Running isn’t exactly rocket science, but it does pay to put a few basic form and technique principals into practice. The following information is presented in a hands-on clinic format at every FITniche location at the specified time and dates listed above. Please RSVP for these clinics on your store’s Facebook page or in store, as we limit the number of participants to 20 and space does sometimes fill up.
Good running form puts your body back in sync with the way you were designed to run. It makes running less stressful and more enjoyable by taking advantage your body’s natural bio-mechanical strengths. Running correctly and efficiently, it turns out, involves more than just putting one foot in front of the other. This short document aims to provide you with the technique and knowledge you need to be able to practice good running form on your own.
One important point to keep in mind is that good running form is centered around the mechanics of the human foot as it operates on natural surfaces. The human foot was not designed for regular use on uniformly hard, flat, man-made surfaces like pavement and concrete, so footwear selection is critical for all runners who run in this man-made world.
GOOD RUNNING FORM
Plan to practice the techniques described below for just a handful of minutes at first and then gradually add more of it to your typical workouts. Practicing in bare feet, Vibrams, or other minimalistic shoes is ideal, but good running form is important no matter what type of shoes you run in.
Proper upper body posture is critical. Maintain a straight, chest-open upper body, eyes looking forward, leaning slightly forward (from the ankles, not the waist).
Maintain a cadence of 80-90 RPM’s per leg, no matter how fast or slow you are trying to run. (Count how many times one foot lands over a 20 second period of time. Anything close to 30 is ideal.) This will leave you with a shorter, lighter, quicker stride, with each footstep landing squarely under your center of gravity. This cadence will also make it almost impossible to over-stride and will make it likely that your foot lands in a more “full” foot or midfoot position, as opposed to a heavy heel strike.
Move elbows slightly back to balance your forward lean.
LEG AND ARM SWINGS
Be sure leg and arm swings move only in the plane of direction you are trying to run. In other words, don’t swing side to side.
PULL UP FROM THE KNEE
As each foot makes contact with the ground, focus on pulling that foot back up from the knee, immediately, letting gravity pull you forward, rather than trying to “propel” yourself forward. To speed up, lean a bit further forward. To ease up on your pace, lean a little less forward.
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