We’d like to introduce our Curious Teacher of the Week, Jae from The Balanced Runner. Jae teaches her students how to run without pain - an issue that prevents so many people from taking to the pavement...including many Curious team members.
Jae explained to us that 80% of runners get injured in a given year. After watching her lessons, we have become more enthusiastic athletes, running with far less pain, soreness, and tightness. In fact, running the streets of Silicon Valley has become one of our favorite lunch pastimes.
Please meet Jae from The Balanced Runner - you’ll be glad you did!
Hi, Jae! First, tell us what you teach on Curious.
I teach runners how to to improve their form and performance using the Feldenkrais method of movement education. Some of my lessons include Fixing 5 Common Mistakes in Running, How to Run: Correct Posture, and Running Tips: How to Carry Your Keys.
We love your lessons. What’s your business, The Balanced Runner, all about?
We teach athletes running biomechanics. We help clients change their movement habits so they can get over those nagging aches and pains that many of us experience from running. Our clients range from recreational to professional runners, and we also work with athletes who have non-running backgrounds. We use an exploratory movement process to change our clients’ deep movement patterns.
How did you get interested in running biomechanics?
I used to dance professionally, and was getting winded during rehearsals. I started running to improve my aerobic capacity - and it felt miserable. I could do things that normal people couldn’t do with their bodies through dance, but running felt awful. At that time I was enrolled in a professional training program to become a Feldenkrais practitioner, and I used the program as a laboratory for myself to learn how to run more smoothly and comfortably. I ended up retiring from dance to coach runners full time.
It’s interesting that you transitioned from working in one movement form to another. Sounds like you’re pretty interested in the human body. What inspires you in your job?
My commitment is to help people realize their dreams. For example, I helped Jen Rhines rework her form after recovering from the injury she sustained in the 2008 Olympics. Our work together helped her return to road racing in late 2010 and win the US half marathon championships in January 2011, among other successes. Helping such an accomplished runner return to form was incredibly rewarding. I also love to help our non-professional athletes run well, so their exercise brings them the joy they deserve.
That’s great. What made you decide to teach on Curious?
I like that the Curious format empowers students to go through an experiential learning process. At The Balanced Runner, our work with runners is interactive, because no running program is one-size-fits-all. On Curious, students can watch our videos, understand their individual movement patterns better, and implement the techniques that work for them. The Curious learning format lends itself well to our teaching style.
Last but not least, let us know: what’s one fun fact about running that you’d like to share?
One thing people don't realize about good running form is that it's easier than running with bad form! Good running form means using your body the way it actually works, rather than forcing it to move some other way, which always requires a lot of extra muscular effort. So to improve your form don't try harder, but instead study how you tend to run when you're just starting to get tired, and keep looking for ways to reduce your effort at a given speed.