My mom tells me that I skipped the whole crawling and walking thing. As soon as I was able to stand, I started running. I don’t remember if this is true or not but it makes sense. Walking is essentially controlled running.
If you watch kids when they are first figuring out how to walk, they lean forward far enough that gravity pulls them into a fall. They bring one foot out in front of them to stop the fall. The process continues with each step. I’ve thinking about this ever since a friend turned me onto Laurie Anderson’s Walking and Falling in high school. So, when we run as kids, we simply give into gravity a little bit more than we do when walking.
The ravages of socialization and sitting in desks lessen our ability to let gravity take us into a run. For adult women, it can be even harder because we start wearing shoes that lift our heels high than our toes, which actually shifts us into that falling position constantly. We learn to fight gravity by leaning back. We have to make a lot of effort to run because leaning forward and letting gravity take us has become unnatural.
As an adult, I found running difficult and just so not fun. Fortunately, I discovered Danny Dreyer‘s Chi Running. I relearned how to take the effort out of running by coming back to how I ran as a toddler. It took some time to trust that I could work with gravity without falling on my face, but once I did, running became more enjoyable.
Whenever I work with clients on their running form, I have to get them used to this same feeling of controlled falling. It is so satisfying to see when they get it and to hear that their knee or hip pain has subsided, because they are working with gravity rather than fighting it.
On December 15, Spitifire launches Ready, Set…Run!, an online program for runners. The program includes:
- Why and how to warm up and cool down from your run
- Techniques to speed recovery
- How to prevent muscle stiffness and tightness
- What women need to think about that men don’t
- Cross-training tips for runners
- Resources to improve running technique
For more information and to sign up, visit the Ready, Set…Run! page.