A couple of weeks ago, you might recall that I had stumbled upon a Running seminar through Fitness Fix that was all geared at analyzing and correcting running form. It was to include a video analysis and only cost $30 so I signed up pretty much immediately.
Last night was the night. I showed up at the Fitness Fix studio up on 64th Ave in the NE (just west of Deerfoot Mall) at around 6:20pm in full running gear. I was ready to learn and improve. It turned out there were almost 20 of us attending. The seminar started with Denise Beatty (the owner and instructor) going over the basics of what she was going to teach us. When she almost immediately referenced ChiRunning - I started to get excited. I had read the book last year but had found some of the form concepts a bit daunting to apply on my own. I couldn't have been happier to have a real live person going over it!
After the introduction, she started to get us all on the bank of treadmills to do an initial video of our running form before she corrected us. I was in the second group to go up and I had jokingly told some of the ladies that I was sure to fall off the friggin thing. Me and treadmills don't get along. At all.
I did my little running bit for around 7 mins and Denise filmed me from all angles to capture everything I might do. Then she told me I could get off so the next person could get going.
For the record - I DO know how to get down from a treadmill. When I'm on my own, anyway. Put me in a crowded room and I apparently forget because I did a super dumbass dismount - hit stop and then just turned around. Now, picture if you will, my foot catching and pulling me ass over teakettle off the damned contraption. My survival instincts kicked in and I tried to shift to land on my butt...but I still added a nice assortment of tread-rash to my knee and shin. Then my arm managed to knock over two tower fans that were propped between the mills...and my face smacked into them as well. When I fall - I do a thorough job of it! I'm rather bruised and banged up today - perfect shape to run a half in :P But I laughed, dusted myself off and headed back to the group to forget it ever happened.
Ok - enough of my clumsiness - the rest of the seminar went really well. Denise warmed us up and we headed to do some running outside.
We were split into two groups - one doing hills and one doing a flat straightaway. We were to run each 3 times and we were filmed as we went and the instructors guided us in form adjustments. I already incorporate many of the Chi Running form points so I just needed to make some minor adjustments to align myself better. I think I saw the greatest benefit from the hill training portion of it.
In that hill segment, we were taught to climb the hills by lifting our knees and landing on the balls of our feet. It made the ascent almost effortless with this little tweak. I had so much fun on the downhills, though. Coming down the hill, running on my toes and just letting myself go was awesome! I had some real speed building up and I didn't feel any of the jarring I would normally experience on a descent. This hill instruction was so timely since I was to run Footstock half the next morning and there is a killer hill on the course!
At around a quarter to 8, Denise took us all back inside and guided us through some effective stretching techniques and answered some questions. She also distributed a 5 & 10K training plan and a package outlining the information from the session (and so much more). She also told us that she was hoping to have our videos edited and ready for us to pick up in 2-3 weeks! I can hardly wait.
Denise is an excellent instructor. She knows her stuff and has an excellent teaching manner that really helps the student grasp what she's trying to convey. She does offer running instruction a couple of times a week and I am seriously thinking her Saturday session might be worth joining sometime.
All in all - I know I'll be watching her website to see when there are more seminars like this coming up. It was $30 well spent and I feel I took away much more value than that!
The website: http://www.fitnessfix.ca