Right, just back from a fantastic course on running today :-)
Spent a few hours in Pollok Park being taught the Chi running method by Nick Constantine of Soul in Motion. What a brilliant day!
Nick got us to run back and forth in front of his video camera a few times to record our current running style, at both a steady and quick pace then highlighted the error of our ways! We then spent time improving posture and alignment, learning how to run from our core and the fact that our feet are primarily there for support - not as some sort of magical propulsion devices.
Keeping cadence high (about 180 steps per minute) and simply leaning forwards, the feet land directly under your centre of mass and you're off! Gone are the heavy 'slapping' noises of your trainers heel striking into the ground and resisting your every move forward. Gone are the knee and ankle jarring forces as your body works against you. Instead your legs seems to turn over without effort, landing silently and softly as you are pulled forwards as if connected by a giant bungee rope from your core towards the horizon. Rather than 'trying' to run faster you simply lean further forwards, engaging your higher gears, and whoosh - you're off!
Did I get it right every time? No chance. But I know what the correct feeling is now - and what a difference it makes. We practiced moving up and down through our 'gears' and I was reaching speeds, almost effortlessly, that I would never have attained using my previous technique.
I'd thoroughly recommend one of Nick's courses to anyone who wants to improve their running, whether you're looking for injury avoidance, greater efficiency and or speed. Given he's from Whitley Bay he was always going to be a top lad, but his coaching was great and I'm now really looking forward to putting on my running shoes again and putting this style of running into action.
I'll post videos up of my before and after styles in the next few days. For the first time in a very long time I'm really excited about my running - the handbrake is off now - watch out Mo, I'm coming for you ;-)