Back on Track – the case of the ridiculous running style

A couple of weeks ago when I was raving away about warm-up drills I realise now that I didn’t quite explain why people actually do drills. Drills are designed to: increase flexibility, increase reaction time, reduce and improve the foot’s contact with the ground, strengthen, build fitness and generally make you a much better runner and jumper.  It also helps to master coordinating arms and legs, which does sometimes fail me. Drills are also a great way to iron out any bad movement habits you may have picked up over the years, which leads me to this week’s topic – my ridiculous running style.

Yes, when I first went back to athletics the first few weeks established that I like to run by crossing my left knee in front of the right when it’s leading on a stride.  It also means that I don’t put my left foot down properly, or stand on it properly, i’m basically pigeon-toed in one foot thanks to years of lazy/just not running.   This would explain why occasionally, with absolutely no alcohol in my system, I would shift my weight whilst standing and suddenly stagger off sideways. And wear down shoes badly.

However this is not good.  Not only is it incredibly inefficient as a way to run, but also means in later life I will be a reasonably young older lady needing a hip replacement, or whatever it is they will be doing for worn down hips in the not too distant future (which hopefully won’t involve euthanasia).  So it was back to basics, which for me meant a lot of stamping my feet (in a controlled and non tantrum fashion) and a lot of hard concentration when I was running to try and control where my knees were off to, however gradually we’re getting there, one less ridiculous step at a time.

NB: After weeks of ironing out my ‘inefficient’ knee action, I paid a trip home to the parent land where I was having a chat with father-parent about what i’d been working on at training. ‘Oh yes’ he piped up on hearing about my crossy-over knee, ‘even when you were little you would run by throwing your leg across, we just thought it was how you ran.’ So…26 years of running to be corrected there then…


image from (thanks!)


One comment

  1. I know how you feel! I had to have surgery on my leg and hip when I was 14 (4 years ago) and ever since then I have struggled to find balance when exercising. I seem to lean onto the outside of my bad legs foot. All of my sneakers are collapsed that way and trying to do any yoga on that foot is near impossible! I also keep rolling my ankle when I run (luckily I run where no one can see me because I must look like such a spaz!) I have just booked with a physio to see if they can ‘straighten’ it out 🙂

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