Physics 101 of Running with Keith Bateman
For how much longer will you be able to tolerate that nagging chronic pain in your body that’s hindering your running experience or simply everyday life? It’s quite possible that you’ve been running with improper form the entire time! But no worries, here’s how to fix it, our guest today has the answer.
David is joined by Keith Bateman, a man who exudes vitality, has multiple world records under his belt, and is the author of Older Yet Faster which evolved to become a true runner’s guide to running efficiently and injury free.
In his early years, Keith was surprisingly captivated by skiing, and later on he even started ski instruction. At school he was oriented towards statistics and actuary work, but fortunately never fully pursued it, as his true interests were in computer operating services.
Upon becoming a programmer, a major turning point in life led him to Scotland where he started a business with cross country skiing equipment and developing ski package holidays. Later in life he ended up in Australia with a new set of milestones and with skiing falling by the wayside, running was the next best thing.
Not long after he took up running more seriously, he jumped into a marathon, followed through and just kept doing them, something he wouldn’t recommend now because all of that came with a cost as he had to deal with many growing pains in his early running career and was constantly haunted by chronic injuries.
The injuries he went through were the primary reason why the book came to be, and a large part of the credit goes to his wife, Heidi, who’s a podiatrist and a top runner as well, she helped with the anatomy side of things, the studies and the specific rehab exercises, all of which was coherently formulated into a very efficient method of coaching.
In continuation, David and Keith discuss in more detail the very biomechanics of running and proper movement that’s essential for athletes if they wish to maintain peak efficiency. A lot of it comes down to foot position, and how one’s making contact with the ground.
It really all boils down to basic physics which is the bottom line of Keith’s method. If your foot is pressing on the ground behind you, you’re accelerating. If you’re pushing on the ground in front of you, you’re breaking, and the art is in reducing breaking, while not breaking down proper form that would cause overstride.
“If you don’t break, you don’t slow down, and you get the rebound from being in the right position, trying to get off the ground as high as you can, but without effort. It’s not pushing off your toes, it’s using your whole foot, all muscles working together, bouncing you off the ground.”
Finally, keep this in mind. It might take you 15 minutes to learn what you should be doing, but actually implementing it precisely and adjusting your body to a new running form is a process that takes time, and it takes time for the right muscles to build up, but once it happens, it’s a virtuous circle of improvement.
Keith’s challenge for YOU next week is: “Try thinking of your foot catching up with you, moving towards your hamstrings without you actually picking up, never pick your feet up, but that will offset the temptation to reach forwards...
The other thing is, think about your shoes, what they’re doing to your body and your running. If they’re a problem, you’re much better to start off fresh, get technique right, and the closer you are to the ground, the better you can run and the better you can learn and the better it is for your body.”