Since neither of us ran in high school or college, we've developed our own running form and habits. I happen to be a hard core researcher and read tons of articles on form, posture, techniques and new philosophies about all three sports. Over time I've changed my running style in response to injuries, discomfort and to try new things. I've always felt a bit unsure of my running, since who am I to know what's good and what's not. We met Joby out by the river trail and he proceeded to film us as we ran at various speeds. It's a bit nerve wracking to have a running "coach" filming you run. I've never seen myself run before, and kind of hoped I never would! It's bound to be awkward. I mean, it's me we're talking about here.
After the filming, he discussed the basic how-to's of efficient running and showed us a few clips of professional runners doing what they do best so that we could see the techniques in action. Seeing these talented, natural runners made me feel both in awe of their grace and a bit ashamed to see my video re-played. Neither Adam nor I were prepared for what happened next. At all.
Joby informed us that we are doing really well and that our form was quite good. In fact, he was only going to give us a few drills to work on and we'd just want to keep up the good work! Whaaaaat?! We are good runners?! Come again!? How about THAT! Totally awesome. To go from feeling like an uncoordinated sow to a "good runner". Sweet! Joby reviewed the clips of us running, which weren't as bad as I'd thought it'd be. No one wants to see themselves ruunnnnniiiiiinnnnnng in slow motion. Before seeing the clip, I'd have described my running as follows: feet never leave the ground, total granny shuffle, decent posture and arm carriage, plodding, inconsistent foot strike and no heel lift (butt kicking). To my surprise, there are times when neither foot is on the ground! Holy cow, I'm running! My foot strike is good and my legs are actually moving. We then went through a number of drills to enhance our power and efficiency and cement good form in our runs.
I highly recommend having a run analysis done by a professional coach (instead of at a footwear store). I feel that anyone in the business of selling shoes is bound to give you a slanted opinion on your running. If you're in the area, I highly recommend Joby at Team FC. We both thought he was organized, timely, extremely approachable and very knowledgeable. I gained confidence in both my research efforts and my running ability. I also learned some valuable drills to incorporate into my running days that will hopefully push my running to the next level.
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