Est-il réellement possible d’améliorer votre forme de course ?

Est-il réellement possible d’améliorer votre forme de course ?
Sparcourez suffisamment de bobines de runfluencers sur Instagram, et il est facile de penser que devenir un coureur meilleur et plus rapide est aussi simple que de se rappeler de reculer vos coudes et vos genoux, d’atterrir sur votre avant-pied, d’augmenter votre cadence et de vous pencher légèrement en avant.

Assez simple, non ? Pas exactement. Non seulement c’est beaucoup de signaux auxquels réfléchir pendant la course, mais il s’avère qu’apporter un seul changement à votre forme de course prend bien plus que simplement décider de le faire sur le moment.

« Apprendre quelque chose de nouveau avec notre corps est neuromusculaire », explique l’entraîneur de course Eric Orton. « Cela signifie que notre cerveau doit d’abord l’apprendre, puis envoyer ces signaux à notre corps pour pouvoir effectuer ce changement, et cela prend du temps. »

Experts dans cet article
  • Eric Orton, triathlète et entraîneur de course à pied
  • Kate Baird, MA, ACSM-CEP, CSCS, physiologiste de l’exercice à l’Hospital for Special Surgery

Dans une culture axée sur les médias sociaux qui donne la priorité aux astuces, aux résultats rapides et à l’optimisation, l’idée selon laquelle améliorer votre forme de course prend des mois, et non des jours, peut être une pilule difficile à avaler, d’autant plus que la mise en œuvre d’une modification de votre forme dans votre course est beaucoup plus difficile. moins simple que dans, disons, un squat.

« C’est différent de se tenir devant le miroir et de faire des squats et de se dire, je vais perfectionner ces huit répétitions de squats », explique Kate Baird, MA, ACSM-CEP, CSCS, physiologiste de l’exercice à l’Hospital for Special. Chirurgie à New York. « Parce que courir est répétitif, c’est environnemental, c’est interactif, vous faites généralement autre chose lorsque vous courez. Et c’est un mouvement humain intrinsèque que nous apprenons quand nous sommes très jeunes. Donc pour toutes ces raisons, il est très difficile de modifier votre forme de course, surtout en temps réel.

Difficile, mais pas impossible. Mais si changer votre forme de course n’est pas aussi simple que de… le faire, comment faire tu l’améliore ? Et qu’est-ce qu’une bonne forme de course, de toute façon ?

Pourquoi est-il si difficile de changer votre forme de course

Si vous partez courir et décidez de vous concentrer sur la frappe de l’avant-pied, vous pourrez probablement le faire pendant un certain temps. Mais comme vous devez y réfléchir activement (plutôt que de simplement le programmer dans votre formulaire), il est fort probable que vous l’oubliiez après quelques minutes.

Même si vous parvenez à conserver une forme tout au long d’une course, votre corps pourrait ne pas être en mesure de parcourir plusieurs kilomètres avec une nouvelle technique. « Si vous passez d’une frappe du talon à une frappe au milieu du pied sur le moment, il est probable que votre corps ne soit pas développé de manière à tolérer ce changement de charge répétitive », explique Baird. « Vous finirez par insister sur un domaine différent sur lequel vous n’êtes pas habitué. Nous sommes une chaîne de mouvement liée, vous ne pouvez donc pas simplement modifier un maillon et vous attendre à ce que les autres maillons restent les mêmes.

Orton says trying to change your running form is like attempting to write with your non-dominant hand—you know how to do it in theory, but it’s going to be very difficult at first. Baird uses the example of running up a hill, which naturally forces you to change your running form: If you’ve never run hills before, and then do an entire run uphill, you’re going to be in some pain.

Another factor: Running form is hard to measure. Aside from cadence, which you can track with most running watches, other form tweaks will require an outside expert to monitor. (Though, of course, runs that feel easier and/or faster are a good sign that your form is improving.)

Does your running form even need to change?

Whether runners should be actively working on their form to become more efficient is a slightly complicated question. When it comes to foot strike in particular—perhaps the most hotly debated of all the running form questions—Baird says she would never suggest a runner change their foot strike except for injury-related issues, and that there’s no good research suggesting that any one type of foot strike leads to fewer injuries than another. (In fact this one found that runners’ natural stride is typically most optimal, and that there’s no need to try and change it.)

