Sunday, March 4, 2018

Form Check, Part 3

It's time for another check in!

I've been working on my running form since the start of the year with the help of a Physical Therapist, Casey, from Therapydia Denver, (full transparency: this is part of a series of blog posts sponsored by Therpydia) with the goal of becoming a more efficient, and less injury-prone running. What this means in real life, is that I'll be able to run more and hurt less!

What all of us runners want, right?

Over the last several weeks I've focused on exercises and relaxed running. I still have work to do, since it's never really over, but watching the video during my last session it was clear I'm making good improvements. 

Each session at Therapydia begins with a warm-up, followed by a run on the treadmill while Casey captures video to get a closer (and slower) look at my gait, and then we go through a series of exercises, typically a mix of old and new.

The mix of exercises to build core, glute, and hamstring muscles coupled with retraining my mind and body to run more relaxed, is how I'm really going to improve my form.

I have two groups of exercises to do, three times a week each: floor and standing. Depending on the day and how much time I have at home or at the gym to get them done, I may just do one group or I'll do both. If I'm being real, it also depends on how much energy I have.

Standing exercises
  • Monster walks with a band around ankles
  • Speed skaters with a band around ankles (make it tougher standing on a balance/cushy mat so it's not so stable)
  • Single leg dead lifts with a kettlebell (if you're new to these, try the first few days without any weights, or very light ones and don't worry about reaching the ground, keep your hips parallel to the ground and back straight)

Floor exercises
  • Hamstring curls with a exercise ball and band just above knees (or not)
  • Bridges on a Bosu and band just above knees (to make it a bit harder: "march" by lifting one foot up - leg straight out, then the other)
  • Side plank/clamshell combo with or without the band just above knees
  • Alternating planks - alternate between standard forearm plank and side planks
  • Kneeling band push is a bit awkward, so the photo below helps illustrate it. Tie a knot at the end of a band and secure it in a door, the pull it taught and kneel on the knee closest the door. Push the band forward so arms are straight, then pull it close to the body, and repeat. This core exercise requires some good balance.

These exercises along with some drills on the treadmill and stretching have been my routine. Oh, and a nice 30-minute yoga break we've been doing at work once a week, courtesy of a colleague who is also a yoga teacher. I cannot say enough good things about the ability to take 30 minutes out of our fast-paced, busy weeks to stretch and clear our heads.  

I have another session coming up soon where we'll do another check of my running form, see if these exercises are actually turning into something, and maybe I'll get more to add to the routine. I feel like things are improving and with my sights set on a race now, that provides extra motivation to keep doing the work. 

If you're looking for the other posts in this series, you can catch up here:

What is one of your favorite exercises that keeps you running strong?

This post is sponsored by Therapydia. All opinions are my own.

No comments: