My Coach Says My Running Form Sucks

Ok, so he didn’t say that exactly. What he said was this:

Coach:  “Hey, are you ok?

Me:  “Yeah.”

Coach:  “I mean, are you injured?

Me:  “No. I was injured before but I feel ok now.

Coach:  “Ok. Well you’re running hunched over to one side and swinging your other foot around in this loop like this…” *he demonstrates the Hunchback of Notre Dame running in a three-legged race; throwing a gimp leg around in a wide arch with each step*

“… it looks like you’re injured. If you want, you can hop on the treadmill at the store and I can show you on film what you’re doing…

Me:  “No no… that’s ok. I completely believe you and understand what you’re saying. I don’t want to see it, er, I mean, I’m going to work on it… One more thing to work on. Thanks for letting me know.” (I hunch even more because it’s embarrassing and depressing)

Coach:  “No problem! We’re all working on stuff and trying to improve stuff all the time!

hunchback

this is what I look like running…

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say? I feel like this is deja vu from last year. I feel like I’m struggling just as much as last year and my form is just as crappy as when I started last year and I feel like I LOOK like I’ve never run a day in my life. It’s really hot here but, as I’ve said before, it’s nothing compared to what it will be like in 2 months down here. That being said, I’m still not used to the heat because I’ve been hiding out on the treadmill inside the last few months. And I know when I’m really tired, my form goes to shit.

I’m glad my coach noticed it. He’s a really nice guy. One helluva runner too. He’s one of those run addicts who does ultra marathons and if he’s not eating or working, he’s running. It’s crazy. But he knows his stuff. And he knows a crappy run form when he sees one. Moi.

Today when I went out on my 4 mile run (it felt so hot and it wasn’t even that hot!) I found myself doing the hunchback shuffle again. Damnit! Apparently it’s my signature move! I don’t know why I’m doing it. I think it happens more at the end of my runs when I’m tired. But I’m trying to stop doing it and hold my form better. But it feels like I’m doing so much work already just managing to run 4 miles out in this heat. Adding “fix my form” to my run chore list feels like so much extra work.

hunchback

hunchback of south florida! weeee!!

Anyone have any tips on how to better my run form? Is it just practice practice practice?

9 responses to “My Coach Says My Running Form Sucks

  1. Hmmm, have you thought about adding core work? Bicycles, planks, bridges, etc. When I was marathon training, my coach wrote core work into my plan 3x/week right after a run…including long run days! Sometimes I only did one set instead of the 3 he told me to. 😛 I like the set of core exercises that the oiselle elites do, maybe look at those!

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    • Thanks!! I totally forgot that he did mention core stuff too. I was too distracted by the initial critique. :/ Yes, I have started doing core workouts and the IT band strengthening stuff lately. I hate it so much but I’m committed. I wasn’t doing it to improve form but I’m glad to hear that it helps that too! Core workouts after long run days sounds crazy though! Eek.

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      • Yeah, I think both will help your form! The ITB/hip strength can take strain off your knees and the core work should give you the strength to maintain good posture. Keep it up, it will pay off!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In college my coach used punish our bad form by making us right holding sticks. I think it’s because female tend to sway their upper bodies a lot making the arms come across the body instead of parallel to each other and close to ribs. Perfecting form is tricky; I feel your pain! I agree with racinggopra’s advice… core strength is key… especially your back! I noticed a big difference in my form when I truly focused on strengthening my core. Good luck!

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    • That’s funny! Holding sticks? I’m trying to make my hands “hit my hips” like my high school coach used to shout at us. I guess I just let it all go – my core and my form. :/ Thanks for the advice! Now I have to figure out the best core exercises. I’m just doing situps on a giant bosu ball right now.

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