Lesson of the Day: Form DOES Matter

As I have mentioned in the past, one of my fitness goals for 2011 is to complete my first triathlon. I decided that the Virginia Run Sprint Triathlon would be a great way to start since it’s distances (250m swim, 12mi bike, 5k run) are relatively short compared to other sprint and international triathlons.

I started my swim training about a month ago and my main goal has been to steadily increase in lung capacity. After about 3 weeks, I had only been able to decrease my 250m swim time by 30 seconds. That is, until I decided to focus specifically on form. (Prior to this, I was only swimming the way I could remember from swim lessons 15 years ago).

I corrected my head position, my stroke, and and my breathing pattern. I could feel the difference almost immediately and it showed in my time. I was able to reduce my time another 60 seconds; and on top of that, I felt amazing. I did the same 250m set twice more and still had energy left. The point I’m trying to make is: if you take the time to work on proper form, it could be a completely different experience altogether. 

As a triathlete, this proposes one question: If there is a proper form for swimming which can increase efficiency, and the same goes for cycling, what about running? My answer: a big, huge YES. In general, most people (in our generation) just put on a pair of sneakers and go out on a run without even a thought if there is a better way to do it. I’m telling you, THERE IS! I’ll delve further into that thought on a future post.  Till then, I’ll leave you with a a side-by-side picture demonstrating improper and proper running form.

3 responses to “Lesson of the Day: Form DOES Matter

  1. I am a big believer in form. I used to struggle for years just trying to give my best effort and made minimal improvements. I think it matters most in running and swimming. People would be shocked to learn that if they would learn to relax their faces and the rest of their body, they will move a lot faster. It seems like you are moving slower because you are so relaxed, but the opposite is true. By tensing up, you are sending that same tension from your face down to the rest of your muscle groups, which hinders their range of motion. I have recently started a new blog about a new fitness center I am working on (http://fitnesscenterstartup.com). My main objective is to use body weight-only classes and teach relaxation over strain. Great post. I will add your blog as a link on my site.

  2. Pingback: Broken Record: Form.Does.Matter | The Pear Gallery

  3. Pingback: Broken Record: Form.Does.Matter « 32run

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