What cues do you use to focus on proper form? I've had a lot of trouble getting runners to tell me what is good form, as the common answer seems to be "just go run, and you'll figure it out". I think it's better to have an actual focus, but I'm never sure what. Lately, I've been focusing on my arm carriage - relaxed shoulders, with pointy elbows and hands traveling from hips to chest.
I too am curious, Misha.
I do something similar to Alex (not sure that I am the poster boy for good form, mind you) I focus on keeping my hands loose and swinging so that they brush past the seam on my shorts. That's how I keep the arm carriage in focus.
Especially on hills I try to drive my knee up quickly as well. By focusing on having a lot of energy in the initiation of each step it helps direct the entire motion of the legs.
I've worked pretty hard on it, but I think I have finally managed to stop my head from flailing side to side when I am tired during intervals and at the end of a race.
Alex, thank you for asking the question about the cues to use in focusing on proper form. I love running on a regular basis. However, it's not a trivial task for me to do so in a safe, healthy and productive manner. Focus on specific cues helps me in this. Just the other day I was thinking of leading with the big toe of each of my feet during the run. This seemed to be working. Another cue I keep using is the thought of pushing off with the balls of the feet as opposed to the more lateral sides of the front feet. The arm carriage cue that you describe sounds like a good one to use as well. In particular, I find that it helps me to think of relaxing my shoulders when I run.
Ross, thank you for adding to the discussion. It sounds like the arm carriage cue works for you, too. I like your ideas of driving the knee up quickly on hills and of having a lot of energy in the initiation of each step. It is also good to hear that you were able to improve your focus and form at times when you are especially tired, such as during final portions of difficult runs. For most of us mortals, those are the times when it is both most crucial and most difficult to keep up good focus and form, I think.
Ooh, the big toe. I like it. I'll play with that one, too.
Alex and Ross, I was experimenting with the arm carriage cue today. Specifically, I was thinking about relaxing my shoulders, pointing my elbows and my hands into the vertical plane of the swing. It helps. Thank you for mentioning it.