Running is as much art as science,
Likened to dancing.
A dancer harnesses the rhythm of the song,
With the movement of their body -
Legs, torso, arms,
Feet, and hands, -
Coordinating amongst each other
To create an elegant glide -
They can position their torso in such a way that their leg motions seem effortless.
Unwinding as ribbon in the air in response to the steps of their feet.
And at the same time,
In agreement with the body,
The arms are also coil,
Anticipating the force to generate for the next body bend, the next leg movement.
Counter balance for power.
The mechanics to be studied for days on end.
Fluid beauty to be adorned with the heart.
That is dancing.
That is running.
The best way to run is the way that is best for you.
Just as in golf,
Professionals have their unique flavor, nuances to their swings that make their form
They all share common mechanical principles,
Yet have their own nuances that
Create an arch, twist, rotation, bend
That is special to them.
Their form is influenced by,
Physical structure and shape,
As well as the differences in body configuration -
Literal structure -
That will make an arc like no other.
In some instances, pulling some technique,
Of a motion from one golfer to another
Could be advantageous,
And help refine the golfer’s swing, power, effort.
In other instances, imitation of another golfer’s swing could
hinder, limit, or regress in performance and motion quality.
So too in running shall we be aware of the possible helpfulness and hindrances of gleaning from another’s form.
In refining form,
Whether new to the game or an experienced runner,
It is good to have a posture of play and lightness in tweaking form and mechanics.
Fun creativity over technical mastery.
When looking to refine form, chose one variable at a time.
It will allow for attention on how the whole system responds to the change for feedback and further refination.
When making a change, or ‘tweak’
The tweak works well when subtle and small.
Often, our small tweaks end up being far bigger when we realize,
like swinging open a door when we really want to crack it just enough to peak through.
Tension, range, freedom of movement, flow, breath, rigidity, exertion are some of the indicators;
A dashboard if you will.
Tweaks should be generative,
Granting generative tension for more power
Granting generative range for more power
Granting generative lowering of exertion level - increased efficiency.
Grant tension for less power
Grant more range for wasted motion
Increase exertion counteracting efficiency,
They are de-generative in that moment.
A tweak can become generative over time with the practice and crafting of your form.
Or as fitness levels increase
Or if another tweak elsewhere takes hold and opens the door for this tweak to be generative.
The play and practice of trying again and again help determine how and at what levels tweaks are generative for you.
Running form is far more of a distilled spirit than social media.
The time, intention invested for the spirit to be molded, worked on, crafted
Is far more of an investment than and immediate buzz the click of a web browser or social media post provides.
Flow can be found in the balance of
The science, the study, the -ology of it all -
With the soul, beauty, participation of it all.
The mechanics, numbers, training logs, gait analysis,
Are filled with the breath and spirit of the whole process.
The interdependency of the physiology and the mystical participation
Is where running comes alive.
The body goes so much further
When connected to the spirit.
By Dr Adam Fujita PT, DPT, CAFS
8 Years of clinical experience in the physical therapy environment.