Over the last 1.5 years, I have tried hard to work on my running form. After I had my little girl, my running form was definitely struggling. My arms were all over the place. I was hunching over towards the end of every run, and over-striding like it was my job.
Working with a running coach to tweak my form was extremely beneficial for my running. I love spending time during one or two runs each week really focusing on different aspects of my form to prevent injuries and get faster. It is always a work in progress, but I wanted to share with you 10 parts of my running form that I focus on to try to become a more efficient runner.
With each step, land your foot directly underneath your body. Over-striding or landing your foot in front of your body adds extra stress and impact to the body. With each step, your foot should land underneath your hips!
Get your cadence to about 180 steps per minute. To go along with the previous tip, try to get your cadence to about 180 steps or 90 strikes per foot per minute. Runners with a cadence of about 180 are more likely to have short, quick strides, which means we are having a mid foot strike rather than over-striding!
Run light on your feet! Try to avoid pounding!
Lean slightly forward from your ankles, not your waist. Lean forward and use gravity to help make some forward momentum! This will help you to propel your body forward.
Avoid swinging your hands cross your midline. Keep your arms going forward and backward, not side to side. Drive your elbows back while keeping your arms at about a 90 degree angle.
Run TALL! When I feel like I am starting to hunch over, I love to reach my arms up high above my head. This resets my body and helps me to elongate my spine! The more core work that I do outside of running, the easier it is for me to keep great posture and to avoid hunching over throughout my run!
Get rid of the bounce. Bouncing as you run wastes extra energy! Move forward instead of up and down.
Relax your shoulders! I tend to tense them up towards my ears as I am running. That is a waste of energy, and it causes extra unneeded tension! Relax your shoulders and let them enjoy the ride!
Relax your hands. Don’t clench them tightly. Gently cup your hands as you run.
Keep your eyes looking ahead of you about 10 to 20 feet.
I like to spend each mile of my ‘form runs’ (the runs where I really focus in on my form each week) on a different aspect. For example, on your next run, you could spend mile 1 warming up, mile 2 working on leaning forward from your ankles, mile 3 on your arm swing, mile 4 on your posture and mile 5 on combining all of them together for some good looking running. 🙂
If we are able to improve our running form, we can reduce our odds of getting injured (aka all of our worst nightmares). We become efficient running powerhouses as we get stronger and faster.