Train injury-free for the Gasparilla Distance Classic

Editor’s Note: Josh Benson and Leigh Spann are helping you prepare for the Gasparilla Distance Classic. Be sure to tune in to our newscasts throughout the day to catch their tips and get advice from experts. 

Are your legs sore from running? Would you believe you could be doing it all wrong?

“One of the number one factors in causing an injury in running is running with wrong form,” Dr. Eric Schweitzer of Clearwater says.

RELATED: A Challenge for the Gasparilla Distance Classic

Maybe you think you’re a decent runner. But, the truth is, few of us have great, injury-free form.

Think about it; running isn’t taught. Humans run to escape threats. So Schweitzer created IdealRun. Schweitzer is a doctor of physical therapy, in addition to an author, professor, runner and

IdealRun is a simple program that uses science and video to show you what’s wrong with your gait – or manner of running.

With just 15 seconds of video, a few squats and step downs, Dr. Schweitzer says he can transform your hobbling form into injury-free strides in no time.

I was the guinea pig.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2015 Gasparilla Distance Classic photos

“We look at the foot ground angle,” Schweitzer says. “We want it to be less than 10 degrees.“

My angle was more like 27.5 degrees! I quickly learned there was a lot wrong with the way I have been running. I learned I jump when I run, like a bounding deer. And that’s not good.

My strides are too long. My right foot sticks out like a duck. Let’s just say I have a lot to work on in the next few months.

But with basic exercises and a little science and Dr. Schweitzer says you’ll notice major improvement.

“We’re just getting people closer to an efficient, human movement in this pattern we call running,” he says.

And that will have you jumping for joy. Just don’t do it when you’re running. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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