Running technique for everyone: from overweight to average
Common vision of running as a difficult and almost impossible physical exercise for overweight people, which could crush their bones, joints, ligaments and tendons, is unfortunately confirmed by reality. Regardless of the obvious benefits running could bring to the cardio-respiratory system and consequently improve overall health, the possibility of serious injury during running scares away people with overweight condition.
Is there no hope? Are these people condemned from running once and forever? The answer is no. The solution is in developing of the skill of running and movement.
All these facts tell us that all these kinds of running are different. More than this, it looks like running is just “designed” for slender people only, with relatively small body weight, and consequently overweight people are left out.
First of all, in order to overcome this negative image we have to understand that gravity field, where we live, really doesn’t “care” what size and weight you are. Gravity is an inseparable and dominating part of our existence, invisibly and permanently penetrating our life from the cellular level on to the whole organism. It is a force, because it accelerates our body with the constant acceleration of 9.8 m/s² down toward the Earth. No matter the size of the body, it accelerates it with the same rate non-stop, 24/7. The rate of this force doesn’t really change and with some approximation, we could pretty much say that it is the same everywhere on Earth.
Taking this reality into account, we have to understand that this is the only option we have, and we have to learn how to deal with this. What should we do to develop beneficial relations with gravity? What kind of skill do we have to have in order to use gravity? What are we supposed to do, no matter our body weight and size, to make our run safe and skillful?
In the Pose Method we learn to use gravity by falling forward from a specific body position on support, which we call the running Pose. This position doesn’t depend on any personal or other differences, but only on gravity’s requirement to make our body available for falling forward and by this using gravity as a propulsive force.
So the problem is how can an average or an overweight person get this done? The first condition would be to develop understanding and practical use of this knowledge, remembering that the only restriction imposed on us is our level of skill, because “nature doesn’t adjust to your level of skill” (Lawrence Gonzales “Deep Survival”, W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), it’s us who have to do this. Accordingly, we have to develop our ability to run (fall) with the speed and distance allowing us to fit into and to fulfill this requirement.
In the process, while we are doing this step by step, our body will become more skillful, our muscles will get stronger and as a by-product, our cardio-vascular system will develop, as well. So the solution for this problem is in acquiring the skill of movement, which is not restricted by our body weight at all, but only by our ability to focus on the learning process.
While the skill can be developed, the bio-motor abilities of a person can be changed as a by-product of skill development. The outcome of skill development is reduction of injuries and an increase in overall fitness and on a higher level – freedom of movement.
While there are many real life stories and examples, here’s a link to one that’s in written form online. Get inspired! Team GB Runner Stories: Anthony Forsyth
- Proper body alignment in running
- Basic skills of running
- Going barefoot has its benefits
- To drill or not to drill?
- Stride length and range of motion
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