For several months, I have been training for a marathon with my Uncle. I have always enjoyed running, but those 26.2 miles seem to become a little more daunting every day. On one of my more recent runs, I noticed my form was falling apart. The way I had been running earlier was slowly becoming sloppier than the original structure I had started with. Because my body was now running in a way it wasn’t used to, it became very painful and uncomfortable to continue.

Stopping for a moment in hopes of regaining my form, I noticed a house nearby that mimicked how I felt. The house’s foundation was crumbling, giving it a lopsided, unsafe feeling. The form the house had originally started with had not held up and, sad to say, looked beyond repair. The parallels between my running form and the house are endless, but what I took from that brief moment of insight into design was this:

1. The better the foundation, the better the form.

2. The better my running form, the faster I would go and the easier it would be to keep going instead of crumbling like the house’s foundation.

3. The form the house took on its foundation over time created a design prone to flaws (weather damage, erosion, whatever led the house to crumble), if either the foundation or the form had been built differently (or better yet modernly maintained) the house design could have easily served its purpose for years to come.

Which brings me to my last parallel…

4. If I changed my running form, my “foundation” (legs, knees, feet, toes…etc.) would not crumble. In fact, it would only enhance my performance and prevent me from becoming as “injured” as the crumbling house.


Plans for structures, such as houses, are an important and essential role in the design world. Without a firm knowledge of foundation, form, and change throughout time, one can not expect their design to triumph for years to come. Likewise, without firm understanding of those same concepts, one can not expect their running form to carry them long distances without crumbling like a house.