How easy is it to teach yourself to run differently?

Running with a friend the other day he pointed out that I should perhaps alter my running style; try to cultivate that nice midfoot striking thing. (Coach tells me off for my toe striking too.)

However, I'm sure I recall people saying not to worry too much about changing whatever feels natural. And, it's all very well to try to alter one's style, but is kind of hard to maintain.

Anyone successfully altered theirs?


  • I agree - the same thoughts crossed my mind but I was told that your natural running style was natural for a reason :-) That's not to say that tiny tweaks aren't possible and over time your natural running style may alter - e.g. your stride length may get a bit longer. But unless you're categorically doing something that's "wrong" and/or going to cause you an injury, I think best just to stick with what you've got. Take a look at any runners in races - there are all sorts of weird and wonderful gaits (and don't even get me started on shapes and sizes)!
  • Your coach should know better, unless he/she has spotted a specific problem causing an injury.

    Nothing wrong with a forefoot strike. In general, anyway.
  • <Huge wanders off to gather thoughts>
  • Chases lyra with big pin to see if it changes her running style
  • the Pose peeps will be along shortly:-)))

    I have found it very easy to teach myself to run differently -

  • Hello SB

    haven't seen you around recently.

    Still training and racing on liquid, alcoholic intakes?:-)))
  • lol yes i am actually, i am still here, on all the race threads i'm doing, Lochaber, Edinburgh and Loch Ness maras and a few other random ones.. ;o)
  • ooooohhhh m*rathons - long way for my old bones:-))

    After FLM this year I think I shall consign them to history.

    Hope yours go well - kep up the liquid training - you do very well on it:-))
  • lol i am too :) we all say we will only do one mara...... i've done 3 now
  • Chris.52Chris.52 ✭✭✭
    I've spent nearly a year with ChiRunning and I'm beginning to feel as if I'm getting there. But I'm someone who took years to learn to drive so I'm probably not typical. Driving is relevant because it's a matter of awareness and coordination as is changing running style. For all sorts of reasons I'm glad I've made the effort.
  • i just run like i did like a lad just a bit slower but need to ask(been scared before) chi pose WTF?
    explain slowly and loudly as if speaking to a forgien person
  • TT

    I thought you came from that foreign land where men were men and sheep were afraid:-))
  • theres a whole book about it, i dont think it can be explained in a few lines!
  • WHOLE BOOK on how to run!

    It better take at least 10 minutes off my PB for that like TI does for swim!

    I will look this up. I may be some time or in shock
  • Chi and Pose are different processes but with an underlying philosophy that great benefits can be obtained in running, and reduction in injury, through adopting a style of running that emphasises the position of the foot and leg in a "neutral" state.

    Body weight is smoothly transferred from one foot to another through concentrating on a mid foot strike with little toe off or backlift (and certainly no heel strike!!) making it, it is claimed, a more efficient running style.

    there are long standing threads on the Forum on both.
  • hmmmmm i tend not to heel strike anyway so........i may be running a style like it anyway?
  • whisper it quietly - but I mid foot strike naturally anyway - so I find it difficult to disagree with the concept.

    It just the zeal of converts to all aspects of it, thin soled shoes et al, that worries me a bit. Some peeps are not as bio mechanically conditioned or suited to running as others and whether they can all convert successfully I do not know
  • This may take some time!
  • <Huge wanders off again to seek nirvana re running styles>
  • Hmmm, thanks all, this thread's given me lots to think about. Mostly needing some research...

    <follows Huge>
  • Welcome, my child, to my spiritual haven.

    Just off to bed L, laters x
  • TT

    you finished yet:-))))))
  • Well TT?
  • Ace question, Lyra. So I've nicked it for this week's Reader to Reader article.

    I couldn't say how much style/technique can influence running performance, though I suspect it's pretty important. With swimming, technique is all. As a kid I swam competitively, and I was pretty fast even though I'm midgety and not very strong. The speed was all to do with how I held my body in the water.

    By contrast I've never been trained to run - I just do it for the hell of it and to keep myself from getting too porky - so I've got no idea what my running style is, whether it's any good or whether I could change it. I imagine it's pretty rubbish, because I'm a slow runner - and I *know* my shoulders are cr@p.

    Would be interested to hear responses from coaches and competitive types.
  • Wow Jane! I am thrilled :-)

    Having not always been that great at avoiding injury, I'm just really keen see if altering my style helps me to avoid further injury. Hopefully, it will then allow my running to progress and improve - something it never gets to do if you're injured for months at a time!

    When I've more time, I'll be giving cycling and swimming a go too. Can't imagine I'll be as good in the water as you though - I was useless at school!

    Cheers for that and can't wait to read the responses.
  • Lyra that's a really good point - I hadn't even thought about it from an injury perspective, just as a way of improving performance.

    Those of us who suffer from dodgy ankles could learn a thing or two from this thread! Come on all you physios, tell us what you think...
  • Chris.52Chris.52 ✭✭✭
    If you don't like the particular emphases of Pose or Chi, there's also "Master the Art of Running" by Malcolm Balk and "triathlon training running" by Ken Mierke. Malcolm Balk is an Alexander Teacher so tries to maximise benefit for the whole body and the whole of life, while fairly obviously the Triathlon book focuses on getting most speed from least energy, as triathletes have almost given their all when they start running.
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