Friday, June 24, 2011

Good Form Running Clinic Review

This clinic was great - not good but great.

I actually did very little running during the clinic but I learned a lot about my running which I think is important. It also has the uber-cool factor that it's hosted by Grant Robison an Olympian.

I got an email or Facebook notice or something earlier this week from the worlds greatest running store - Footworks in South Miami, that they would have Olympian Grant Robison in the store on Thursday evening. I'm always there on Thursday evenings for the fun run with my running buds. I was excited I mean how many times do you get to hang out with an Olympian? I'll admit I didn't even notice that it was a clinic until I went back to check the time. That, I thought was even better than just a run with him because he would have undoubtedly left me in the dust.

Every clinic I've been to (which is a total of 3) has been sponsored by a shoe company. This is no exception this clinic was sponsored by New Balance. I'll admit not only do I not wear New Balance now I believe I have never worn a New Balance shoe. But in defense of this clinic I want to say that at no point did they say you had to wear New Balance shoes or minimalist shoes to have better form. That gets a big plus mark from me.

When I arrived at the store Grant Robison was video taping the store employees running in front. I had come early wanting to pick up a visor for the summer. Sidebar: I didn't find a visor that fit my little pea sized head. But the upside was that I did get to see the employees watch their running videos with Grant. I didn't even know who he was at this point. Hearing critique can be hard but Grant is a good critiquer. He's soft spoken and friendly and nice and not intimidating.

Just so you know the employees all had pretty good form.

Then it was our turn. The New Balance rep introduced Grant Robison and he gave us his bio briefly which is mighty impressive and then the fun began.

The participants in the clinic were all filmed running in our shoes and then just in socks. Then we went inside and Grant reviewed the four points of his good running form which you can find on the website The four points are:
  1. Posture
  2. Midfoot
  3. Cadence
  4. Lean
He's up front about the fact that this is not earth shattering innovation and that a lot of popular technicques are out there suggesting some of these same things including Chi Running and Pose Running. I've heard of those but never been to either one of their clinics or anything.

So, after reviewing these points we went outside and ran the same short bit and applied his techniques. Which will now allow me to say that I've run with an Olympian.

Now here comes the best part. Then we watched the videos and got critiqued. It was really helpful to me. They slowed down the video to I think 1/2 speed and showed where we landed on our foot and then this is the best part he suggested what would improve it. Then we saw how our stride changed when we ran in our socks.

I cannot say how awesome it was to see myself and others and to hear individualized critique. It was just awesome. I did not know that I struck my heal at all. In fact when I buy running shoes they routinely look at my shoes and say, well okay no heal striking. But in the video you see exactly what you do.

What did he suggest for me? In the video I could see that my stride was a little long and I was striking a bit on my heel and my hands were turned and floppy. Keeping my thumbs up in front to avoid the limp hand stuff and increasing my cadence to shorten my stride. Then in my sock taping I landed midfoot with a nice short stride. That was nice to see. So increasing my cadence will help me shorten my stride in shoes and help stop my arms crossing over. 

At no point did he say we needed to buy anything or subscribe to anything which is refreshing.  I did try on a very cute pair of New Balance racing flats that will be in the store for sale next week. Will I buy them ... you'll just have to wait and see.

But if he's coming to a store near you ... I would definitely go to this clinic. Plus check the good form running website because if you're lucky you live in a town where they do these clinics all the time.

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