Form Questions



H

Hr

Guest
I just read through Gordon Pirie's book and I identified a few things in my form that he says should
be changed. Does anyone have an opinion on whether Pirie is worth listening to? If so, what is the
best way to go about correcting form? I've thought about a coach but it seems like a lot of trouble.
Thanks for your help!
 
H

Henry B Morgens

Guest
On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 21:14:09 GMT, "HR" <[email protected]> wrote:

>I just read through Gordon Pirie's book and I identified a few things in my form that he says
>should be changed. Does anyone have an opinion on whether Pirie is worth listening to? If so, what
>is the best way to go about correcting form? I've thought about a coach but it seems like a lot of
>trouble. Thanks for your help!

Oh God, don't you just *know* this will start Oz off again?

Can't you simply slap "running form" into google and relive the boring debates that have taken place
in rec.running over the past thousand years on this subject?

Bottom line: Pirie was no fool but he wasn't talking about recreational runners. Believe it or not,
'form' is RARELY an issue at international level.

Personal bottom line: For the average runner with no gross biomechanical problems, attempting to
change your natural running style is not only incredibly difficult, it's probably counter-productive
in terms of long term injury prevention. As for a coach, if you can find yourself a good one they
are worth every penny they'll charge.
 
T

Topcounsel

Guest
>Bottom line: Pirie was no fool but he wasn't talking about recreational
runners.

This comment is on the money. Time and again, as I have read through Gordon's material, I have
thought to myself that his perspective and his advice are absolutely predicated on the premise that
the reader is an avid competitor seeking to become world class. From what little I know of him, even
"casual" runs were anything but.

If you really wish to convince yourself about what Gordon Pirie's perspective was, just read the
material on "shoes." It will open your eyes, if nothing else. I find it almost comical.
 
D

Doug Freese

Guest
Rodger opines:

> Personal bottom line: For the average runner with no gross biomechanical problems, attempting to
> change your natural running style is not only incredibly difficult, it's probably counter-
> productive in terms of long term injury prevention.

You can change form but one must do it gradually, very gradually. All to often the heel striker
decides it's bad form and suddenly decides to land mid foot and ends up in the injury column.

As for a
> coach, if you can find yourself a good one they are worth every penny they'll charge.

Amen!

--
Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
 
L

Lyndon

Guest
Rodger Hunter wrote:

>>I just read through Gordon Pirie's book and I identified a few things in my form that he says
>>should be changed. Does anyone have an opinion on whether Pirie is worth listening to? If so, what
>>is the best way to go about correcting form? I've thought about a coach but it seems like a lot of
>>trouble. Thanks for your help!
>
>Oh God, don't you just *know* this will start Oz off again?
>
>Can't you simply slap "running form" into google and relive the boring debates that have taken
>place in rec.running over the past thousand years on this subject?

Admittedly, I know of no other running site with as much about form. And the Romanoff stuff (falling
forward) conflicts with the training of most coaches (see Dr. Michael Yessis or the USA Track and
Field Coaching Manual for comparison). But that doesn't mean form drills and biomechanics don't have
a place: Even Lydiard knew this.
>
>Bottom line: Pirie was no fool but he wasn't talking about recreational runners. Believe it or not,
>'form' is RARELY an issue at international level.
>
Here's a reference for you: "Better Training For Distance Runners," p. 26. This is a photo of Steve
Cram beating Coe in a 1500, but with Cram's leg turned SIDEWAYS. Cram had so much talent that a few
years ago he "jogged" the London Marathon in 2:35--while chatting away on a headphone doing live
interviews for the BBC! If he had Coe's injury history, El Guerrouj might still be trying to break
Cram's WR. But Cram's biomechanics impacted his training and probably shortened his career. He had
many injury problems. So form IS an issue at the international level.

>Personal bottom line: For the average runner with no gross biomechanical problems, attempting to
>change your natural running style is not only incredibly difficult, it's probably counter-
>productive in terms of long term injury prevention.

In many cases, injury prevention IS the reason to change running style....If you're a heel striker.
AT, PF, ITB, shinsplints and others can all have origins in heel striking or uncorrected
overpronation.

But the key is to NOT consciously adjust one's form. It should be done as part of training. Going
back to the original work by Cavanaugh, it has long been known that direct manipulation of cadence
and stride length is counterproductive. But there are a series of drills, such as high knees, butt-
kicks, quick feet, and bounding that encourage one to run on the midfoot/forefoot (which will
correct overpronation problems in many runners). Also running strides (50 meter smooth acceleration
to roughly mile speed, then 30-50 meters at that speed) will help improve biomechanics, speed, and
injury problems.

>As for a coach, if you can find yourself a good one they are worth every penny they'll charge.
>

Lyndon "Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!" --US Olympic Track Coach Brooks Johnson
 
H

Henry B Morgens

Guest
On 25 Jan 2004 04:54:08 GMT, [email protected] (Lyndon) wrote:

>Here's a reference for you: "Better Training For Distance Runners," p. 26. This is a photo of Steve
>Cram beating Coe in a 1500, but with Cram's leg turned SIDEWAYS. Cram had so much talent that a few
>years ago he "jogged" the London Marathon in 2:35--while chatting away on a headphone doing live
>interviews for the BBC! If he had Coe's injury history, El Guerrouj might still be trying to break
>Cram's WR. But Cram's biomechanics impacted his training and probably shortened his career. He had
>many injury problems. So form IS an issue at the international level.

I didn't say never, I said rarely.

If you're going to hark back to that era, take look at a picutre of Cram next to Ovett. Ovett,
belive me, was a big guy at his racing weight. Cram was even bigger. I belive that Cram's injury
record - which wasn't too bad - was more related to his sheer physical size than to his technique.
He was actually quite a smooth runner on track, and made far less noise than Ovett did when he
thundered past you..

>In many cases, injury prevention IS the reason to change running style....If you're a heel striker.
>AT, PF, ITB, shinsplints and others can all have origins in heel striking or uncorrected
>overpronation.

All may be corrected by methods other than changing the basic running style. Look, I'm not saying
NEVER attempt to change your running style. There are lots of ways - and you've mentioned some below
- where style can be improved, I'm saying that for recreational runners to chase after the holy
grail of an 'idealised' running style is to miss the whole point of why they're running.

>But the key is to NOT consciously adjust one's form. It should be done as part of training. Going
>back to the original work by Cavanaugh, it has long been known that direct manipulation of cadence
>and stride length is counterproductive. But there are a series of drills, such as high knees, butt-
>kicks, quick feet, and bounding that encourage one to run on the midfoot/forefoot (which will
>correct overpronation problems in many runners). Also running strides (50 meter smooth acceleration
>to roughly mile speed, then 30-50 meters at that speed) will help improve biomechanics, speed, and
>injury problems.

Most of these techniques introduce a greater range of motion than normal into the areas affected
by running. It has been argued that increasing the range of motion in a joint can, in itself, be
protective in terms of reducing its susceptibility to overuse injury. However, I will concede
that the use of simple high knee and botty kick drills can turn most folk into a much nicer
runners to watch.