A runner working on running form is like a golfer working their golf swing. It is one of the ways we improve as runners. Good running form will help your efficiency and so keep you running longer with less effort. It will also work toward keeping you injury free.
There is a multitude of information regarding running form on the internet. I just wanted to create a really simplified list that consolidated this information for my runners. This is as simple as you can get and is basically what I have learnt over my years running from coaches and research. If you have any questions about any of these tips please comment or email me and I can explain them further.
Coach Kate’s top ten running form tips;
1. Look 20m ahead – keep your spine aligned and your face and neck relaxed.
2. Keep your shoulders back and down/relaxed.
3. Pull your elbows in – and don’t let your hands cross the middle of your body.
4. All motion should be forward and back – as little as possible twisting, rotating or vertical oscillation (bouncing up and down).
5. Relax your hands – like you are holding a potato chip (or something healthy, but fragile!!) or doing an Ohm sign.
6. Keep your core switched on glutes tucked under and working.
7. Feet land under your body – not out in front of your body.
8. Turn your cadence up (the number of times each foot touches the ground in a minute) – will help with feet landing under body (optimum is 180bpm – I advise downloading a metronome beep and playing it while you run).
9. Lean with your whole body into your run (not from your waist) – try running on the spot and then lean into it to get the feeling.
10. Smile on the inside, smile with your eyes and the corners of your mouth, or smile big and wide – you will run more naturally.
How often do I think about my running form when I am running? Constantly. If you run through from your head to feet, checking, by the time you get to your feet it will be time to think about your head again… like painting the Harbour Bridge, you are constantly working creating your best running form.
If you can get someone to watch you and give you advice that is probably the best way to figure out if your running form is efficient. Otherwise, if you can get someone to video you while you run, from the side and from the front you will be amazed at what you might see that you can work on from this list. You will also be amazed how much easier running becomes as your form improves.
Kate is an experienced runner and running coach, having run all distances. she is also our resident coach her at RMA. Check her out on www.coachkate.com.au for further tips and opportunities to be coached by the best!