photo block

Thursday, April 28, 2016

run with your feet

Another post on running form! Can there ever be enough?! 

Run with your feet…

That’s it. It’s brilliant, right? It may seem pretty simple. That’s because it is. It may seem obvious. But it’s taken me two decades to think about it in this way. There’s a lot of discussion about footwear or lack thereof—about form, posture, stride, cadence, etc… There’s talk of forefoot landing, heel strike, motion control and cushioning. But things change—the body, goals, energy level, terrain… So, I think, perhaps, that, while I still intend to strive for best form, there really is no perfect lesson which will apply to every, or any, runner all the time. 

In my recent running, I’ve been letting my feet go, letting them do the running and following their lead. And I’ve had some great runs and even some fast ones in this way. Sometimes this means I land on the forefoot, sometimes on the heel. Sometimes this means my knees lift high, sometimes I shuffle. And often it all gets mixed together on a single run. Trying too hard, forcing your feet to do something they’re not interested in, may not be the best approach to finding that natural stride and form. The foot is not an inanimate block on which we land but a springy complex creative improvisational free floating jazz master! 

So run with your feet… run like a jazz master… and the rest will follow…

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I may have mentioned before that there seem to be a lot of runners that live on my street. Or at least live nearby and run on my street. I see several everyday. Two of them are sisters. They may even be twins. And they have the most amazing form—running form! I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of running form—perhaps because I feel that my own form is far from perfect and it seems to hinder my performance. So I blog about it and I think about it and I practice it as much as I can. Watching other people run with good form may be the best way to understand how it all works. And then imitate to the level that one can. There’s something so beautiful about seeing these sisters run. No doubt it is amplified by the fact that there are two of them and they are fast! It’s inspiring. They get me running and they get me running better. And on a rare occasion they even show that they, too, (two), are human. A few days ago I saw one of them run by. Then a few minutes later the other one walked by, looking rather beat. I was probably a bit happier to see this breakdown than I should have been, but it made me realize that running is sometimes hard even for the best of them. And maybe if one’s form is breaking down it may be better to stop for a bit. To walk for a bit. Rather than practice poor form. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Rain Practice

I don’t do much running or riding in the rain. Here in Southern California it’s usually only a day or two wait until better weather so I just accept it as a rest day. And while this El Nino season hasn’t exactly delivered on the higher than normal rainfall, I have had a few opportunities to get out in the rain. Three days in a row now, actually - run, ride, run. And I’ve noticed something. After some good suffering (not struggling, mind you!) in the rain I find myself calmer and more alert back in the real world, so to speak. A bit like a meditation practice might do—a rain practice…

Thursday, April 7, 2016

basic things in common

I met up with a friend in the pub yesterday evening. He’s someone I’ve done a few long rides with. And a few short runs. So we talked about riding. And running. And the people that seem to rotate in and out of our circles. And we drank beer. Pretty basic. It was a short visit. We both had other things to attend to.