One of the common questions we get from our beginners in our run groups is, “what is the proper way to run?” If you’ve ever watched runners in a race, you’ll see many methods of running; some will have their hands in close to their chest, some will take small choppy steps while others will have long loping strides. So if all of these different runners are utilizing different methods and having success, is there really one good way to run?
The answer, of course, is no. There isn’t one method that’s preferred over another. Each body is unique and therefore each runner will have their own stride, posture and foot strike. But in coaching our beginners, we do point out a few things to help them r-e-l-a-x and be more efficient.
In the first week, we start with crushing baby chicks…or rather not crushing baby chicks. When we talk about arm and hand position, we ask our runners to hold their hands in such a way that if they were holding a baby chick by the neck, the tension held in their hands would not cause the baby chick’s head to pop off. Often when One begins a running program, there’s a lot of anxiety about the process of running. The anxiety can cause the runner to hike up their shoulders, clench their fists or grit their teeth. All of these tension holding postures take away energy from the run and the athlete ends up expending energy that could be used to fuel the run! One of the best things about a good run is the rhythm and stress reducing nature of moving the body through space. So if you want to have a good run, relax and don’t crush the baby chicks!