Monday, January 4, 2010

Placing Your Best Foot Forwards

Yesterday, we highlighted the commendable efforts of Major Kelly Lim. She showed true grit, a term reserved for those who demonstrate unconditional consideration for others. It is so tempting and easy to throw the towel in, and surrender readily to creature comforts. Yet, some of us choose not to.

In September last year, I attended an early-morning track session with professional triathlete, Pete Jacobs. He gave me pointers to enhance my running speed and stride. He suggested that I lean forward slightly more, and look a few metres ahead of me. He also directed that I push off and land near the ball of my toes. As uncomfortable and awkward as it was, I made these corrections. I also used tempo training, which is running at competitive race pace at specific intervals. Three months later, I delivered my personal best marathon time based on these changes in my footsteps.

Correcting one’s running gait is not easy; test it out for yourself. I spent an afternoon learning Chi Running, and may months shifting my heel-strike technique to the midsole. The purpose of gait and postural correction is to achieve running effectiveness, whilst remaining injury-free and stress-free. The ideal run posture optimizes the use of our centre of gravity, as you run relaxed with little bodily tension. Chi Running and the P.O.S.E. method are recent approaches to running freely, and maximizing your running capability.

Leadership Lessons: When we learn something new, it might be useful to lean into it gradually. Fools rush in. According to Chinese philosopher Lao Tze, the journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step. Our awkward baby steps may be just what we need to go forwards.

No comments: