Unfortunately I was not able to participate myself as planned, due to still having the cast on my leg thanks to my broken foot!
Despite this, it was still a great experience to be able to see Teri in action, and I am now even more keen to go through the process myself once my foot is back in action!
After a brief introduction to the concepts behind improving running mechanics and efficiency, Teri got the group outside onto the track, and warmed up with some dynamic mobility drills.
The group then ran 4 laps around the track (1 mile), starting easy, and gradually building up to full speed. On the last couple of laps, Teri took video footage of each runner from the side and from behind using a slow motion camera. By making the participants slightly fatigued, any unfavourable aspects of technique tend to be exaggerated
and therefore easier to point out.
Once Teri had captured footage of all the runners from both front and rear angles, we went back inside to watch the footage.
Despite most of the participants being experienced runners, with pretty reasonable form compared to a lot of what you see on the streets, each person had their own very individual style, and Teri had plenty to work with.
For every single person there, the videos were a revelation.
Some were landing with a heel strike, despite believing they were forefoot strikers (even whilst wearing barefoot shoes), others spotted weird arm movements, poor posture, and many other unconscious errors.
What I particularly like about the Pure-Running concept, is that Teri does not prescribe one specific running style that everyone must conform to. Instead, Teri works with each person on an individual basis, and looks to make their own personal style as safe and efficient as possible with small but significant changes.
Once the video analysis was over, the group went back outside, where Teri then took them through a number of drills to help correct the various technique issues which had come to light.
Though of course it will take some considerable time and practice to change one’s running style, even after this short session, all the group were looking much improved (and sounding actually, with much lighter footfalls in many cases). The new technique did of course feel a bit strange and unnatural, and took a lot of effort, both physically and mentally, but the differences in speed and stability were obvious immediately.
I must say that I was gutted to have missed out on the experience myself, and I will be looking to go through the process myself as soon as I am back on my feet again. It would also be great to see some new videos of the guys that did it yesterday once they’ve had the chance to practice the new techniques to see the improvements made.