We often concentrate too much on how many kilometers or miles we ran last week or what was our pace during a specific workout.
However, there is something else that is also very crucial for our running success and this is our running form. Believe it or not, your running form can influence your running and define your success as a runner. Your running form can improve your speed and can minimize your injuries. And who doesn’t want to run further and faster?
For this reason, here are some ‘simple’ tricks on how to fix your running form. Although the tricks may sound simple, from my own experience, changing your running form can be one of the most complex and comprehensive tasks you can have as a runner. Thus, take time and consider paying attention to those signs that point you are on the right path.
To improve your running for you need to analyze it.
Ask a friend (best works if it is a runner as well) to take a good video of you running from different angles. You want to be able to see every detail of the way you move while you are running. Most phones already have an option for ‘slow motion’ video and this works great for our purpose because you can slow down and take a deep look at your phone. Do you notice anything that looks off? Keep reading and review our checklist to make sure everything looks right and if not, concentrate on it as soon as possible.
Check your head
You want your head to be relaxed and look forward. Your chin should be at a level and it shouldn’t point either up or down because this will change your posture. Relax your face and smile for the public!
Are your shoulders relaxed?
They should be relaxed and you are supposed to “Run Tall”. It is important not to feel any tension.
Think about your arms
One of the best 400m runners in the world once told me ” What moves your legs faster are your arms. When you start sprinting, first you start moving your arms as quickly as possible, and then your legs will follow”. Thus, think about your arms often, not just your legs.
While you swing your arms they should be at a 90-degree angle and not crossing in front of your body. If you are crossing them and want to correct their form you can start practicing in front of the mirror for a couple of minutes every day. This is a simple and one of the best ways to get better with your arms.
You also want your hands to be a bit relaxed and not in a tight ‘fist position’.
Do your feet land under your body?
Your feet should land under your body while running to minimize injuries. Avoid heel-striking and ideally, focus on stepping on your midfoot or if it comes naturally- forefoot. It takes time to change from heelstrike to midfoot or forefoot but it is not impossible. In the beginning, it will feel unnatural if you are not used to it, but it is worth it to put in the effort and change your foot landing. This will not only prevent you from injuries but also will improve your running speed. Are you ready for a new personal best at your next race?
Do you pay attention to your cadence?
As we get tired, we tend to slow down and forget about our cadence. However, if we slow down our cadence, we also slow down our speed. A simple trick to fix your running form is to keep reminding yourself to maintain your cadence. For example, I keep telling myself to put my feet on the ground as fast as possible when I get tired. You can practice improving your cadence during your workouts and long run as your speed is also higher and more challenging.
Are you hitting the gym?
To have a good functioning body while running, you need to have a strong body. For example, core muscles are critical for distance runners. They keep your torso upright and stabilize your entire body while you are doing the mileage. But actually, every muscle is playing a role in your running form, so being strong overall is essential. If you are not spending time to strengthen your body, your form may suffer because of your particular weakness. To take precautions, just visit the gym at least twice a week and work on being a running beast.
Find a coach
Fixing your running form might not be as easy as it sounds sometimes. Finding a coach who works with you to improve your running form will save you a lot of time and trouble. Moreover, it will give you very specific advice about your running form and often a creative way to fix it under supervision.
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