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Tips for Good Running Technique

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s no surprise that “proper” running technique can be a tough thing to pin down.  If you constantly hurt after a run, chances are you have a flaw in your running form that you’ll want to clean-up.  If you’re struggling to improve your time for a particular distance, there might be a technique issue holding you back. Regardless, if you’re a seasoned runner or brand new to pounding the pavement, here are 4 running techniques you’ll want to focus on.

Don’t Over-Stride

Many runners make the mistake of over-striding by having the ankle in front of the knee at the point of impact.  Ideally, you would like the knee to be directly over the ankle at the point of impact.

Stay Tall

Good posture is important in everyday activities – everything from sitting at your desk to walking down the street. Running “tall” and with good posture should be no different. We find that our shoulders tend to round forward and our hips get locked into that flexed position because of the amount of sitting many of us do. This can carry over into our running form. The body will bend forward at the hips and the shoulders will naturally want to round forward. It make take a little bit of work (stretching those hip flexors, sitting less throughout the day, etc.) and time, but you can work through it and become more aware of your posture when you run.

Relax The Shoulders

Many runners tend to tense up the shoulders, neck and upper back area.  Not only is this very inefficient when it comes to your natural arm swing and running motion, but it often leaves you feeling sore and tight afterwards. Focus on staying relaxed through the upper body and allowing your arms to work naturally along with your legs.

Don’t Bounce When You Run

Have you ever seen a runner “bounce” as they move along?  It actually looks pretty good and makes you think they are really moving well.  But keep in mind that running is a linear motion and you should be moving forward in a straight line….not in an upward pattern. Bouncing is often related to over-striding and, over the course of a run, adds unnecessary pounding to your body.

Breathe Properly

Many beginning runners will have a difficult time establishing a proper breathing pattern when they run.  Your breathing should match the overall rhythm of your pace.  As your intensity increases the rate at which you inhale and exhale should also increase. Proper breathing can take a little bit of time to master, but be aware of your intensity and try to match-up your breathing pattern to go along with it.
Sharpening up your running technique may take some time and getting used to. It can be hard to switch old habits for new ones, but your body will thank you in the long run.