“What I love about running, and what I love even more about running than I ever loved about dancing, is how human it is. It’s a fundamental human gait: We crawl, we walk, we run, technically, apparently, skipping is also another gait, and so when you get better at it, for myself, I just felt more human. At that point in my life already, I had been through so many movement methods in trying to get myself together as a dancer: so much yoga, Klein technique, Gyrotonics, Alexander, Trager, everything that was out there I had done, practically, that I could find, and that was a lot. It all had effects, gave me different sensations. There’s a certain way that I feel after I do yoga, but after I run, I realize I feel more human, as in a member of my species—it’s really pronounced, really profound—and I really love working with that more than anything else.”
Jae Gruenke is a highly sought-after expert on running form and technique. She’s also a Feldenkrais Practitioner, founder of The Balanced Runner, and has helped countless runners from beginners to Olympians improve their form and performance since 2003.
I’ve been following Jae’s work for a little while now and recently found out that she doesn’t live far from me, so we sat down at a local park and had a conversation that I think you’ll really enjoy and take a lot away from. We talked about what it is that Jae does exactly and how she uses the Feldenkrais Method of Movement Education to help runners with their technique. She told me how she got into running after years as a professional dancer and how solving her own problems led her to working with others who were navigating similar issues. We discussed what mainstream publications miss when it comes to running technique, common places where runners go wrong, and what she considers to be the six elements of good form. We also got into cadence, the influence of footwear, the analyses she does on the elite fields in major races, and a lot more.
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.
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