Simple Tips for Improving Your Running Form

by Janet Luhrs
Simple Tips for Improving Your Running Form

By Janet Luhrs,

Running is one of the simplest forms of exercises there is. Most likely it is the oldest! It takes very little “gear” and people of all shapes, sizes, and ages can run. There is no need to make it complicated and attaining good, efficient running form is simple to do.

If running is so simple, then why the need to work on proper form? The other end of the spectrum is poor technique. This can lead to inefficient form and injuries. If your form is poor, your runs can start to feel like a chore and stress injuries can increase. Even the best runners have room for improvement and work with technique coaches to clean things up.

No need for a high priced running coach today, we have some basic tips that you can consider on your own and you will likely see some changes in your runs as you focus on these.

  • Relaxed, yet focused posture: Lead with your chest and hips together, keeping your shoulders straight so they don’t roll inward. As you run, keep your torso straight, leaning very slightly forward to direct your body in a more aerodynamic motion. Straight shoulders allows for fuller, more open lungs.
  • Relax: Keeping your torso, shoulders and arms free of tension is key to efficient form and eases up stress on your joints.
  • Footstrike: While this topic alone can get complicated, keep it simple by being aware of how you land on each stride. Virtually all runners hit rear footstrike, md footstrike, or fore-footstrike. No one is the perfect position, but all three have their pros and cons. Make sure you area not landing on the outside or the inside edge of your foot.
  • Balanced stride: Your legs should not be over striding and reaching too far out in front of you to grab the ground. Your feet should strike the ground as they are under you, not in front. Knees should be flexing at a 90 degree angle once you are warmed up and into a good strong run.
  • Arm position: Your arms are there to counterbalance your leg strides. Keep them comfortable and fluid and not overly crossing your body. Take care not to over-pump your arms, thereby wasting valuable energy. Keep them at a 90 degree angle.

Start there focusing on these basics and you will see some improvement in your form and your endurance. You will take something that you already enjoy and make it that much better! If you want more detailed information on running form, check out this post…but keep it simple!

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