Over the last year I have had over 600 injured runners through the running clinic at The Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin. Every one of these runners has had video analysis and coaching advice about components of their running technique that may be contributing to injury. Having seen this number of runners a few patterns have emerged and some common form issues have arisen. This resulted in the development of a poster ‘Four Steps to Running Re-Education’ This contains the four most common coaching points we use.
—John Foster, MCSP, MACPSM, Dip Phys, PGDip H. Sci.
Four Steps to RRED
- Project chest up and forward
- Look forward with crown ofhead lifted
- Avoid arching lower back
Rapid knee drive
- Slight increase in knee height
- Lift foot off ground-don’t push off
- Aids downwards foot drive
Downwards/Backwards foot drive
- Drive foot downwards and backwards
- Main cause of forward propulsion
- Aim for mid-foot or slight heel strike
Slight increase in step rate
- Increase by 1-2 steps per 10 seconds
- Smaller quicker steps initially
- Short ground contact time
light, floating, springy, quick, easy, relaxed, flowing, smooth, quietly ticking along…
tired, heavy, flat, plodding, slow, spongy, saggy, hard, jerky, loud, thudding, slapping…
Be patient and build run time gradually. Walk rather than run with bad form as it takes weeks to make the transition. It is normal to be slightly more fatigued and have tired muscles for a few weeks but sharp pain is a warning. Happy Running!