I need to work on my running form. Good form is when I keep the planes that pass through the hip, knee and ankle joints of my legs and feet parallel to each other at all times when I run. Bad form is when I turn the toes outwards when I put the feet on the ground. Bad form probably hurts my lower back. It definitely hurts my joints and my toes, especially when I run in shoes that are designed for good form. I believe I developed some of the bad form over some period of time due to the fact that bad form felt more stable than good form. However, I should improve my form now. Good form helps me avoid the above-mentioned injuries and makes me a more efficient runner. It also helps me relax, open up my chest, breathe deeper and look up. I believe that simple awareness of all of the above whenever I run will help me improve my form.
A simple metaphor helps me improve running form in the course of training. It was suggested to me by Larry Berman. In our conversations, Larry has likened running training to tempering (endurance training) and sharpening (speed training) of a knife. Although Larry didn't extend the metaphor to the sharpening of the running form, that extension occurred to me today. When I pay attention to my running form, the plane of symmetry that bisects my body in two is the blade of the knife. Its edge faces down and forward, from between the feet to eye level. The planes that pass through the three joints in the legs (hip, knee and ankle) are the surfaces that sharpen the lower portion of the knife edge. The planes that pass through the three arm joints (shoulder, elbow and wrist) sharpen the upper portion.