With so many hours spent obsessing over kit, training plans, nutrition, hydration and Strava segments, how many of us actually have time to consider the way we run? Tim Major teamed up with movement guru, Shane Benzie, to see if perfecting your technique is worth the distraction
The resulting article was published in Men’s Running in the January 2018 edition of the magazine. You can get hold of a copy here: https://pocketmags.com/mens-running-magazine/jan-18
Shane is the founder of Running Reborn and a highly regarded movement specialist. Having spent several years studying elite athletes on six continents, he delivers analysis and coaching of natural form to runners of all abilities.
Here’s a summary of Shane’s top 5 movement tips from the article:
- Run tall with your head on top of your shoulders and your eyes on the horizon;
- Aim for a cadence of 180 steps per minute;
- Use your arms dynamically to direct your legs. Your right arm’s movement should be symmetrical with your left leg (and your left arm’s with your right leg);
- Your foot has 3 main points of connection with the ground. Make sure you land full footed to take advantage of this natural tripod;
- Your running posture is an extension of your every day posture – make sure you stand, walk and sit beautifully.
Focusing on my running form has been an extremely positive experience. It does require patience and dedication and time will tell whether it makes me a faster runner. However, I am confident that I am already a far more efficient one. My legs don’t tire anywhere near as quickly – meaning recovery is faster – I have no aches and pains and the achilles niggle that I’ve been harbouring for nearly two years has completely cleared up. In hindsight, it amazes me that so many of us spend so little time considering our form. If something isn’t quite right, the constant repetition of running will surely find it out. We may be able to mask some issues with a change of trainers or a liberal application of k-tape but fixing the source is surely better. Seeing a movement coach has been a far greater enhancement to my running than any piece of shiny new kit could ever be. It’s fair to say that focusing on how you move brings a lot of theory into a sport that otherwise lacks complexity. However, it’s a bit like learning to drive: master the basics and it becomes second nature. I still love the simplicity of running; I still just lace up my trainers, get out the door and go; it’s still just one foot in front of the other. Only now, every time I run, I know that the brakes are well and truly off.
If you’d like to know more about Shane and his coaching, see www.runningreborn.co.uk for further details.
Photographs: Dave Olinski