When I first started running with Team In Training (yes, at one point I raised money for another organization — don’t think less of me), our coach gave us some pointers about running form. He said if we followed his instructions, we’d be able to cross the finish line with our heads held high. He reminded us, “My runners aren’t hunchbacks! My runners cross the finish line standing up!”
I always think about that when I feel myself hunch over or my shoulders get tight while I’m running. So how to improve your form? Here are some tips from, who else?, active.com:
Your Running Posture
Hold your head high, centered between your shoulders, and your back straight. Focus your gaze ahead of you instead of straight down. Relax your jaw and neck. Keep your shoulders relaxed and parallel to the ground.
Arms and Hands
Lightly cup your hand as though you were holding an egg. Keep your wrists loose. Bend your elbows at approximately a 90-degree angle with your hands gliding past your waistline. As your arms pump along your sides, your elbows should swing somewhere between your chest and waistline. Pumping your arms at a faster rate will allow for faster leg turnover.
Run to the Hills
While going uphill, pick up your knees and shorten your stride while increasing your stride rate. Pump your arms at a slightly faster pace, keeping in mind that the steeper the hill, the more arm motion you will need to climb uphill. Lean into the hill as if you were on skis.
While running downhill keep your body at the same angle as the hill and lower your arms. Try to land lightly on the ball of your foot.