A few days ago, I wrote about the progression of information a runner should use to learn better form. The next question is related:
What method should you use to learn better running form?
There are a ton of methods out there that can teach good form. ALL of the following will help you reach the same goal- better running form. Each method uses different teaching techniques. Some are simple. Some complex. Some use analogies. Some use scientific principles. Some can be done in a matter of seconds. Others may take years.
While many will argue about the merits of one method over another, I’m taking a different approach. You should choose your method based on your preferred style of leaning. Here are a handful of methods:
- Pose- Developed by Dr. Nick Romanov, Pose is a fairly technical method that is best taught with a qualified coach. I incorporated some Pose methodology when I learned to run with better form. Check out Dr. Romanov’s book here.
- ChiRunning- Developed by Danny Dryer, ChiRunning is an easier-to-learn method than Pose, though a qualified ChiRuunning coach is helpful. ChiRunning also incorporates elements of tai chi, hence the name. I used ChiRunning before running barefoot and still use a few of Dryer’s analogies. Check out Dryer’s book here.
- Ken Bob Saxton- Ken Bob has been the most visible barefoot running advocate in the world over the last two decades. I learned most of my techniques from Ken Bob’s writings from his website, and my own teaching methods are heavily influenced by his own methods. Ken Bob has a knack for making difficult concepts easy to understand. Check out his book here.
- Michael Sandler- Sandler, along with his wife Jessica, have been traveling the country teaching about barefoot running for a number of years. Sandler uses more of a “connecting to the earth” methodology, which is appealing to many. Check out his book here.
- Ted MacDonald- Ted’s methods were also one of early influences. Ted also uses simple explanations to make better running form approachable. As of right now, he does mostly coaching. You can learn more about his services here.
- Evolution Running- Evolution Running is a simple method to learn better form that takes the complexity of methods like Pose and boils them down to easy-to-execute steps. The DVD is better than the book.
- Good Form- Good Form running is a method developed by my friends at Playmakers running store in Michigan, and is now taught by New Balance in clinics around the U.S. Good Form dramatically simplifies the process of better running form, which makes the method exceedingly approachable. Learn about Good Form here.
- BareForm- BareForm is the method I helped develop in conjunction with Merrell. Our motivation was to create a very simple method that would be easy to teach and share. This is the method I teach in the “beginner” clinics we conduct around the country. Learn more about the method here.
- My methods- I would recommend people learn about BareForm first, then graduate to my more advanced methods found in my book. I tap into my experience as a high school teacher to explain the ins and outs of barefoot and minimalist shoe running in an easy-to-understand approachable way. The soon-to-be-discontinued second edition of my book is available here, while the updated third edition is available for pre-order here.
This is far from a complete list; it just happens to be a list of the methods I’m familiar with. There are other methods can can be effective. When choosing, do some research on each of the above methods and pick the one that feels like the best match.
Some may ask why I’m promoting all these other methods over my own… the answer is simple. Helping people run better can change their lives, and my methods won’t appeal to everyone. If I can help those people by giving them alternative methods, the world will be a better place. Besides, all the other folks are pretty cool cats and I’m happy to support their endeavors. This is a team effort.
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