How to Improve Your Running Form

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How Do I Improve My Running Form?

Answer: With improved running form, you will be able to run further and faster. If you are thinking about how you can improve your form you are definitely on the right track to becoming a better runner. When I first got into running for weight loss, I needed to improve my ability to run further in order to burn more calories and improve my chances of reaching my goals; When looking to improve my form, I looked to the example of experienced runners.

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After researching the coaching techniques of successful running coaches I discovered a few easy to implement techniques that almost immediately improved my form. First, let's define proper form. When running, your body should form a straight line that starts at your feet and extends up your spine. To go faster, you should focus on leaning at your ankles rather than leaning at your hips. One of the biggest form problems that runners have is leaning at the hips. Your feet should strike the ground on the mid-foot. Try to avoid landing on the heel—this tends to cause over striding and knee problems. Your arms should rest just above your hips and should not swing across your body. Try to avoid keeping your arms too high. As you become tired, your arms tend to rise higher and higher. Additionally, to make your legs move faster, focus on moving your arms faster rather than moving your legs. One of the best things I learned talking to running coaches is to count strides.

Studies have shown that the ideal stride rate for runners is around 180 strides per minute – at this point, or around this point, the body tends to function best. Professional runners maintain an average rate of 180 strides per minute regardless of the speed they are travelling. After learning this, I attempted to mimic this by starting to adjust my stride to match this rate. The best way to do this is to count the number of times one of your feet strides the ground for one minute. Multiply this number by two to determine total stride rate Finally, focus on staying relaxed. The more relaxed you can keep your running, the less tired you will be.

The reality is that proper running form is different for everyone – these are just basic guidelines that work well for most runners and are proven to be the most efficient way of running. As you continue to run, your body will slowly start to adapt a running style that will work the best for you.

Tips

  • Look to the example of professional runners.
  • Your body should form a straight line that starts at the ankles and extends to your head.
  • Do not bend at the waist.
  • Your feet should strike the ground at the mid-foot, not at the heel or on the toe.
  • Keep your arms low (just above the hips).
  • Avoid raising your arms when you get tired.
  • Keep your stride rate as close to 180 strides per minute as possible.
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