Friday, October 28, 2011

What do you learn from your photos?

So I know we've all seen this little beauty floating around the internet:

Since this photo I decided to look at some of my race photos to notice anything worth improving- aside from my signature 'wave' or 'thumbs up' I noticed that my stride is non-existent AND I generally have one foot completely landed on the ground.... basically having to do more work since it takes energy to start up again. 

Case in point:
Flat foot + no stride

Heel Striking

Awful face- but as you can see from my legs being close together, it looks as if I'm standing still

Heel Strike

No stride + heel strike 

Foot completely planted on ground

Foot COMPLETED planted on the ground 

Oh you know.... baby steps

some more teeny tiny steps

traditional foot planted. 

So I think you get the point. It's hard to see these knowing darn well that I don't take full advantage of having long legs and actually using my stride. 

2 weeks ago when I raced the Amica Rhode Island 1/2 marathon- I had a a conversation with Becka about how frustrating it is that people assume since I'm tall that running comes easy to me and that I have an advantage because I'm tall. 
What I'm about to say is general terms- there will always be an outlier out there that disproves this statistic, but for the purpose of this post, just go with me. 

It is HARDER when you're taller to run long distances because you aren't able to use your long stride- it causes you to land too far outside your center of gravity, thus throwing everything off and causing injury. It is also harder because there is a fine balance on where your stride should be, if its too short it puts even MORE pressure on your joints, especially your hips (probably why I have so many issues)  Lastly its harder because you don't have as quick of a turnover as someone who uses a shorter stride.

Anyway since the Amica 1/2 was a relaxed start for us- starting 5 min after gun went off, B and I  cross over the start line together and she commented something along the lines at how she was surprised at how short my stride was--- how do I not notice when I'm running?!?!

So then I made a decision to really focus on opening up a little- it was hard for me to do it too much in this particular race just from being sore- but I did manage to squeak out this photo:

How's that for opening up??!!?

So in short- by just focusing on little things here and there I'm slowly learning how to improve my form, my speed, and most of all my overall success with each run I do. They're not all pretty, but if I can learn something from each race I do, its been a good day. 

Have you ever studied your race photos to notice a positive or negative pattern?


  1. I still love that last photo! So fun!
    I have not looked at my photos for signs about my form ... but you can guarantee that once I get a chance I WILL! I KNOW I have a small stride. And for the most part I concentrate on NOT heel striking - but once I am in my finishing kick or trying to go faster for photos, I always have it.

    This is a good idea!

  2. i looked like I was walking in most of my race photos until the last year! however i have yet to have one as amazing as your flying leap!

  3. Your last photo is incredible! I have one leg longer than the other, and I think you can really tell in running photos because my stride is all weird.

  4. Love this analysis!!!! I always notice how I have stiff leg syndrome :) race photos always look like I don't know how to bend my knees. And your jump picture is AMAZING!!!!

  5. these are all such good points. i never really thought about using my race photos as evidence but i am usually flat footed as well. never thought about trying to lengthen my stride before! love that last awesome!

  6. Never checked my stride in race photos. But I do take the worst race photos ever. It's sad, really.

    Glad we all shared blogs on the FB group! Now I have more blogs to stalk. ;)

  7. I've never looked at photos for the purpose of form but I do look and think, "OMG! That's what I look like when I run?" LOL

    As a not-so-tall person I always thought tall people have an advantage over me. Now I have a new tall-perspective. Don't be surprised if you see an inspired Lisa photo/form post in the future :)

  8. I'm a super bad heel striker and you can see that on all my race pictures. I'm trying to improve since I have hip/hamstring issues. Next week I'm going to a running clinic, that should be interesting :)

  9. I've seen that pic on pinterest and it makes me laugh. Your last photo is awesome!