How to Improve Your Running Form: the What and the Hows
Do you want to become a better ultra runner? Are you struggling with your running form, especially later in races? In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of running form and how you can improve it. We will cover the what and the hows of good running form, and provide you with tips to help you achieve it. So whether you are just starting out or looking to improve your current performance, read on for helpful advice!
It is absolutely critical to note that perfect running form doesn’t exist. This is primarily because what ‘perfect’ running form looks like will vary from person to person. For example, the running form of a professional like Kilian Journet is likely very different from that an 55 year old who races once a year and has only been running ultramarathons for one year. However, that doesn’t mean that the 55 year old has ‘bad’ form just because they don’t look like a professional.
One of the most important aspects of good running form is maintaining a tall posture. When you run with a hunched back, your centre of gravity shifts forward and puts strain on your lower back and hamstrings. This can lead to injuries and also decreases your speed and efficiency. Instead, focus on keeping your head up and shoulders back, so that you are running tall. This will also help you to take in more oxygen, which is essential for long-distance running.
Another key element of good form is the arm position. Many runners think that they should keep their arms close to their body, but this can make you slower and increase fatigue. Instead, allow your arms to swing naturally at your sides. This will help you to maintain balance and also increase your stride length. Remember to keep your hands loose and relaxed - gripping them tightly will only add unnecessary tension to your body.
Next, focus on your foot strike. Many runners tend to overstride, which means that their feet land too far in front of their bodies. This puts strain on the hamstrings and can lead to injuries. Instead, aim for a midfoot or forefoot strike, so that your feet land directly underneath your body. This will help you to run more efficiently and with less effort.
Finally, make sure you are breathing correctly. Focus on taking deep, rythmical breaths. This will help you to maintain your energy levels and run for longer.
With following these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to improving your running form! Remember that it takes time and practice to make changes, so be patient and keep at it. Soon enough, you will see the benefits in your performance. Good luck!
Do you have any other tips for improving running form? Share them with us in the comments below! We would love to hear from you!
-Daniels, Jack. (2008). Daniels' Running Formula. Human Kinetics.
-Friel, Joe. (2010). The Triathlete's Training Bible. VeloPress.
-Murphy, Matt. (2017). How to Run: The Complete Guide to Form, Technique and Tips for All Runners. Bloomsbury Sport.
-Rutherford, Owen & Johansen, John.(2012) "The Biomechanics of Distance Running", in Sports Biomechanics: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention (pp.169-184). London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.."
-Wilber, Christopher L.; Kenney, W Larry; Costill, David L. (1985). "Physiological Effects of Arm Swing During Running", Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol 58, No.