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Lär dig löpteknik: Re-learning to run

April 21, 2011

photo from göteborgsvarvet

Sometimes people ask me why I blog about running. My answer is that I believe in sharing ideas. Since I started running 12 years ago I have gradually discovered new perspectives on running. From the spectra of trail running experiences: physical, mental, geographical, estetical, creative etc, to the mindful awareness about presence, breathing, form, style, technique, playfulness, eagerness etc.

Most of you who stumble across this blog are probably already into running, especially trail running, so I probably can’t tell you anything you didn’t already know. Or?
However. Fact is that most people don’t know how to run, which also goes for runners who have been running several years, including some fast runners. Because if you would know you wouldn’t get injured every year, like 8 of 10 runners get – every year!

Face it! If you get injured you lack knowledge about how to run injury free. Even if you have the knowledge you probably don’t apply it. We need to ask ourselves: is there another way? Is it possible to reduce the chock impact by changing running style, by running in a more conscious way. Unfortunately today everybody is seeking the answers in the material: the shoe. I agree that shoes are important – but even more how you use them, and your body, and your mind.

We need to re-learn how to use our bodies – and how we use our minds. Running mindfully is about listening to your body, your thoughts, instincts and intuitions. It’s also about running in a responsible and careful way – not pounding like machines with stiff limbs, like it was some kind of punishment. I have been reading Malcolm Balk and Andrew Shields exellent book “Master the Art of Running” based on the Alexander technique ideas. It’s a need-to-read book for anyone who is interested in honing their running skills. First, let’s agree on the first principle: the running movement starts with the head, not the feet. Second: If you aren’t aware of how you use yourself, how can you improve? Answer to the question: so do you think about how you run all the time when you run?
My advise, after having been running for 12 years, is to be humble. Accept that you probably don’t know how to run. Re-learning how to run is a process, nothing that happens by reading a book. You need to start applying your newfound knowledge, step-by-step, like this advice:
“Do allow the knees, rather than the feet, to lead the movement forwards.” (quote from the book mentioned above)
Try it on your next run and tell me how it worked!

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