Thursday night I attended a free running clinic at Luke’s Locker in The Woodlands. Thomas, the instructor, started off by introducing himself, then went around the room and everyone introduced themselves. We then went outside and each person ran a short distance while the instructor videotaped us to evaluate our running style.
Once back inside, Thomas asked if anyone played sports in high school, and to my surprise only one person raised their hand. Thomas compared high school sports to running as a sport – For example, if you play baseball you don’t just go out and play. You practice pitching, catching, running, swinging the bat, etc. It’s the same thing with running. You shouldn’t just run; there are exercises, stretches, and training that you can do to improve your performance.
We began by taking off our shoes, but we didn’t sit down to do it. We stood on our right leg while untying and removing our shoe from the left foot, then did the same on the other side. Removing your shoes in this manner is helpful to practice your balance and strengthen your lower leg muscles. Once our shoes were off, Thomas had us jog in place, noting that when doing this no one was heel striking. He told us this was a good way to improve our form. He then went through several muscle groups that are used when running, explained how they are used and demonstrated exercises to strengthen the muscles in each group. We followed along to get practice doing exercises. Thomas then talked about using stretches to warm up before a run. He advised us to do dynamic stretches prior to running, and static stretches after the run is complete.
Finally, the instructor reviewed our running video with us individually. In the video, you could see yourself head on, from the side, then from the backside as you ran. He played the video in slow motion to evaluate our running style. He focused on any areas of concern, pointed out things to watch and suggested small things to do that will improve our running.
Overall, the class was very informative and it exceeded my expectations. I’m glad Luke’s Locker is active in the running community and offers such clinics to those new or inexperienced in the sport. It was definitely worth my time.