One of which I’ve detailed here, we’ll discuss the others here in my blog in the weeks to come.
The photo clearly shows I have an anterior pelvic tilt. I arch my back and protrude my rear end. This could be caused my many things most commonly that hip flexors are tight and at the rear, glutes and hams are on a stretch making them pretty ineffectual.
Included in my plan are now additional hip flexor stretches and single legged strength work for my glutes and hams. Anyone lucky enough to participate in one of my fitness sessions(!) will know my constant use of the phrase ‘hold your belly button in, don’t hold your breath, bum tucked under, shoulders back and down, chin lifted’. Seeing the tilt so clearly on this video has encouraged me to adopt this phrase as my own new running mantra!