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I don't think this has been discussed, but what is the best running style to adopt. I have been running for 2 years now and have my own style, which is pretty much relatively short but quick strides and not lifting too high. I have never had any injures and find this is quite an easy and efficient way for me to run, but I'm wondering if it is optimal. I'm very careful not to bounce around at all and I try to make my running as low impact as possible. But is this the best way to run far and fast? I'm just interested at what other's personal style is.

My second question is about long runs. I rarely run further than 10 miles (I throw in a half marathon maybe once a month). for those of you that run 15+ miles on weekends, do you time yourself and go for good times, or do you treat this more as a way to get some distance. If so, what kind of pace to run, in comparison to your competitive pace, I mean if you are a sub 40 10k runner, or 1:30 half marathon runner when going for time, what kind of pace do you run on your long weekend runs? Also, do you change the pace/do interval training on your long runs. The reason I ask this is that I want to try and do some more distance on the weekends, but I have a tendency to go pretty fast even on my long runs, which is why I don't do a lot of mileage. Is it beneficial to do longer runs at a much slower pace than your capable of?
 

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a good thread... tbh it sounds as though you have a very good technique going there and i don't think you should change it if you are having no problems... you are very fast so you must be doing something right... !

i've just changed how i run three weeks ago so i'm interested to here people's views... i went for a drastic change as i had heel pains that never seemed to go away... i chose pose running - it's basically midfoot landing, short strides and always with a high cadence (~180 steps a minute)... that seems quite a similar way to how you run... it seems to have a good scientific basis (from what i've seen) and it has worked for me... apart from calf pains for the first week and a half i had no problems changing my technique... it has become automatic now...

but since you run like me (i think)... do other people have the same problem with not being about to run slow during long runs?... it might be to do with running style but i always seem to run fast even if i don't want to and so i struggle to do more than 5 miles... my long distance run is 5.5 miles (not much longer than my regular run is it!)... but i really can't run slowly enough to run distance... the slowest i can do is what i call 'run like a pigeon' with short steps at high cadence and that isn't that slow... btw, i'm just going on with what i feel when i run... i never time myself running and only measure the distance... i'm not a big fan on overanalysing of technique like they have in the runners world forum... it put me off a bit... i found it a bit daunting for someone quite new... i still think running is a basic activity and doesn't need uber-analysis...
 

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Hiya :)

I'm hardly at Gebreselassie level myself, I run a marathon in about 3:30, but for long runs it's generally best to not take them that fast, simply because 18 or 20 fast miles takes so much out of your body, drains your immune system etc.

What I found last mara was that I'd done running far, and done running fast, but suffered because I'd never combined the two to run fast for a long distance. So at the moment I generally try and pace myself, so that the first 13ish miles aren't fast enough to completely tire me out, but keep the pace for the whole thing fairly decent, eg my target race pace for next mara is 7:40ish, last long run pace was 7:50 overall. So I think that if you had in mind to do long runs in your weekends, and can make them vaguely slower than your tempo runs, then you would probably get a lot of benefit from them. I certainly notice the difference in stamina vs runners of similar level to me at the end of half-marathons, very satisfying :d

As for pace changes, intervals etc, I try to get a negative split or keep pace fairly constant, ie not tail off much towards the end, and might try to make the last few miles at race pace, but don't do any real speedwork in them because it's hard to do much for your technique when you're knackered, and probably best not to add the extra stress on tired muscles.

Hope that helps, interested to see what other people do :)
 

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Running technique has been covered before, although the thread(s) in question are probably not on the first page for their given subject. If I remember rightly, they were talking about the relative merits of forefoot versus heel striking.

I've always thought that it's best to stick with the running style that you naturally have: in fact don't even think aout it at all. Just run. I've known plenty of runners who have had, shall we say, "odd" running styles. The example that always seems to come to the fore when this subject comes up, is Emil Zatopek, whose gait has been described as ungainly - even ugly. But this didn't stop him from winning the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the 1952 Olympics.

I'm another one of you runners who tends to run (when fit enough) fast all the time. The only thing that really slows me down on those long week-end runs is running with someone else. On these occasions it's more normal for the pace to be held down to a conversational speed. Left to my own devices I'll quite happily go out and run flat-out for anything up to 12 or 13 miles, using the run as a time-trial. I even have routes which are designated as "time-trial routes": those which I run on with the intention of chasing a time. It's just the way I've always trained. I can't really say if this approach is right or wrong. I know that it got me some decent results; but also that many others are not able to approach their running in the same manner (each having their own, equally effective regimes). As with most things to do with running, it all comes down to the individual. People using vastly differing methods to get very similar results.

Revenged said:
"...i'm not a big fan on overanalyzing of technique like they have in the runners world forum... it put me off a bit... i found it a bit daunting for someone quite new... i still think running is a basic activity and doesn't need uber-analysis...

This is the approach which I wish would be adopted more often. If you're interested in racing and improving, just bear in mind that what you teach your body to do in training; it will be able to do in a race situation.
If you run; you will get fit.
If you run more; you will get fitter.
If you run fast; your speed will improve.
If you run long distances; your endurance will increase.

Whether or not they analyse or plan or calculate the way they run,everybody who runs has a regime based on a combination of those basic elements. Different people...... Different combinations.

