During the last few weeks we have been asking if you would like to become stronger runners. You read about running economy and distance running technique and practiced running form drills. Many of you also responded with posting videos of yourselves running on Instagram for a chance to get feedback from a professional running coach.
“I was surprised by how well people ran in general, I expected much worse,” says running coach Adam St. Pierre from CTS. Adam and Jason Koop, another CTS coach, have been commenting the running videos.
What were the most common issues you saw in the videos?
“I think the most common issues I saw related to posture. A few people leaned too far forward, bending at the waist, a few people were too straight up (or even leaning back). Proper running mechanics starts with posture. Without good posture it is very difficult to have an effective arm carriage or sufficient hip flexion and extension. If hip flexion is limited, it is very difficult for a runner not to overstride. If hip extension is limited, it puts strain on the lower back and limits the ability of the gluts to produce power,” Adam St. Pierre explains.
Any tips on how to move forward?
“Stand tall and run happy, that fixes most issues,” concludes coach Jason Koop.
And the winners are…
Three of the most inspiring #howdoirun videos won Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR watches. Here are the winners.
Tim Larsson from Åre, Sweden
Tim Larsson comes from Åre, the mountain capital of Sweden. Coach Adam gave Tim mostly positive feedback, but pointed out an issue Tim was already aware of. “Due to weak hips I have a slight inward rotation on my left foot. This is something I have been working on and it feels good to get a confirmation,” says Tim.
“I have a small dream of running the entire Kungsleden (“The King’s Trail”), a 450-kilometer multiday trail run, here in Sweden in the end of the summer. So my focus now is simply on injury prevention so that I can go on for long periods. I am also trying to become a better, more efficient climber for the skimo season next winter.”
Aaron Harwood from Sydney, Australia
Filmed for the Suunto "How do I run" Contest on Sunday 11 June 2017. This was filmed by my awesome eight year old son. The time at the end is my finish time from the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon last month. I need some tips to run faster 😃. What a great morning. Thanks Suunto. #howdoirun #suunto #running #triathlon
“Adam’s feedback has been really helpful. I was aware that I heel strike causing a deceleration at each stride. I was unaware of my posture and how that was making me overstride,” says Aaron Harwood from Sydney, Australia.
“As I run now I’m constantly thinking about maintaining an upright posture. I’ve noticed in the last few days that I’m now working other muscles as I can feel a difference during recovery. By reducing the tendency to overstride, I’m also able to maintain a quicker cadence. I will be adding high knee drills into my routine and I’m sure I’ll be able to start seeing my speed increase.”
To keep his motivation high, Aaron already has a goal in his mind “I’d like to run the New York marathon next year.”
Sarah Brough from Seattle, WA, USA
Posting this for the @suunto #howdoirun event ... I never really was an avid runner. Up until a year and a half ago, I couldn't even make it 1.5 miles. But, after having my second kid, I felt like I needed to improve my personal health and so, I started to run. Now, running has become an outlet for me, a way to challenge myself and see what my body can accomplish. There have been a lot of ups & downs, but through a lot of training, I've been able to accomplish goals that I never imagined I could, like running a full marathon & 2 half marathons. I've come to love the mental game, the runner's high and the sense of accomplishment I feel once I've beaten a PR. I want to keep improving which is why @suunto I'd love to know #howdoirun 🏃🏼 #suuntorun #suunto
“I've been able to work on coach Adam St. Pierre’s suggestions on a few runs already and honestly, it's been tough to change my stride. But, it feels a lot better when I do it. Also, I was able to go faster when I really focused on it, which is great because that's what I am most focused on right now in my training,” says Sarah Brough from Seattle, WA, USA
Sarah has set herself a goal to run two half marathons, with one of them being under two hours. “I just finished my first half in May & got a time of 2:05. My second one is in the end of August & I'm hoping to shave off those last 5 minutes, so I can reach my goal.”
Congratulations, Sarah, Tim and Aaron. And thank you everyone for submitting your videos Happy running!
Main image by Matt Trappe