“Running is controlled falling” – Scott Jurek
I wish I knew that when I first started. Up until recently, I thought I had this running business sorted out. Then I got too cocky and paid for it when I did a morning run with a friend on a highway full of speeding cars, trucks, buses, dust and fumes. My options were to finish the run, be roadkill or die of carbon monoxide poisoning. I chose the first option.
I survived and ended up running a straight 14K (no stops). At the end of the run everything hurt! But my friend was fresh as a daisy. He suggested that I watch online videos about running because my form sucked. Then it hit me: why on earth didn’t I do that in the first place… and could this crazy theory of his really work?
Time for a Test
To find out, I scoured the web for the best videos geared towards teaching beginners and recreational runners about how to use proper form and follow basic principles to avoid injuries. Here are the videos I personally found useful.
Good Form Running (GFR)
Produced by: Playmakers, New Balance
Why it’s Awesome: You’ll get valuable pointers from Olympian Grant Robison. The quality of the videos are good and the lessons are short, informative and easy to remember.
The “Four Points of Good Form Running” covers:
- Proper Posture – How to reset while running to get your body in alignment.
- Midfoot Strike – How to ensure the middle part of your arch touches the ground first.
- Cadence – Gives you something simple and audible to focus on when trying to shorten your stride.
- Forward Lean – How to get your natural momentum going.
Stop! Look! Listen! Running Tutorial
Produced by: Newton Running
Why it’s Awesome: Very practical running advice that every beginner should know. The four minute video talks about stride length and how to float like a butterfly. Prepare to smile a little when Newton co-founder Danny Abshire does his Stop! Look! and Listen! routine.
Danny talks about the three fundamentals:
1. Stop using excessive brake force.
2. Look forward to propel your body forward.
3. Listen to your feet striking the ground.
Proper Running Technique: Running Form Tips and Drills
Produced by: Vo2Max Productions
Why it’s Awesome: Pretty solid tips from accomplished marathon and trail ultra runner Sage Canaday on how to do running drills and run faster with good form.
In this five and a half minute video Sage talks about working with your body, not against it. The video demonstrates some useful drills for improving running form.
The Starting Line: Proper Running Form
Produced by: Runner’s World
Four short videos covering basic running form, running on hills and track running. The last video is about running gear for beginners, an excellent resource if you’re still figuring out what gear you need.
How To Run: DOs & DON’Ts
Produced by: THNKR
Why it’s Awesome: Daniel Lieberman, Evolutionary Biology professor and the science behind the best selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher Mcdougall, gives five pointers on how to run the right way.
Short, high quality video covering five running “dos and don’ts”:
1. Don’t overstride
2. Do land on a flat foot
3. Do run vertically
4. Don’t thump
5. Do ease into it
How to Run (SAFER, FASTER, WITHOUT PAIN!)
Produced by: Athlean-X
Why it’s Awesome: Former Men’s Health Writer and NY Mets Head Physical Therapist / Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Jeff Cavaliere gives free coaching lessons on how to run.
In this eight minute video Jeff explains why it can hurt when you run, talks about the three different types of runners and how to properly use the natural springs on your feet. It’s a pretty good tutorial that goes into the mechanics of footstrike in great detail.
Watching these Videos worked for me
After watching the videos, it was time to get busy. First, I did all the drills mentioned in Good Form Running and the video by Sage Canaday. Right off the bat, my form saw improvement and I started to run light on my feet. I wasn’t plodding anymore, which was awesome. I started running a bit faster for longer distances without going into cardiac arrest. Maybe it has something to do with my cadence and shortened stride, but the bottom line is: I’m a better runner now after spending a few days watching these videos and practicing proper technique. No bull! Maybe the results will be different for you, but it worked for me.
Could these videos turn a beginner into an elite level runner? Probably not. Dedication, patience and a good running program does that. What these videos can do however, is help beginners work on their technique before bad habits form and take over. Invest some time in watching the videos and practise what you learn.
Good luck, and see you on the road.
Have you found any online videos that are particularly helpful? It would be great if you could share them in the comments!