Thad signed us up for a free workshop at a local running store in Brighton, Elite Feet - it follows the "Good Form Running" program. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and started to get a little nervous as some of the attendees came in all dressed in their best running gear, looking terribly official! What was I doing there? I'm barely able to call myself a runner at this point!
It was an excellent class, taught by the manager of the store, Mike, who clearly has a passion for what he does and an interest in learning more and sharing it with others. After an introduction to the main points of Good Form Running, he took us outside to the alley to run and film us. Then he had us take off our shoes and run barefoot and filmed us again. After that, he had us count our strikes with our right foot for 10 seconds (he timed us).
What I learned about myself - I think I have pretty good posture and arm position, but I need to work on leaning forward a little more and striking with my midfoot. I of course did better barefoot with that because your body automatically adjusts - which is why the whole trend in barefoot running. (no, I'm not taking up barefoot running, but I may consider more minimal/transitional shoes at some point). I run a little too much with a heel strike, but not as much as some of the others in class. It was also nice to see people there that had come to 2 or 3 of the workshops and had improved over time with their form. The ideal goal for strike count is 180 in a minute (left and right total). Most of those in class had 13 like I did, except a few (including Thad) that had 15, which is the goal. I was fascinated to learn that 180 does not depend on speed whatsoever, but on height of knee as it comes up and goes back. He showed us videos of a 12 min mile and a 5 min mile, both with 180 strikes. Really interesting stuff! A metronome is what would help to get the right # of strikes, and I understand there's an ap for that (of course there is!).
So, I need to keep all this in mind and work on adjusting my form a bit, then I'd like to go back for another workshop and see if it's improved. Thad really enjoyed the class and learned a great deal about his posture too. This has been another fun thing to do together :)