On the other hand, we do know what typically makes for efficient running (high cadence, landing underneath your hips, strong push-off), and working towards this can benefit any runner, says Orton. “I hear a lot of times, I’m not competitive, therefore I don’t need to learn to change my form,” he says. “But those are the most important people that do need to change it because they’re maybe on the slower side, and they’re spending more time on the ground, so they’re going to benefit from the health standpoint.”

And, says Orton, a more efficient form can help with what he calls muscle equilibrium. “When we use our body how it’s meant to be used, we take away the dominance of one muscle and dormancy of another muscle,” he says. “We take away that tug and pull and the tightness we’ve been conditioned to think is normal for runners.”

For Baird, the answer is helping runners develop not the best running form, but their best running form, based on their goals and their body. “Good running form is unique to the person,” she says. “Each person is a unique kinetic chain with unique tightness, weakness, strength, stability issues, loading issues, so all of these things have to be considered.”

When it does make sense for Baird to work with a runner on a specific form goal, she says it usually comes down to making sure they aren’t overstriding (which, in turn, usually leads to less heel striking, but that’s not the focus), and increasing their turnover, which go hand-in-hand and can increase overall performance while also reducing injury risk.

The bottom line: It is worth working toward better running (with the right guidance!) as long as you have a reason for doing so—like a performance goal, or to reduce an injury risk. But even with your best form, you may not look like the runners you see on Instagram, and that’s okay.

How to actually do it

Tempted to give your running technique a tweak? Follow these guidelines from Baird and Orton.

Strength train

“Having a solid cross-training program is the best ‘hack,’” says Baird. Strength work should be a part of any runner’s routine, whether you’re specifically working on your form or not. “Strength training is going to improve muscle stiffness, which is going to help you better absorb and spring from the ground,” says Baird. “It’s also going to improve your force development, so it’s going to feel easier to run and you’re going to have better economy. And the idea is when you do this type of cross-training, it just seeps into your running—it’s just there, your frame is stronger, and that’s going to show up in your running.” If you have specific form goals, a coach or personal trainer can help you zero in on the exercises that will support you when you’re on the run.

Be strategic with your timing

While it may be tempting to try to optimize your form leading up to a big race, Orton warns against this, since increasing mileage while also placing new demands on the body can be too much. “Don’t put your muscles through that transformation while you’re doing high volume,” he says. The ideal time to work on your form is actually in the off season between training cycles, when you can be more focused on strength training and run a lower volume. But, says Baird, the beginning of a long marathon training cycle (while mileage is still moderate) is an okay time to work on one or two new form cues.

Remember that less is more

“If we’re starting to think about too much, we’re just confusing the brain,” says Orton. Pick one form cue to work on at a time, and tackle it in small doses, like during your warm-up mile. Orton suggests that, just like you dedicate certain days to hills, speedwork, or tempo miles, one day a week could be your “form day.”

Baird has runners do form intervals: “Let’s say it’s a three-mile run. I’ll say, you’re gonna spend one minute at the beginning of each mile thinking about this toe-off cue we practiced, and then you’re going to let it go,” she says. “And if you keep doing it, great, but we’re going to dose it into your run, and then after weeks and weeks, maybe months, it should start to become part of your form.”

When working on turnover, she’ll have a runner make a playlist that includes three songs with their goal cadence. “When they come on, try to run that cadence,” she says. “When they go away, try to maintain it, but don’t think about it.”

Work on speed

“Typically, the faster we run, the better cadence we have, and the stiffer our legs,” says Orton. He recommends incorporating short sprints (or strides) into your runs focused on maintaining your best form.

Be patient

Orton wishes more runners saw the sport more like a martial art, where you slowly and gradually earn more belts. “We’re so obsessed with hacking, with quickly hijacking something,” says Baird. “That will never work, because your body is made of cells that change over time.” As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race—by becoming faster, eventually.

Tags: Conseils de remise en forme, Entraînement marathon, Course à pied, Conseils de course