I’ve had many runners lately inquire regarding their running fitness and how they can improve.  While the holidays and off season will likely set us back a bit in our fitness, we can improve running form easily and start the training season right.

I’ve yet to have a runner with an injury throughout my years of coaching.  While I may be lucky as a coach, I believe in a simple training regimen and strict adherence to the basics.

Running Form

There are innumerable debates regarding running form.  Do we heel strike or not, what types of shoes to wear, orthodics, bare feet, etc.  I fall into the mid sole striking category.  I’ve found that it, combined with a running cadence of 180 bpm allows for the best form for injury prevention and easy speed.  I recently had an athlete complete a 5 hour marathon before coming to me for advice.  Once I completed his VO2 max assessment and performed a rudimentary running form analysis, I recommended two things and had him try it out on the treadmill.  He was a heel striker and had a very low cadence of around 120 bpm.  The long stride and poor form not only caused him to run slower, but let to early muscle fatigue in endurance races.

Once he corrected those two things, he was easily able to run 8 min miles for long durations with only 2 weeks of adaptation.

The easiest way to correct the deficiencies is to download a metronome app on your phone which beeps at 180 bpm.  While you’re changing your cadence, you listen to the beeps.  It will amaze you at how much different you feel and how much more solid you run.  Running at that [...]