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The Nuts and Bolts of a Great Running Technique

When it comes to getting the best results at a race, learning to run efficiently is important. Good form increases your safety and your enjoyability of the activity.  Listening to your body is important. When you maintain a good body position with your head over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, your hips over the midfoot and your arms swinging freely, you use less energy and run faster too. Oftentimes if you’re feeling tightness or soreness during training in your arms, back or shoulders, it’s time to adjust your form.

There are three cues that are telltale signs that your running form needs improvement.

Zipper lines: This analogy explains that if your hands cross a zipper line then the shoulders and the top portion of the body will follow the hands. This means that you should hold your hands a little wider from your body (a bit more than your hips). As your arms swing back, reach for your back pocket in your discounted sport apparel shorts. By doing so, you correct this form.

Potato chips: When we clench our hands into tight fists, this becomes an inefficient running form. This creates tension in the forearms that moves to our shoulders. This tension overall makes our heart work harder resulting in wasted energy. To correct this, imagine holding a potato chip without breaking it in your hands. When this is corrected, your endurance level will increase.

Chicken wings: When we’re tired, our body position changes oftentimes resembling that of the wings of a chicken (pulled up and close to your body). Soreness in the shoulders or lower neck often yield this form. Relax your shoulders by dropping the arms to the side and shaking out your hands.

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