Running form

RUNNING FORM

Proper running form is crucial in order to enjoy all the health benefits running has to offer. running health benefits.

Many people–like myself when I first began running some 35 years ago–believe that running is just running and there is no specific running style that’s better than any other.

Of course that’s not true. When people run they make all kinds of mistakes. They might have running styles that unnecessarily burns energy because of poor form.

Proper running form is also crucial in order to prevent common running injuries like chronic knee pain that often discourages people and make them give up on running.

It’s a shame because the problems they encounter could most likely easily have been avoided.

First of all, people should ease themselves into running if they are new to the activity. This is especially true if there is excess weight to be lost.

It can’t be stressed enough. Walk first and then as fitness increases and a person loses weight, running can slowly begin.

It’s much easier to maintain proper running form if running is approached with common sense and as a long term activity and not something you just rush into full steam ahead.

OVER-STRIDING

I see this all the time. Runners who have these long, long strides that even look inefficient. Usually a long stride is what results when the knees are lifted too high.

This kind of running is not really efficient, especially if longer distance training or racing is in the future plans. I remember when I first started running with a club that was made up of mostly very experienced marathoners.

One of them had the nickname “stumbles” because he kept his knees so low and his strides so short that he was always tripping over something on the pathway.

Yet even back in the late 1970’s when the running boom had not yet started he was running 2:45 marathons with his energy-saving stride.

BRAKING ACTION

It seems that putting in the effort to practice running downhill is often ignored by marathoners and triathletes.

There is nothing that impacts the quads more than the braking action that so many runners have while running downhill.

It can pay huge benefits if a runner works on creating a cycling-type action with their legs on the downhills to prevent the braking action that’s caused when feet impact the ground too forcefully.

It seems to make a big difference if you increase your foot speed a bit, shorten your stride, and lean slightly forward. With some practice it’s very possible to lessen the force of the impact that jolts your body with every single stride.

This will make you a better runner, help prevent injury, and speed recovery after a race.

However, it takes practice and is one of the reasons why downhill training is as important as uphill training.

POSE RUNNING

It is the exact opposite to over-striding and whether one is a sprinter or distance runner, Pose running seems to be the optimum energy-saving running style that would really be worth while looking into.

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