Here’s a question for you… How would you feel if a stranger stopped you in the street to offer you some unsolicited advice on your running?
I ask because I saw two runners on my way to work this morning, both with significant flaws in their running style that were certainly leading to discomfort if not eventually injury. One was overstriding massively, heel striking horribly and wincing with every stride. I just wanted to stop him and explain the biomechanics of landing over his foot and lifting his heel to avoid all that pain and loss of energy transfer. The second was a girl who was rolling off her shoes with every step. Her right foot especially looked like she was snapping her ankle with each contact and a pair of supportive shoes would have made all the difference to her running.
Now I’m no certified expert (yet) but I do have 5 years of accumulated experience and knowledge. I’ve read, studied, learned and practised running so I know that I was right on these two occasions at least. I also had, thanks to traffic lights, the ideal opportunity to speak to both of these runners but decided to keep my mouth shut and watch with horror as they continued on their way.
So, what’s the verdict? Assuming the advice is given in a friendly and supportive way is it acceptable to approach strangers and give them the benefit of your knowledge or would you be mortally offended if that happened to you?