Proper Running Form Tips
Just like everyone has a unique fingerprint, no two individuals look the same when they run. So when thinking about your own running form, keep in mind that you don’t have to look exactly like your favorite professional runner. That being said, there are some common techniques and forms that Heart Zones highly recommends for your running form:
7 Tips to Great Running Form
- Keep your head level and your neck straight: Focus on keeping your vision approximately 30 feet in front of you. Do so cautiously though especially depending on the surface you are running on.
- Don’t Slump: Run tall, with your shoulders aligns, spine straight, and your chest open. This will help you get more oxygen, breathe more freely, and stay in a rhythm while you run.
- Keep hands to their Sides: Make sure that your hands never swing across the midpoint of your chest. This promotes a torque in the upper body that is very inefficient. Keep those hands swinging by your side and in line with your shoulders to conserve energy & get the most out of your run.
- Get a Grip: Sometimes holding onto something while you run is a great way to stay focused on your biomechanics as opposed to getting caught up with your breathing and how tired you might be. Make sure it is light though, maybe just a couple of ounces.
- Low when Slow. High when Fast: Long distance runners need to be efficient with their form so they aren’t wearing themselves out early in a race. Keep their arms low allows for more relaxed strides in their legs, as the arms and leg movements are linked. Sprinters tend to have higher hands as they are not looking to conserve energy, but rather maximize their strides. Having bigger swings of the arms will encourage your legs to do the same.
- Concentrate on Exhale: Breathing out is very important for cleaning out the carbon dioxide and make room for fresh Oxygen. This will help with improving lung capacity, respiratory rate, and inspired air volume. Not crossing your arms will also help with easier breathing.
- Run Light & 180 Strides per Minute: As you run, staying light on your feet is important. You are not a Horse stomping his hooves in the ground. Staying light will help you maintain a higher strides per minute pace. Some elite runners have quoted going for 180 strides per minute as their measure for pacing well. Maybe something you can strive for as well. At Heart Zones, we like to say to try to match your heart beats with your strides per minute. Let your Heart lead your workout and you won’t go wrong.
Remember your Heart
We would be remiss to not mention Heart Rate Training in this post. As you are working towards having better running form, always remember to keep your heart in good form as well. Utilize your own personal heart rate zones to guide your workout and give you the best chance to maintain your newly found great running form!