What is the ideal pace start when teaching running form? For years, many of us have taught people to start at a very slow pace, then eventually speed up. The logic was simple- this helped prevent injuries. Running faster puts more stress on your body.
There’s a problem with this generic advice, however.
Many people find it more comfortable to run at a faster pace. By forcing them to slow down, we’re taking them out of their comfort zone, which makes the learning process even more difficult.
I’ve commented before that mot people run with near-perfect form when sprinting. If we can use that as our “teaching baseline” to get the student to feel what better form feels like, we can then work on generalizing those elements of better form to slower speeds.
Of course this will require added caution. The likelihood of getting injured while sprinting versus jogging at a 14:00/mile pace is probably higher due to the greater forces involved. Still, taking a conservative approach should mitigate the risk.
What do you think? When teaching better form, should we assess what pace the student feels most comfortable, then use that as a starting point? Or should we continue to teach form when running slow and attempt to generalize better form to faster paces?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section!