What your operating type says about you
In fact, when discussing different running styles, there are several ways to look at this. Let me finish When you talk about a running style, are you referring to foot kick? Correct shape? Training techniques? Something else?
What are the different running styles?
Some discussion areas are included here. First, there is a kick. A runner's stroke is as individual as that of the athlete. Shape is another topic of conversation. The training style also comes into play. This can relate to your training plan and when you train alone or with the company.
Discussions about running style often lead to the issue of kicking a foot. There are three basic types of strikes: the forefoot strike, the metatarsal strike, and the heel strike. While most people think that the forefoot or metatarsal strike is mechanically better, many elite runners have a heel strike. And let's face it, you cannot argue with success. Let's talk about these different types of foot blows.
Many runners argue that not only is a forefoot strike most efficient, but it also helps prevent injury. The barefoot walking movement is based on the foundation that your feet naturally tend to move and hit in a certain way. The idea is that your body does what it is supposed to do when you walk barefoot. In theory, this should result in fewer runner injuries.
Other runners have a metatarsal stroke. That is, when they hit the ground, it is in the middle of the foot. While not as efficient as a forefoot strike, it is a common way of running. It is not quite the "brake" of striking the heel, but tends to put less strain on the Achilles than striking the forefoot.
That leaves the heel kick. In this type of running, the heel of your foot hits the ground first with every step. Although many people who specialize in running mechanics swear that if you run like this you'll have to change, there are plenty of elites out there with this style of running.
Your kick may or may not tell you something about you as a runner. Some people who sprinted in high school, like myself, may be prone to forefoot kick from running like this. If you've never run a distance before and suddenly run more miles as an adult, your instinct may be to run on tiptoe as you always do.
There are many aspects to running form and the breakdown of some of these things that runners can look for.
✓ head: Your head should be positioned correctly so that it is always facing the runner. Your head shouldn't wobble from left to right as you run.
✓ Shoulders:Resist the urge to shrug your shoulders while running. Running shape is not a good shape!
✓ Weapons: Swing your arms by your side and focus on one full arm swing. You should resist the urge to cross your arms in front of you when you get tired.
✓ Posture: Walk straight and upright. Do not lean forward.
✓ Step: Don't take short, choppy steps. Try to lengthen your crotch without overstretching it. It's a delicate balance.
✓ Relaxation: Do not tense your body, including your hands.
If you are tense, it may mean that you have too much stress in your life. Running can and should be an excellent stress reliever. Try to concentrate on walking in a relaxed manner! If you have your shoulders curled up, you should purposely relax them. Is your jaw tightening? Remember to make it looser. Do not hold your hands with firm fists!
On the other hand, you don't want to be so relaxed that you lose all semblance of good shape. Letting everyone go "Loosey Goosey" is not good either!
Athletes also differ in their training styles. Some runners find a very detailed training plan that everyone runs and they follow it up to loyalty. These athletes usually train for a specific race that is on the calendar in the future. Athletes who run this way are focused, dedicated, and focused on one goal. That goal can be a time or just to complete the plan. In any case, they stick with it.
Other athletes prefer a balanced workout. These people may run a few days a week, devote a few workouts to weight training, and also have cross-training. A runner who falls into this category might also have an end goal in mind or simply enjoy multiple types of workouts.
Then there are people who just go where the spirit moves them on a particular day. That could mean a run and result in the athlete jumping into a spin class at the last minute. Free spirit athletes tend to enjoy flexibility in their schedule. If you prefer to train this way, you may find it difficult to train for a distance race that requires high mileage. Getting PR could also be difficult, but not impossible.
Long ranger, accountability partner or group mentality?
The last category runners tend to fall into is when running alone, with a training partner, or in groups. Of course, some people fall into all of these categories. Lone Ranger runners may prefer this based on their schedule. Maybe you have a job where your shift varies from week to week, or you have young children at home, or you live far away from your running friends.
Another reason people prefer to walk alone is because they have very specific things that they want to achieve. If your plan is for six mile repetitions at a specific pace, you may not want or need company for it. Athletes who are very engaged in their own training sometimes prefer not to have distractions.
Responsibility partners are good for many runners. Whether you run before sunrise or after work, motivating yourself to exercise can be difficult. Knowing someone else is showing up can help you get some people out the door.
There are also runners who prefer to run in groups. If you're lucky enough to have a running group near you, this is your try! Group running is social, can be a fun atmosphere and also challenge you to run faster and / or further than before!
How can I improve your running style?
When asked as a coach how I can improve your running style, my easiest answer is to work on form. If you focus on the things listed above, you should find that you are running more smoothly. My second suggestion is to consider adding core work to your fitness regiment if you haven't already. A strong core is essential to good form for many reasons.
Additionally, the best advice I can give is to take a relaxed walk. Regardless of what type of runner you are, be it an individual runner or a group run, I would encourage you to confuse these. I love a group run, but sometimes the best workout of the week is hammering it alone on the track. For an athlete, balance is king.