Running with good form helps you avoid common muscle imbalances and biomechanical flaws that often lead to injury.
If there is one thing my injury has taught me, it is that I never want to be injured again. Months of frustration, set backs and discomfort are not fun, and do not make me a great person to be around - and I don't want to go through any of that again.
While some of my injury was as a result of overtraining, the way that I ran was also a contributing factor. Talking with my physio we both felt that there was a lot that could be refined, so I was promptly packed off on a Kinetic Revolution running technique workshop.
A three hour course held at tracks around the country, the running technique workshop combines a mixture of hands on coaching and theory based learning - a combination that massively appealed to me. Having never had any run coaching previously I was really interested to see what difference it could make, not only to my form, but also to how I motivated myself in training. Plus being a little geeky about things like this, I was excited to find out more about the theory that underpinned running techniques and why they work.
Led by James Dunne (prolific tweeter of all things movement, if you don't follow him you should) the workshop started with a quick run round the track (so springy, going back to pavement has been such a disappointment!) we moved on to looking at how and, importantly, we warm up and perform drills. I will be totally frank, I didn't really warm up because I didn't really know what to do. Couple that with only being able to run for 15-20 minutes at a time, and honestly, the whole thing seemed like more trouble than it was worth...which could explain why I got injured, and why, sometimes, I feel like I am dragging along a sack of potatoes. By working through the exercises, and step by step feeling the difference they made to my run, I was really able to understand their impact on my run, my performance and my energy (this lot don't joke when they talk about free energy!).
After our warm up we looked at how we ran. Simple things like where your foot falls in relation to your knees, how you use your arms and the rotation of your hip all make a difference to your performance - and importantly your resistance to injury. Learning a smooth technique has made a huge difference to how I feel about my runs, and the discomfort I feel afterwards - I am in so much less discomfort and I feel like I could keep going and going.
There is a right way to do some things, and I found it really reassuring to have a coach looking at each exercise I did, each run I took and feeding back to me what when well, and where I needed improvement. Like drivers, runners can develop bad habits without realising (my Baywatch arms would be one of them!). Simply by spotting these habits and making manageable changes you can make a massive difference to how you run! At points it feels kind of like magic!
Changing how you run is a process, and it doesn't happen over night, you will need to put in the effort and follow through with the exercises shared at the workshop. However, it is a great foundation for runners of all levels, from newbies to the more experienced, everyone can take something away that improves their run.