Orange County, California

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  • Greg Hodel

How can you identify and correct braking?

An easy way to identify braking is to run on a dirt path or a dirt track. Sandy pavement can also work. As you are running, listen for the sound of your foot sliding forward on the dirt. This is braking. Run at different speeds to determine if there is one speed at which you brake, or are you braking at any speed. The sound of the dirt is effective feedback as you try to correct the problem. You will have to use a combination of mechanics to stop braking, but you should focus on one at a time. Things to focus on are, pulling your foot down and back while it is in the air; using the hamstring to curl and shorten the trail leg so that it moves forward faster; and scissoring the legs by using the glutes of one leg simultaneously with the hip flexor of the other leg. These all contribute to the foot being able to pull on the ground on contact rather than sliding forward. Keep practicing these one at a time until you don’t hear the foot sliding forward. The foot will eventually be sliding backward if you don’t wear spikes.