Form Matters

Rough stretch of weather, huh? I slogged through two tough workouts on the treadmill for the first time in a year and intervals seem to be the ONLY way to go for me. Some people enjoy just zoning out on the mill, which is great, but I prefer to take my easy/steady state runs outside ;) Here's another tip that makes use of the treadmill while promoting good running form. Use this as a warm-up during your next session.

  1. Start jogging IN PLACE @ while the treadmill is preparing to start. Count your right foot and make sure it lands 15 times in 10 seconds. Check again to be sure. Most people will tend to bounce slowly from foot to foot when jogging in place. Don't do this!
  2. Maintain that exact same sensation in your feet/body as the treadmill roars to a speed of ... 1 mph.
  3. Run at 1 mph for 1 minute. Check your stride rate. Give your dreadmilling neighbor a thumbs up. “One mph is where it's at, baby!”
  4. If you can maintain that stride rate (15 steps every 10sec), then increase the speed to 2 mph.
  5. Run at 2 mph for 1 minute. Still have that light-on-the-feet sensation?
  6. Continue to increase the speed 1 mph every minute until you can no longer maintain that original sensation of being upright/tall, light on your feet, quick stride rate, etc.

Concentrate on maintaining the original feeling (especially in the feet) you had while jogging in place. Do not let your mind drift to the negativity spewing out of the cable news channels or the latest celebrity gossip.

It is crucial that you are mindful of your body during this warm-up drill. We are trying to establish a new pattern of movement. It's gonna require a little work!

If you try it, let me know how it goes. How fast could you go before you reverted to your old running technique?

Did you feel like you were running differently than before?

Did you like it better or worse?

Did it feel awkward?