Three easy ways to fix running form, body awareness is the first step to effortless, flowing running form
Running form can be simple to finesse, but first you need to know what needs fixing. Anyone who has seen the GOAT of marathoning, Eliud Kipchoge, run knows what beautiful running form looks like, but it can be challenging to figure out how to fix your own form. Here are three easy ways to gain a better understanding of how you are running and what you can do to run more efficiently.
Run fast at the track
In his book Run Fast, renowned marathoner and trainer Hal Higdon suggests finding a 400-metre track to try this running form awareness drill. Begin running at the 300-metre starting line (the start of the back straightaway) and pick up your pace through the straight until you are running near 5K race pace. Accelerate as you come into the home stretch so that you’re running full-out when you reach the finish line.
Notice what happens to your form as you accelerate, and see if you can pinpoint where you become more or less efficient as you pick up your pace. Pay attention to knee lift, stride length, posture, arm carry, and head angle.
Run barefoot in sand or grass
Head to the beach or a safe grassy area and find a smooth stretch to run on. Higdon suggests running at a comfortable pace for 100 metres, and paying particular attention to where your foot contacts the ground.
Notice where you naturally land to develop awareness, even if you don’t need to adjust anything. Running on slightly damp sand and then looking back at your footprints can also be helpful when trying to analyze how your feet are striking.
Run straight on the road
Pick a stretch of road or sidewalk where you can follow a straight line (taking care to choose somewhere safe). Look for a painted stripe on the road to follow, a crack in the pavement, or the separation between the pavement and the shoulder of the road.
“Focus your attention on that line and think of yourself as a machine moving along it, like a train on a rail,” says Higdon. “Can you run straight along the line without wavering back and forth? Is your head straight, are your eyes level?” Notice how your arms are moving, and see if your legs are moving straight forward and kicking straight back.
While running form is very individual, all runners follow the same basic principles. Body awareness is the first step to fixing your running form– and then working on any oddities or challenges you notice when practicing these drills.
posted Tuesday September 13th
by Keeley Milne