It’s a little strange to think about how we just start running and figure it out as we go without asking for help. In no other sport is that really a good idea. You don’t just pick up a basketball, throw it around forever on your own, and think you’ll end up in the NBA. You look to a coach for help or get the right technique so your muscles are efficient and your form is right.
But with running, we usually just lace up and go without any outside help. What happens is we end up with quirks and habits that aren’t efficient and can even be harmful. Okay so for most of the time this is no big deal because we don’t run far. But if you’re training for a half or full marathon, you should make sure your technique is fine-tuned.
Your form is one of the most important aspects of running, and it starts with your posture. From active.com, “Here are three simple tricks [San Diego Track Club coach Paul] Greer teaches his athletes to keep them relaxed and in good form while on the run.
“Lightly press your thumb and forefinger together. This gives you something to focus on so you don’t clench your fists and tighten up especially when you’re tired. Tension spreads–tight fists turn into tight shoulders and tight shoulders tend to pull your body backwards.
“Don’t cross your arms across your body. Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle and swing your arms back to front while keeping your shoulders relaxed. Your arms should travel up to your chest and down to your hips like your hand is reaching into your pocket for your keys.
“Envision yourself standing tall. When we’re tired, we tend to slump a little and our stride length changes. Picture a string coming out the top of your head and pulling you up toward the sky.”
For more tips on how to improve your running technique, check out some of these videos: