I often find myself telling clients that I work with in the clinic that changing running form is hard. The difficulty is not so much physical – tissues will adapt to a new movement pattern over time. Rather, the challenge is mainly neurological – it’s very hard to make the body move in a new and different way. We each fall into a preferred movement pattern dictated by our anatomy, shoes, surfaces, typical non-running activities, etc., and it requires concerted effort to change. But it can be done with practice – the brain has sufficient neuroplasticity to rewire itself in a way that supports novel behaviors like a new running form. It’s difficult, and it feels strange to experiment with new forms of movement at first, but it can be done.
A few days ago a friend on Facebook posted a video that examines neuroplasticity as it relates to riding an unusual bike. As I watched it I kept thinking about the parallels to changing one’s running form. I also kept thinking about how amazing the human brain is – watch the video below, it’s well worth it!