The famous question of how do you run is largely unanswered in the running community. You have a bunch of pseudo-guru styles like Pose or Chi, but the key to running properly to maximize performance is a topic that is largely left to elite coaches or bio-mechanics experts.
Running doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to hurt either. We can all learn good running form, from beginners to seasoned marathoners to performance runners.
It’s easy to zone out when running, leave stress in the dust and do something beneficial for physical and mental health. Keep in mind not to dream off to a land where mechanics don’t matter. Paying close attention to techniques will help you perform better and reduce risks for common running ailments.
Staying guarded of body mechanics can save energy and decrease unnecessary movement to help run stronger, with greater power and a more efficient stride. Consider posture and stride rate using the seven keys that follow. No need to focus on the coaching cues the entire time, but check in with yourself about every 10 minutes. This will help you run with intention, which alone will instantly help improve your mechanics.
Always Look for An Angle
Keep elbows stable at right angles (bent 90 degrees) and pulled closely toward body. Don’t allow to flare out. Arm action will be more efficient.
Feet should land beneath your hips, not out in front of your body. Avoid over striding by increasing your stride rate. If running with a faster stride speed, pick feet up and put them down quickly, making it very hard to over-stride. Feet should strike the ground approximately 170-180 times a minute.
Always Keep Your Torso Engaged.
Abdominal muscles should stay flexed if running tall. Try lifting head as far away from tailbone as possible to maximize the muscle contraction and train core while running. Another way is to concentrate on running tall as if a string was pulling your hips forward.
Put Your Toes Up
Running injuries mostly occur by running with your toes pointed down toward the ground. Aim to land through the middle of your arch by maintaining your toes pulled up. Imagine sliding your heel back and up under your buttocks. This will put you in the correct position to land on the balls of your feet.
Keep Your Eyes Up.
Keep head up and eyes fixed on the horizon to stay tall and upright while running.
Keep Your Shoulders Back and Down.
There’s a possibility to hunch over as you get tired. Resist it by keeping shoulders back and down so chest is lifted. Move arms from shoulder, like a pendulum, so elbow angle remains the same.
Keep Your Iron Fist Relax
Keep hands lightly cupped, but don’t make a fist. Fists tend forearms to tense up, which hinders proper shoulder motion. Remember not to tense your fingers and slice through the air. This could cause arms to move in a circular action instead of moving forward.