10 Tips to Improve Your Running Form
When it comes running, some aspects can impact your performance in terms of muscle endurance and the ability to conserve energy.
Consider head tilt and its natural placement, tilt is not something you would think to make a difference in your running performance, or would it? How you hold your head is key to your overall posture, which directly links to your running efficiency.
Making a few small changes to your technique could have the improvement you desire to take on that next long run.
1. Minimize Bouncing – When you bounce while running your head and body are moving vertically too much, which depletes crucial energy reserves. Lifting your head will minimize bounce and prevent you from bouncing with each step while focusing on a low center of gravity and quick stride turnover.
2. Shoulder placement – For optimal performance, your shoulders should be low and loose as opposed to high and tight. Loosen up next time you head out for that next stride.
3. Arms position – Avoiding that awkward runner look is something you’ll want to nail; this includes avoiding side to side swinging. Crossing your arms across your chest means you’re more likely to slouch which in turn impacts your breathing! Try to keep the upper body tall and arms swinging back to front.
Focussing on your form can give you the edge above the competition, prevent the onset of injuries such as runners knee, shin splints or plantar fasciitis. Pay careful attention next time you’re out on the track or in the mountains doing a cross country run and see where you can improve!
4. Foot Strike – Another bad form is toe or heel running, this is the wrong way to make every step count. Landing toes first will fatigue your calves very quickly not to mention look like you’re dancing. You’ll start to develop shin splint and your running days will be numbered. To break this movement, practice landing mid-foot, not your tippy-toes or heels, and then roll onto the front of your toes.
5. Keep your hands loose – ensure these puppies remain relaxed! Avoid that white-knuckle fever and tightening the hands while running. This tension will move into your shoulders and neck, talk about inefficiency!
6. Keep your gaze ahead – focussing the eyes on the ground about 15 feet ahead of you instead of at your feet. This way you’ll see any moving (or static) objects coming for you and keep proper running form too!
7. Feet direction – A lot of injuries occur to the ankles when feet are not pointing the right direction and the body is moving in another. Ensuring your toes are pointed in the direction you want to move, not inwards or outwards, is proper running form. This isn’t always the natural form for some though, so practicing over short differences will improve your form
8. Hands should be at your waist – if your hands are up high its sure sign, you’re inexperienced and need some work on your form. Keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle when running will help conserve energy for speedwork sessions.
9. Relax your shoulders - realizing when you begin to get fatigued and be conscious about your upper body if you begin to hunch over begin by steadying the breath and ensuring your shoulders are relaxed, then position your head and eyes up before continuing your trail run.
10. Injury prevention is an important focus for runners as they build up towards a big race or just training all year round. Kinetic Phase is here to support your running goals by keeping you on the track. Our mission to help athletes 'Recover Quicker & Live Better'.
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Read about injury prevention here - - >> Foam Rolling for Athletic Performance and Injury Prevention.
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