The coaching of good running form has fallen out of favor for many running coaches, especially at the sub-collegiate level. Years ago, it was commonplace for a running coach to teach the elements of good form- good posture, quick turnover, etc. With the proliferation of fitness research, good form fell out of favor. Coaches instead focused on building speed through increasing Vo2 max, optimizing training runs, diet, periodization, and other familiar concepts.
Unfortunately this move has resulted in a lot of runners with good fitness… but terrible form.
The smart coaches (or successful coaches) never stopped coaching good form as they realized it was an important prerequisite to maximizing performance. The rest of the coaches let runners run however they ran and instead focused on building fitness.
I’m challenging running coaches to take their athletes to the next level by combining the science of building fitness with the age-old idea of good running form. The idea is simple:
Step one: Teach your athletes good form.
Step two: Once good form is mastered, optimize fitness.
Running coaches need to teach running form. It’s that simple. If you are a coach and you do not teach good form, you should not be coaching.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think the teaching of running form has fallen out of favor? Does it seem like a good idea?