8 Technique tips to get you running like a champion
Did you know that most people make running harder than it needs to be by wasting energy through poor technique?
Correcting your running technique means you can save some of that wasted energy to be able to run faster or longer, and reduce the risk of injury.
Here are our top 8 tips for improving your running technique:
Be tall – draw up from the top of your head towards the sky. Resist the urge to hunch or slump over especially when tired.
Look at where you are going – try not to stare at your feet or you’ll be slumped over in no time!
Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears. If you carry tension there, every now and then shake them lose to remind yourself to relax.
Open your chest to help prevent rounding over / slumping of your upper back.
Place your thumb on the side of your index finger, forming a loose fist. Hands should stay relaxed but controlled. No Thunderbirds puppets, and no white knuckles!
You should have a 90 degree angle at your elbows. Arms swing naturally, with your hands skimming hip bone level as they swing through (this helps you to keep your shoulders down and relaxed). Your arms should swing on ‘tracks’ straight forwards and backwards, not across your body. Watch for arms that wave around, or elbows that flare out – especially as you try to run faster.
Think of your legs as a smooth wheel moving over the ground, not pogo sticks bouncing into the ground. Most people make the mistake of taking strides that are too large and inefficient. Count how many steps you take in one minute whilst running. You are aiming to take 180 per minute. This helps ensure that you are landing with your foot under your knee, not stretched out in front of your knee. This will take practice and you’ll need to work towards this number slowly. Taking smaller steps will eliminate the bounce and make your strides smoother. Check out our post on stride rate for more info.
Relax, enjoy! If you feel tense try to shake everything out and continue running.
It might seem like a lot to learn but if you spend a little time during every run going over this checklist, all the above tips will become a habit. And you’ll look like a pro!