Let’s Review: Running Form

You’ve been out logging the miles, pounding the pavement, but when was the last time you thought about your form? Everyone’s running form will look a little different. The mechanics of your body while running is determined by your flexibility, your muscle strength, and your body’s proportions. Even if you’re currently running comfortably and are happy with your results, some major benefits can come from improving your form:

Reduced Risk of Injury

Nearly 80% of runners experience some kind of injury every year. Good form helps you utilize your body evenly and effectively, ensuring that you’re not neglecting one group of muscles/joints or putting extra strain on another.

Higher Efficiency 

Put simply, high efficiency means more miles with less energy. Checking in on your form can allow you to enjoy the run more and go farther.

Increased Speed

When you combine better efficiency and healthier muscles and joints, you’ll see an improvement in your pace. Those who consider adjustments to their form often find they can push the pace.

Knowing this, you’re probably eager to find ways to tweak your running form. Here are the basics to consider:

Lean Angle

Think about the angle of your torso and legs as you run. Are you bending at the hips and leaning your torso and head forward? This common example of poor form. Here’s how to improve: lean at the ankles. Your body should stay in alignment together from your contact with the ground, creating a clean line from legs, to hips, to chest, to head. 

Arm Position

Consider where your arms sit and how they move while you run. Are you holding your arms low? Do they travel far when they swing with each stride? These are examples of poor form while running. Here’s how to improve: Keep the bend in your elbows at a 90-degree angle or tighter. As you swing your arms, check that they are brushing your sides (indicating that you’re holding them in close to your body.) A slight swing is great, but make sure your elbow or wrists don’t completely cross the line of your body.

Sightline

Where do you look when you run? Are you gazing down at your shoes or in the couple feet ahead of you? This means you could improve your sightline while running. Here’s how: aim to keep your gaze about 20-30 feet in front of you.

Need more assistance with your running form? Curious about other ways you could step up your running game? Our coaches can provide testing, analysis, and training plans that will help you make the most of your miles. Contact Science of Speed today.

5 Reasons You Need A Bicycle Fit

Schedule a Static Bike Fit

Too often, we hear stories of athletes who have been dealing with debilitating pain, recurring injuries, or other symptoms that sound more like they are riding a medieval torture device than a bicycle.

Our goal at Science of Speed (and Bike Fit Box) is to provide athletes with the training, fits, and testing they need to enjoy a lifetime of cycling.  Here are five signs that it’s time to see how a bike fit can be beneficial to your cycling longevity:

Joint Pain

Cycling is a minimal weight-bearing form of exercise and any joint pain should be immediately assessed. If you’re feeling discomfort in your joints during and after your ride, it’s time to schedule a fit.

Saddle Pain

Saddle sores, excessive soft tissue pressure, and numbness are all factors that are indicative of an improper fitting.  These symptoms quite often immediately lead to the assumption that the incorrect saddle has been picked. This however is not always correct and saddle comfort can be improved by bicycle fit!

Numbness 

When you hear the two words “cycling” and “numbness” in the same sentence, what comes to mind? More than likely, you thought of groin numbness.  That can be a terrible sensation, and it is a concerning one. Numbness can arise is the hands and feet as well. No matter where you may experience numbness, it is indicative of nerve trauma and should be resolved as quickly as possible. A bike fit can help you avoid irreparable damage.

Tendonitis

Cycling is a repetitive sport that occurs predominantly in one plane of motion.  At 90 RPM, you are asking your body to repeat the same motion 5,400 times in an hour of cycling.  That repetitive movement is asking a lot of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. If your bicycle fit is not correct, you are placing the tendons, which connect your muscles to your bones and provide the needed leverage to pedal, under greater strain than necessary.

Cycling Economy

The body is a series of levers and hinges. In order to make them function effectively and efficiently, each of those hinges needs to perform in optimal ranges.  A fit is the optimization of these movements to improve your efficiency. It is an amazing sensation when your bike fit is perfected. You can’t beat the feel of the wind in your face and the smoothness in your pedal stroke as you glide with less effort!

Ready to schedule your bike fit? If you’re in the North Florida area and desire an in-person professional fitting, visit this page to book your appointment now. If you desire an at-home fitting anywhere in the US, try Bike Fit Box!