G is for gravity.
Gravity is the force that allows us to land gently on the earth and spring up from it again with every step. This is true whether we’re walking or running, or even when we were babies crawling.
Gravity can be a runner’s friend, but it can also be a runner’s enemy. Here’s how to make gravity your best running buddy.
The next time you’re out for a run, take a few minutes to notice how you’re interacting with gravity.
Are your feet slamming the ground? Shortening your stride is always an option. You can also practice hopping lightly in place. Start with both feet together, then right-left, right-left, then several hops with one foot at a time. Do just enough reps to get a nice, springy sensation in your feet and legs and your whole body.*
Next, take the new spring in your step on the road. You should feel as if gravity is propelling you away from the ground with each step, not dragging you down to a hard landing. As with everything else, you’ll need to practice this a few times to make it a habit. But if you start to lose that springy feeling, you can review this procedure any time.
G can stand for a lot of other things: grace, gait, gratitude. I’m sure you have your own ideas.
Please feel free to send me any questions you might have. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Meanwhile, happy running!
* Springing procedure courtesy of Malcolm Balk’s Art of Running