The cor­rect run­ning form

New Straits Times - - Heal - Sl­izta@nst.com.my

Par­tic­i­pants start their timed loop run.

RUN­NING and know­ing how to run prop­erly — plus the nec­es­sary ex­er­cises to make you run bet­ter — are sep­a­rate mat­ters that should be ad­dressed to­gether, but of­ten ig­nored. For thou­sands of run­ners, lac­ing their train­ers and pound­ing the road are ad­e­quate. They pay lit­tle or no at­ten­tion to the tech­niques of run­ning, build­ing fit­ness and re­sis­tance train­ing, all of which are manda­tory if you want a run­ning ex­pe­ri­ence that’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing and not merely tir­ing.

At the Q&A ses­sion with Stan­dard Char­tered KL Marathon 2017 of­fi­cial run­ning coach Mark Wil­liams in Bukit Jalil two week­ends ago, a man asked why he was al­ways out of breath.

”Be­cause you are not fit enough,” came Wil­liams’ blunt an­swer, a man­i­fes­ta­tion that while run­ners run, some do not know what they are re­ally do­ing.

Even if we take build­ing mileage or run­ning your per­sonal best out of the

Of­fi­cial SCKLM Run­ning Coach Mark Wil­liams. equa­tion, get­ting ed­u­cated on run­ning and its sur­round­ing top­ics will help you stave off in­jury and en­joy the ac­tiv­ity for years to come.

IM­Part­ING KNoWL­EdGE

With the aim of dis­sem­i­nat­ing run­ning knowl­edge to the pub­lic, a se­ries of run­ning clin­ics have been or­gan­ised and will be held for SCKLM 2017.

There are ju­nior clin­ics for chil­dren and ado­les­cents, nor­mal run­ning clin­ics for adults and dis­tance-spe­cific run­ning clin­ics for those who want to tackle their first half and full marathon.

So two weeks ago, I woke up early to at­tend a run­ning clinic on the cor­rect run­ning form, held at the Bukit Jalil Park. I had an­tic­i­pated a small event but as I walked to the warm-up area, it felt like a small-scale run­ning event was be­ing or­gan­ised.

There was an in­flat­able arch as start­ing point and fin­ish line as well as metre mark­ers for run­ners’ ref­er­ence.

Par­tic­i­pants had to wear bibs that came complete with tim­ing chips. I guessed it gave the or­gan­is­ers an op­por­tu­nity to try them out on run­ners be­fore the big day on May 21.

Wa­ter and iso­tonic drink sta­tions were pre­pared. Par­tic­i­pants even had ba­nana and cof­fee wait­ing for them af­ter their run. Booths by SCKLM 2017 spon­sors were also set up, pro­vid­ing dis­counts for par­tic­i­pants on se­lected mer­chan­dise.

It was, by far, the most wellor­gan­ised run­ning clinic I have ever been to.

tHErE For tHE LESSoNS

But I wasn’t there for the at­mos­phere. Nei­ther was I there for the 90-minute run that full marathon can­di­dates had to complete.

I was there to lis­ten to Wil­liams talk about the im­por­tance of proper pos­ture in run­ning and how you need to de­velop your back mus­cles since they are un­der­used, to stand straight and not slouch while you run.

I was also there for his clas­sic snap warm-up that in­cluded dy­namic and ply­o­met­ric move­ments to warm your mus­cles and raise your heart rate si­mul­ta­ne­ously so you are all ready for a run in a jiffy.

Af­ter the run, Wil­liams took par­tic­i­pants through some re­sis­tance ex­er­cises, es­pe­cially to build core mus­cles.

For a long dis­tance run­ner, core strength is ex­tremely im­por­tant. Your legs can­not stride for hours and your body can­not swing to help pro­pel you for­ward if your core isn’t strong enough to hold them.

So Wil­liams got ev­ery­one on their el­bows and toes for a vari­a­tion of planks, moun­tain climber and push ups.

The reg­is­tra­tion email re­quested par­tic­i­pants to bring their own ex­er­cise or yoga mats but there were only three mats

“Get­ting ed­u­cated on run­ning and its sur­round­ing top­ics will help you stave off in­jury and en­joy the ac­tiv­ity for years to come.”

seen that morn­ing.

Do­ing those ex­er­cises on the grass was man­age­able, but not hav­ing a com­fort­able floor will pre­vent you from get­ting the most out of the ex­er­cises.

So if you are go­ing to sub­se­quent clin­ics, please bring your mat. It will make learn­ing ex­er­cise tech­niques much eas­ier.

The clin­ics are free, but the lessons learnt are in­valu­able. So go to https://reg­is­ter.kl-marathon.com/2017/scklm17/clin­ics to reg­is­ter for the up­com­ing one.

Get­ting schooled about run­ning is prob­a­bly what you need be­fore May 21 ap­proaches.

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