Learning to run is all about body mechanics and practice. Posture is important regardless of your own running goals, and practicing the running posture makes a tremendous difference for a new runner. Within a few days of teaching myself to run on the treadmill I was plagued with shin splints.. I hobbled around for hours after a run feeling a bit defeated. Instead of giving up on the idea of becoming a runner, I decided to ask my doctor about the problem.. In a matter of minutes he described to me how I was likely striking on my heel, which can cause many problems including shin splints. Doc suggested that I look into either “Pose” or “Chi” running, both of which seemed to focus on a more natural and relaxed running posture that keeps the body in line and working with gravity instead of against it.. and like everything, it takes repeated practice and focus to become proficient. I really like Chi Running and suggest it to folks who want to dig into the concept in more depth.
Flash forward about two years, I ran across a video posted by Chris McDougall suggesting that an exercise called the “100 Up” is a simple drill to practice the natural running posture. Of course I love to run, so I tend to practice my posture while I’m running.. but there are times when a quick few minutes of doing this drill can be handy without having to change into running gear and shower afterwards.
Check out the video of Chris McDougall introducing 100 Up.