The Basics to Better Running

If you are looking at a Spring 1/2 or full marathon, now is the time to make sure your mechanics for running is spot on. Running form is one of the most neglected parts of recreational running. We think all we need to do is put on a decent pair of running shoes and the rest will be academic, right? Well, not necessarily. In order to make running a life long sport, somethings must be addressed and form is probably the most important.

First and most important is our Posture. This can effect your breathing, running efficiency and your balance. The key to posture is having your body in alignment. You should be able to draw a straight line from your ear, shoulder, and hip down to your ankle. This will ensure that you are straight and in good alignment for running. What you shouldn’t do is have your shoulders slouched forward, bending at the waist, and hips pushed forward. One way to check yourself is to think of making yourself taller, like you have a cable pulling you from the top of your head upwards (see below).

To hold this position, engaging your core to keep the hips stable will help keep the posture in alignment as you move. Your core is like the chassis for a car. The stronger the core, the stronger the runner. If you are weak in your core, it’s like firing a canon from a canoe. The canoe will sink and the only place you are going is the bottom of the lake or river. Our legs are our canons, they are firing helping us move forward towards the finish line. If we have a strong chassis, we will make it and meet our goals and set new PR’s!

Posture is important for runners to be able to lean forward slightly, not bending at the waist but from the ankles. Also, so that they may land better underneath them versus in front of them. I like to use the Roadrunner cartoon character as example (below) so we can get a good visual about the alignment leaning forward and our feet behind us. The posture doesn’t change, we are still in alignment ear to ankle but leaning forward and progressing forward.

Just one thing about this visual, the Roadrunner character is all about speed and we are all about speed and endurance. Other than that, example noted. These are the basics behind better running form and good mechanics while running. I teach FREE classes at the store at least twice a month. The reminders I use with my students are the 3 P’s: Posture, Progress, and Positioning (lifting your feet behind you and landing underneath you, hence the Roadrunner example). If you keep these three points in mind when you run you will see a difference in your efficiency and your speed. Check our coaching page for more information regarding the schedule on our free running clinics. Hope to see you soon!

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