How you move matters – at least as much as how fast you move.
A runner’s ability to maintain a relaxed posture and fluid running form goes beyond mileage, intensity, and strength. Devoting time to develop the complex interactions of conscious postural awareness, stability, and mobility can become a catalyst for improving running economy and speed, and decreasing injury risk. The Fundamental 5 focuses on just one of these components: a runner’s conscious postural awareness. Successful runners train the ability to maintain great postural alignment and control – especially when fatigued – throughout the phases of a running gait.
The Fundamental 5 is a series of running specific motions aimed to challenge your balance and control. Once mastered, one can progress the Fundamental 5 by adding more volume, then resistance and finally greater complexity and load. Outlined below is the most basic form of the Fundamental 5 that we give (in some version) to almost all of our runners, elite and recreational. This as an adjunct, not a substitute, to your regular training, dynamic warm ups, lifting and mobility programs.
Pay close attention to form, as quality is critical!
- Step-up / Runner’s Pose (:00 – :32): Tall Posture, knee drives up high, tighten glute on the stance leg, keep your chest up and forward. This becomes the starting position for all the rest of the Fundamental 5.
- Runners Touch (:32 – 1:20): Start in your pose, reach down and forward until you feel a slight hamstring stretch, keeping back flat, abs engaged.
- Heel/Toe Touch (1:20 – 2:10): From your pose, partially squat down to tap your heel on the ground in front of you, then up and over to touch the toe on the ground behind you.
- Kick and Flick (2:10 – 3:05): Starting from the runner’s pose, swing a leg up until you feel a slight hamstring stretch, and staying tall flick the leg behind you. Arms swing opposite the leg (as they would if you were running). Keep that stance leg steady!
- Runner’s Marching Lunge (3:05 – 3:32): Again from runner’s pose, fall forward into a lunge, staying steady in your torso. Drive up to the march posture in a single clean, fluid knee drive to pause in your runner’s pose on the other leg.
TAKE THE FUNDAMENTAL 5 CHALLENGE FOR A MONTH:
Start with five repetitions of each motion and keep repeating the cycle for a total of 10 minutes. After two weeks , if you feel like you have got it dialed in, then increase the duration from 10 to 15 mins for the remaining two weeks.
While we won’t guarantee it, most people can see clear changes in form and efficiency after one month. If it’s really hard at first (either because of the duration or control) try doing less repetitions or using a simple stick to support yourself. If painful, or just plain doesn’t feel right, back off or modify, just be sensible.