Good Form Will Carry You Through®

Running on LSD®

Chips Not Fists

By on 03/13/2013 in Running

Good form will carry you through

When we get fatigued, we have a natural tendency to tense up, which makes us unconsciously do things such as grit our teeth and clench our fists. When we clench our hands into tightly held fists, we are slowing ourselves down unnecessarily.

Chips ... Not Fists

Clenched fists make the tension in our forearms rises up to our shoulders, making our hearts work harder. Use this technique for good form, and good form will carry you through℠.

Clenched fists make the tension in our forearms rise up to our shoulders, and that tension extends to the rest of our body. This makes our hearts work harder to push oxygen-rich blood into our muscles, resulting in more wasted energy and, ultimately, a slower pace.

To release this tension, think about holding an imaginary potato chip without breaking it. If your fists are clenched so tightly that you can’t hold that chip, wiggle your fingers and loosen your grip. Body tension will reverse, allowing the deliverance of more oxygen-rich blood to our muscles with each heartbeat. We’ll return to a smoother, longer, more efficient stride, and more energy is saved for the finishing kick.

Balling your hands into fists instead of holding an imaginary potato chip is one early warning sign of fatigue and inefficient running form. I’ve outlined a couple of other signs – zipper lines and chicken wings – that alert us that our running form is degrading. As I say – good form will carry you through. And by paying attention to our body’s signals, correcting such problems as clenched fists or chicken wings are easily corrected.

Are you a beginning, intermediate, or even an advanced runner who wants to train for the Chicago Marathon or another fall event? If so, click on my page for endurance running programs. You’ll find all the information you’ll need about my 20-week training programs for fall marathons, which begin on Memorial Day weekend. I’ve designed six specially prepared schedules – basic, intermediate, and advanced continuous running and basic, intermediate, and advanced run/walk.

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