judging a look by its runner

unawares i am

i find running-themed internet memes to be a little absurd, but sometimes they speak to me in ways that make me hate myself a little.  for example, this particular meme got me wondering what i actually look like when i run. i guess it’s kind of like how people like looking at photos taken of them when they’re caught unawares.  i too want to see how i appear when i’m not trying to look cool and composed.  these are the moments that i’m interested in seeing, how people see me doing my usual thing.

after wrapping up saturday’s trail run upstate, i asked todd to take a video of me, so i could check out my running form.  while todd was setting up the shot, i stood at my imaginary starting line, suddenly feeling a little self conscious.

even though i might think this is how i look when i run, i was feeling overly aware of my arms and legs while sprinting down the path. i wasn’t doing my usual thing at all.

just last fall, i converted from heel striking to forefoot running, so i make little tapping sounds with my feet on the pavement and lean forward slightly from my ankles.  i also learned very recently that my arm swing should mimic the action of elbowing someone behind me.  these newly acquired techniques have changed the way i move my body. not only do these techniques keep me injury-free, but i’m a faster and more efficient runner. since this works for me, i should let go of being so concerned about what other people think.  the angsty, non-conforming teenager in me would be so proud.

7 thoughts on “judging a look by its runner

  1. Every time I run I am so self-conscious of my arms but never knew how I should actually be moving them! I am going to try the elbowing technique in my runs this week! Hopefully no more awkward arms!

    1. let me know how it goes!

      i’m always weirded out whenever i think about what my hands are doing as well. i keep hearing that your thumb and fingers should be relaxed, but then it looks like i’m waggling my fingers all over the place. spirit fingers!

      1. I just tried it today and it works pretty well! It makes me feel like my arms have more purpose instead of just flapping around while I run. I don’t know if it’s just me but I think focusing on that helped straighten out some of my other bad form too!

  2. I think that your arms should always be moving forward and not side to side. I was always taught that you should hold your hands gently as though you are holding an egg. Clenched hands and fists take energy. I’m a big fan of the Chi style of running. I run very, very relaxed and on my mid-foot. I try to get my quads out over my knees and feet and drive over the ground. At times I feel as though I’m getting a great turnover and I’m actually running on rails. Keep running.

    1. absolutely! it’s a no-no to cross your arms over the center of your body, so i’ve been very careful about my running form as it relates to how i move my arms. i’m not 100% familiar with chi running, but from what i understand so far, it seems like a great way to run!

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