If anyone's interested in learning about the possible benefits of running slowly however, check out this site and the online version of the book "Long Slow Distance"
www.joehenderson.com
 

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Running style/technique is something you can analyse until the cows come home, but you may still never find a better way to run than your natural gait. The key points I try to remember when trying to run efficiently are:

  • Don't lean forward! At least not at the waist, try to lean slighty forward from the ankles, your centre of gravity will then be slightly further forward and your natural weight will encourage forwards momentum (though this is something most people will do naturally anyway - you certainly don't want to be leaning too far forwards!)
  • Based on scientific research of elite athletes (depending on how much you trust/believe in science, you can take it or leave this advice) - the optimum cadence (foot strikes per minute) for efficiency is 180. You probably won't be too far off this to start with, but try counting how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30seconds, multiply this by 4 and you get your footstrikes per minute.
  • Use your arms! Swing your arms forwards and backwards - as you already will do (it's bloody hard not to!) but try to make sure your arms aren't crossing your the midpoint of your chest, if they are then you're probably using more energy than you need to for no real gain.
  • Concentrate on forward propulsion - concentrate on moving horizontally, bouncing up and down as you run isn't a particularly efficient way to run.
  • Don't stray too far from what feels natural - if it feels uncomfortable and very unnatural, then the chances are you won't be running as well as you normally can!
  • Stand tall, chest slightly out, relax your shoulders... 'run like a warrior'.
Feel free to comment and criticise as you see fit :)
 

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If you want to know what body position is best then look at the africans running, just a typical one, say the one who comes 4th or 5th. if you're short look at a short one if you're tall look at a tall one but you'll see, if you look hard, that their hips and shoulder twist in the opposite direction.

As the right hip comes through forward the left shoulder rotates forwards and vica versa.

When they are going fast they drive their arms back to help the legs come through the stride quicker.

On long runs the group I run with usually goes at around 7-7:30 pace for a long run, as an average. The fastest of us run sub 31 mins so it's a good 2 min per mile off race pace.

So it's not slow, but if you had to run faster you could. Some times towards the end of the runs the pace picks up a bit, for example the last long run I went on the two ahead of me ran the last 3 miles at an average of 5:10 pace with the last 4:53 I think. I was happy to be going at 5:30 pace. But then again that was a fairly slow run however it was up and down mountains.
 

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richardsimkiss said:
Running style/technique is something you can analyse until the cows come home, but you may still never find a better way to run than your natural gait. The key points I try to remember when trying to run efficiently are:

  • Don't lean forward! At least not at the waist, try to lean slighty forward from the ankles, your centre of gravity will then be slightly further forward and your natural weight will encourage forwards momentum (though this is something most people will do naturally anyway - you certainly don't want to be leaning too far forwards!)
  • Based on scientific research of elite athletes (depending on how much you trust/believe in science, you can take it or leave this advice) - the optimum cadence (foot strikes per minute) for efficiency is 180. You probably won't be too far off this to start with, but try counting how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30seconds, multiply this by 4 and you get your footstrikes per minute.
  • Use your arms! Swing your arms forwards and backwards - as you already will do (it's bloody hard not to!) but try to make sure your arms aren't crossing your the midpoint of your chest, if they are then you're probably using more energy than you need to for no real gain.
  • Concentrate on forward propulsion - concentrate on moving horizontally, bouncing up and down as you run isn't a particularly efficient way to run.
  • Don't stray too far from what feels natural - if it feels uncomfortable and very unnatural, then the chances are you won't be running as well as you normally can!
  • Stand tall, chest slightly out, relax your shoulders... 'run like a warrior'.
Feel free to comment and criticise as you see fit :)
You really think about all that when you run?!:eek:
Do you have to take a bit of paper containing all the points with you so's you don't forget any?:)
 

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:d I can just imagine someone trying to run along and remember all those points... truth is most people will follow them naturally - but it can be a good checklist if you're really feeling like your gait needs improvement ;)
 

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pedestrian said:
Running technique has been covered before, although the thread(s) in question are probably not on the first page for their given subject. If I remember rightly, they were talking about the relative merits of forefoot versus heel striking.

I've always thought that it's best to stick with the running style that you naturally have: in fact don't even think aout it at all. Just run. I've known plenty of runners who have had, shall we say, "odd" running styles.
I would agree but the problem is with running injuries and not speed... You don't need great technique to be good - the range of techniques competitive runners have shown that you can run well in all sorts of ways... but you can reduce injuries with by thinking about your running technique... This is for sure... Maybe as you have been blessed with good technique so you don't need to think about it... but it is still true that one of the main causes of plantar fasciitis and shin splints is overstriding caused by very hard heel striking... Running shoes have become so cushioned that it often isn't noticed... However, if you run bare foot on concrete you'll find that you run midfoot or flatfoot and you won't heel strike...

I do agree that you don't need to think about how you run too much but personally I thought pose was simple... The basics of it are - midfoot landing, short strides and high cadence... It isn't rocket science... It doesn't need the in depth analysis some people are giving it... Although the technique has a good basis, I do it myself, but this isn't the impression most people will give you...

Some people act like Dr.Romanov is some god who evented this 'special' running technique... Check out the runnersworld opinion of pose running... Reads like an evagelical christian sect with people following their God 'Dr Romanov'... They constantly critise people for not having perfect technique as though it's some gift that only they have and you can only hope to achieve...

"It takes months to get the perfect technique, you can only do it if you follow 'drills' and buy the book by the running doctor and invest in 'special' flat shoes, send in the video so i can hyper-analyse you... etc."... Some tosh the people told me...

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/forummessages.asp?UTN=8237

They need shooting I tell ya... A lot of it is nonsense... Do they really think this technique is so revoltionary?... It wasn't suddenly invented by a Russian scientist in the seventies... It's been around for donkey's years... Fortunately the videos on the pose website were helpful and the runners on this forum are nicer :d...

lol... am very opinionated for sure... ! :cool:
 
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