Knees: Be cautious to keep your knees moving in the forward motion opposed to the outward motion. The angle of the knee has to do with how you are striking and releasing with your foot. If your foot is stepping slightly outward your knee is also going to go outward then as your foot comes up it (usually) swings it back toward the midline. If it helps, try straddling the yellow lines of a running path or road and take notice to the direction your foot is hitting. If it’s pointed to the outside bring it in. If it’s pointed toward the inside point it out. Now, don’t go out and say, oh but my knees still hurt It must be because of my foot strike. There are several reasons your knees can hurt. If you can’t shake the pain be sure and visit a physical therapist or you can ask questions to my favorite therapists from here.
Hopefully you took the advice from ‘Form’ part 1 and have been putting it into use. As my husband read through my post I could not help but laugh as he moved his hand into the ‘egg’ position. “Eureka”, I thought, at least someone is applying this!!! Obviously, there is more to form than just upper body especially as the legs are the ones that do most of the work. So lets continue moving down.
Hips: I thought this explanation from my good friend Kirsten Pollard from The Morning Runner was excellent in regards to the hips. “Most runners have decent form when they are not tired, but this all can change a few miles down the road. If you can maintain good form when tired, you will have a significant advantage over your local age-division rival that seems to always sign up for the same races you do. When tired, most runners will either lean too far backward or too far forward. If you lean too far backward, you will slow down significantly. If you lean too far forward, you will compress your lungs—which decreases your airflow. Both extremes left uncorrected increase your chances for injury. You can achieve a “just right” lean that Goldilocks and Baby Bear would be proud of by tilting your hips slightly forward while keeping your back straight. The next time you get tired check to see if you are a lean-backer or a lean-forwarder, and make any needed adjustments.”
Foot Strike: Again I liked how themorningrunner said this, “Generally, distance runners land on their heel or mid-foot, while sprinters land on their toes. While there is some argument in the running community about which is best, it should be noted that WHERE you land is not nearly important as HOW you land. Land lightly, keep your stride short, and maintain a fast foot turnover, and you will find that many problems with your form or potential knee injuries will disappear.
Well now that you have the basics you really don’t have any excuse not to hit the pavement. Make a goal and start today. Running for 30 seconds is better than not running at all. Not to mention, this March weather is hard to resist! Also, my shoes of choice are Mizuno Wave riders as seen here. I never deviate from them. They have kept me injury free for years so why change right?