All about the form (GFR)

My daughter and I recently attended a Good Form Running class from Dave’s Running Shop.  I have taken this class several years ago, but it’s always a good idea to get a reminder of these concepts, and it’s the perfect time for Sydney to learn some tips that can help her in her as a “newer” runner.  Best part?  It’s free!  (photo credit: Richard, who also attended.  Thanks!!)

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The class consists of recording each attendee as they do a “normal” run to observe their current form.  We ran along the track at the YMCA and were recorded as we went past.

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Then came the critique of the finer points of our form.  The concept of Good Form Running is based on very simple points:

  1. Posture
  2. Midfoot
  3. Lean

I’m not going to discuss these points, because hey, I’m not a trained professional, and that would be a big spoiler for you when you take the class, but there are a few things I know I could improve on:  posture and midfoot.

Just based on my shoe tread wear I know I have a define style of landing which is the back of my left heel.  My Newtons do promote midfoot landing, but my feet aren’t always landing there!  This was not news to me.

heelland

The other area which I know could use improving is my arm swing.  I’ve known that forever, but when it was mentioned that a body twist is using extra energy, the concept really made sense.

To help us fit into a good form with open chest and arms back, we held PVC pipes behind our backs.  Trust me, Sydney and I giggled most of the time as we felt like Turkey’s when we had to run around the room holding the pipes, but it really enforced what that felt like!  (and btw, I did a double take when I saw this picture.  It’s my twin!!)

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On my run a few days after the class I decided to see what I looked like when I tried correcting the arm swing.  Then I saw this.  DOH!  I cringed.

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My swing is pretty exaggerated on one side.  Yikes, here’s a worse shot from Churchill’s race last weekend! (Come on arms, we can get up this hill!!)

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Yep, pretty swinging arms are going to take awhile to achieve.  That will give me something to work on a daily basis.

If you are interested in a class, Dave’s Running schedules them on a monthly basis (Link here).  This concept is also taught at running shops around the country, so just Google it if you’re not from my town.  Form analysis is pretty interesting!

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Q:  Have you had your form analyzed?

Q:  Are there areas of your form that you are always working on, or have improved?

Q:  Do you have a short work week due to Thanksgiving this week?  

I do!  Took the whole week off because my kids are home from school.  Pre-holiday festivities start on Monday! :)

5 Comments

  1. I also took the GFR class with Jim out at the Perrysburg YMCA. When I try really hard, I do pretty well. When I get tired, it all goes out the window. I have to stop getting tired evidently :) But arm swing is definitely always an issue. I don’t think I have an excessive swing, but I don’t do a great job of keeping them from looking like chicken wings!

    Working Monday/Tuesday only then took off Wednesday to help with packet pickup for the Turkey chase! Helping Friday at Dave’s as well.

    I do plan on taking GFR again early next year. I really think it is important to keep checking to see how we are improving. Maybe a PT will help me as well!
    Dan Clark recently posted…Wife meets blog…My Profile

  2. I have attended this class! At a different store obviously, but it was called Good Form Running and our local store offers it probably 8-10 times a year (They shoot for once a month but some months like holiday months or months with a lot of races are out, since it’s on Saturday mornings). I haven’t done the PVC pipe thing but I do have that arm swing problem. It is an issue for many, many runners.
    Amy Lauren Scott recently posted…Weekly Rundown: November 13-19My Profile

  3. I did have my form analyzed once at PT. (he was trained in analyzing form). I even put insoles in my shoes that were hooked to a computer. He didn’t really find anything too crazy going on with me. I can’t remember anything specific. I do heel strike though. I think that’s bad!?
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Weekend Wrap Up!My Profile

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