I was watching the London Marathon on the television the other day and it got me thinking.
The Kenyan runners were so graceful and relaxed in the way they ran.
I always look at the way people run because it is one of my pet peeves. You may have noticed from some of my other posts that it is something that exercises my soap-box muscles quite frequently.
So, I was admiring the Kenyans gliding over the miles and I started to compare them with the higher placed European runners who were not quite so graceful. The women were particularly bad; leaning back and landing on their heels. They looked like they were running in flippers the way their feet flopped down.
You realize that I’m criticizing world class athletes here?
That brings two questions to mind:
Am I qualified to do so? and
Why do I feel the need to do so?
It amazes me that anyone can run so far and so fast and so regularly in such a bad way and not get severely injured. This is where the stress fractures come from.
But why, in this day and age where so much money and technical and medical know-how are involved, are top class athletes not taught to run properly?
And how much better would they be if they could run properly?
I’ve drifted of my original point a little here so I’ll get back to it as a final thought.
What I noticed was the Africans all ran properly and the Europeans were not so good. The conclusion I came to was that the Africans were probably running barefoot for many years before they became top class athletes and so they learned to run properly whereas the Europeans probably had expensive “running” (I nearly spelled that ‘ruining’ – Freudian slip?) shoes bought for them from and early age and so could not run properly from the beginning.
So if you want to learn to run properly, go back and read some of my previous articles, starting at Do Running Shoes Make THAT Much Difference?