Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Does form follow function?

Last night, on my way down to Penn Station, I observed a runner making his way through the crowded mid-town streets. I wondered, with all the great places to run in NYC, why he picked Time Square at rush hour. What I noticed about this runner was how inefficient he looked as he ran. His stride reminded me of Elaine's dancing on Seinfeld with both feet splaying left and right and his elbows were swinging like a race walker. It made me wonder whether this was an extreme example of pronation or supination or just poor technique.

I began thinking about my own form and as I came into Penn I began watching my feet to see if they did anything strange when I walked. They looked fairly straight and I questioned whether that was due to my conscious observation. Walking with my head down was not smart because I almost ran into some people so I stopped the experiment without reaching a conclusion. I tried to look again during this morning's 4:00 AM run but quickly (and smartly) chose keep my eyes focused on the road.

There are a number of running stores in NYC that have treadmills and video cameras that allow sales people to capture a person's stride so they can recommend a specific shoe or shoe type. A ten second walk across the floor was all the analysis done to put me in my Brooks so I really don't know if I'm an efficient runner. I'm thinking about my next pair and whether I want to price shop for what I think I want or if it's worth paying more to find out what I really need.


  1. Should we revisit the video taping idea we discussed about a month ago?

  2. Good idea. And we won't feel obligated to buy running shoes afterward.


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