"As people age, a runner's stride almost becomes a caricature of what it once was. Chances are they have had some kind of injury at some point, or their body has changed or what they've done in their daily life has changed, and that's affected their gait, and they've never done anything about correcting it. They weren't aware of what they were doing in the first place, and they've never gone through the process of reeducating themselves to develop a better more sound technique."
I read this quote in the book Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger, Healthier Runningby Danny Abshire with Brian Metzler, which is the book that I am currently reading. The quote however originates from a book by Malcolm Balk called Master the Art of Running. I have this book, which focuses on the Alexander Technique in order to improve your body awareness and posture while running. It is a well written book with beautiful full color photos of many of the world's great runners. Truthfully, I don't remember if I utilized or applied any of the techniques or drills in this edition of the book to my own running. I also have the original edition of the book simply called The Art of Running. I do recall using some of the ideas in the book for about a month with some success, although like most things I try, it would feel good for a few days and then fall apart. Now that I have had my hip surgery and am slowly starting up the running process, it may be a good idea to read through the ideas in the book after I finish Natural Running to see if my body will handle the changes easier. It might be easier to add the techniques at the low level of running that I am doing, rather than what I tried years ago with a bad hip on a high mileage diet.
Here is another saying from The Art of Running book,
If you listen to the whispers, you won't have to hear the screams.
Whatever you do, don't let your running stride become that caricature of what it once was. Take care that you are using good form and listen to those whispers before your body starts screaming!