The final piece of my recent running evolution has been to examine my running technique. I had formerly seen video footage of myself running and had photos analysed by numerous people as well as spoken to professionals at expo events and in running shops, but never paid a huge amount of deep interest to how I run or what my own biomechanics are.
Firstly, I went to see a man who examined my running style in depth, then I joined the brilliant running technique programme led by James Dunne of Kinetic Revolution. What I have been able to do, in addition to the miles I am actually running, is a number of running-specific strength exercises, technique drills, and dynamic stretches each day in order to develop my form. Some very interesting things happened throughout the past few months while I have been doing this.
Initially, I found it very hard. I was using muscles that I did not usually use as much. I was running in a very muscular fashion, picking my legs up with my quads (thighs) and pulling my legs through my hips. At the end of my runs, I have been adding drills that included picking my legs up with my hamstrings – heck, these are big muscles that I was not using nearly enough, but found a more balanced running form when I got used to using them in a relaxed fashion during my longer runs.
I also learned how to use my arms more effectively when running too. The old way of stretching was something I had never taken to and could never find enough evidence to motivate me to engage in it regularly and diligently. With the dynamic stretching, I feel like I am increasing my mobility, becoming more flexible, getting a great stretch and strangely (I say strangely, because it might just be) the dynamic stretches almost feel like a workout to me. My stride is naturally benefiting when I run as a result of this.
When I ran my marathon PB back in 2012, I did weight training throughout. My sports massage therapist reminded me of the difference in my body composition then compared to now, having not done weight training for a long time. I was much more muscular then. There were pros and cons to this. The pros were that I felt great with that physique, I found that on longer runs and during marathons, my strength would help me combat any demons and hills were a breeze. The downside is that I was quite heavy and had to transport that muscle around, and the training was not really specific to what was needed when running.
Due to the fact that I ran a PB in that shape, I feel positive about doing resistance and strength training, but I feel even more assured currently as I learn running specific strength training. I have really noticed the difference. For me though, the most important reason for examining my running technique is that I have suffered with recurring injuries for a couple of years and when you examine the research, you see that many running inures begin with poor form.
I would highly recommend the Kinetic Revolution online programmes to any runner based upon how much I have gained from it, though again I want to reiterate a theme of mine from recent blog posts here at the Hypnosis For Running blog. We are all individuals and as runners we learn a lot about our own body. I have found elements of the programmes that have really helped me and when I have attempted to apply other elements, it has not felt right however hard I try to affect it or take it on board.
Recent months have helped me to find what is right for me and how to adopt the best running style for me, my body type, my natural inclinations when running, and be relaxed when applying changes and updates. I’ll admit, I do not think I am absolutely where I need to be and more changes are being tweaked and incorporated currently…. And that is where us runners can learn and benefit greatly from the use of our mind and imagination.
When we know what we want and what is beneficial for us regarding our posture, running technique and biomechanics, we can use mental imagery, self-hypnosis and cognitive sports psychology methodologies to enhance that. In the field of hypnosis, we often refer to what is known as an ‘ideomotor response’ – this refers to the fact that when you imagine a motor movement happening in your body vividly enough, even if you are not consciously attempting to do that motor movement, micro movements still occur without volition. When you apply the ideomotor response when engaging in the activity, then you advance it greatly. It makes absolute sense to use imagination for your running motor movements, to get them right, to reinforce them. It also adds a sense of congruence – that is, your mind and body working together in unison – as if we needed another way to enhance our enjoyment of the running experience, eh? 😉
One of the classic phenomenological elements of self-hypnosis to have been consistently reported throughout research is that it advances mental imagery in a number of ways. The two are perfect bedfellows for use when it comes to advancing biomechancial aspects of sporting performance. I want to show you how to utilise that.
To start you off with, you might like to refer to some of my former posts here about using mental imagery to affect form, which have been quite generic and use modelling of various forms of motion (other runners, animals, machines etc) to help with speed and running endurance, but then I’ll be back tomorrow with a self-hypnosis process that is designed to help you when you know what you want your running style and technique to be. (edit: that article on using self-hypnosis to advance running form can be found here) Stay tuned, I’ll be back…
In the meantime, have a look at this video by James Dunne of Kinetic Revolution to give you an idea of some of the changes I have been through in recent months.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support taking your sporting performance to the next level?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
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Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Have you read my book Hypnosis for Running: Training Your Mind to Maximise Your Running Performance? It helps any athlete or sportsperson maximise performance.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis and how it can help you advance your athletic performance, where you’ll learn to understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.