Running within yourself

I just got back from a 15 mile run. Yesterday I ran 10, and the day before that 10 as well. This is after taking 3 days off because of work. I know that I can run that many miles without injury because I have sorted out my form. I am especially aware of my posture.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain the posture I described for the duration of a run. So often, as people become fatigued, they look up and stick their head out. It looks as though they are thinking “oh God, how much farther?” The head is actually pretty heavy, so sticking it out on the neck throws our balance off quite a bit. Looking up and sticking our head out makes us throw our butt out behind us somewhat, causing our pelvis to be out of alignment and preventing us from engaging our core muscles correctly. It’s very easy to succumb to poor posture, and simply trying to keep good posture might not always be enough. Sometimes it helps for me to think of running within myself. I’ll explain what I mean.

While we run, we often want to look up at our surroundings. In races, we often want to see who our perceived competition is, or perhaps we’re looking longingly for the finish. This leads to a downward spiral of poor posture, increased effort, and possible injury. By thinking of running within ourselves, and not being concerned with external things, we maintain proper posture and keep our mind more engaged with our body. Being in tune with our body helps us avoid injury. You often see top runners with this sort of “running within themselves” attitude. They’re not looking up way ahead, with a worried expression. Their eyes are often cast down, just ahead of them a bit, and they have a rather inward, relaxed expression on their faces.

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