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Become a Better Runner

I was talking to our brand representative from adidas and she asked if I had always wanted to open a running store.  I think she was surprised when I said no - but I think  it’s a perfect fit.  Let me explain.

Run Hip founders Todd Bellino, Jim Peltier, myself and our sidekick Todd Williams were actually age group swimmers together.  Jim became the Captain of the Monroe High Varsity swim team; Todd Bellino and I were All State and All American swimmers for Coach Ron Evans.  Todd Bellino went on to swim Division I at Eastern Michigan and I swam for Ohio State.

That said, I am not a complete running neophyte - Todd Williams and I both ran track for Coach Bork, but to paraphrase Megamind, “Todd won some; I almost won others.”  Although you could probably argue that it was this gap in knowledge and technique along with a competitive nature and desire to improve that planted the seed for Run Hip.

I went to Ohio State to become a high school English teacher and swimming coach.  I wanted to be like my high school coach and Monroe High teacher Ron Evans.  However, twenty years later after a couple twists and turns - I found myself on a group run in Chicago as President of SignMeUp.com with a couple Olympic athletes.  We were jogging on the Lake front in between trade show sessions when I took the unique opportunity of running with two elite athletes that I had to ask - “so can you give me some running pointers?”

They gave me the Bill Bowman slogan that you just “do it” but what they were really doing was to paraphrase his book Jogging, “techniques vary greatly…how you jog is never as important as that you jog.”

This just didn’t make sense to me and I thought the guys were holding back information - so I persisted.  I explained that often Triathletes will ask me for swimming pointers and I am happy to help them out.  If you can’t swim you don’t just hop in and “do it” -   you take a lesson.  If you want to golf you hire a pro.  Why should running be different?  I didn’t get any more information that run, so I began searching for myself.

The Pose Method

What I quickly discovered and later read verbatim from Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s book The Running Revolution was that their view was actually common if not prevalent.  Most people felt that running was a simple exercise and didn’t require technique.  

“One prevailing theory held that running was second nature to humans and should not or could not be taught, since each individuals running style was preordained, essentially at birth, by his or her physical stature.”

The idea that you just run 100 miles per/week and either break down or become good doesn’t make sense to me.  If you’re asking me to choose between an advertising slogan and Plato’s theory of ideal forms or Leonardo da Vinci’s study of human movement