How to improve the way you run
How to improve the way you run

You should think about your technique if you want to run as smoothly and quickly as possible. Here is your guide on perfecting your running technique.

We all know the basics of how to run (left foot, right foot, etc.), but it helps to know a few basic tips about how to run well. Here are some tips on how to run, with suggestions for how to pay attention to different parts of the body:

Eyes

Don’t run with your eyes on the ground. For a good running technique, you should keep your eyes about 10 to 15m (33 to 50ft) in front of you.

Face

Do your best to keep your face calm. Do not clench your jaw. When you clench your jaw, nerve signals are sent along the spinal cord, which makes your body tense up.

Head

The average head weighs between 3 and 4.5 kg (7 to 10 lbs), so it’s important to support it in the right way to keep it from getting too tired. Don’t let the head fall forward, but don’t pull it back either. Also, don’t let your head stick out in front of your neck, like we do when we’re sitting at a computer or watching TV.

Shoulders

When running, your shoulders should be loose. To do this, you should not clench your fist. Also, building up the muscles in the upper and middle back and stretching the chest can help loosen up tight shoulders.

Arms

When you’re getting better at running, your arms should be like pistons that push you forward. The elbows should be bent to a degree or two less than 90. Move the arms forward, and they will go back on their own. When you move your arms faster, your legs move faster, so use more arm power when you are working harder and less when you are just jogging around.

Hands

Your hands shouldn’t be clenched, but they shouldn’t be loose either. The best way to do it right is to imagine holding a crisp between your thumb and forefinger. You want to hold it tight enough to keep it from falling apart, but not so tight that you crush it.

Back

Your back should be straight and your belly button should be pulled in toward your spine. Do not arch your back or lean forward. This can throw off your posture or make it hard to breathe.

Hips

When you run, try to picture yourself getting taller with each step. This will keep you from slouching onto your pelvis, which makes your core less stable.

Knees

Try to lift your knees a little bit with each step, but not too much. Don’t worry about getting your heels to your bottom (unless you are sprinting). This will help you improve your way of running.

Ankles

Don’t hold on with the front of your ankles, especially when going up or down a hill. Many of us tend to run with stiff ankles, which doesn’t help us absorb shock or keep our stride smooth.

Feet

Land on the middle of the foot and roll easily to the front of the foot. Don’t “flick” your toes off on purpose as your foot leaves the ground. Relax your toes.

Remember all of this when you’re running. Doing a body scan every ten minutes is a good way to keep your running technique in top shape. If you don’t pay attention to your running form, you might get little aches and pains that can turn into full-blown injuries.

When running, ask yourself the following questions to do a body scan:

  • Does your jaw hurt or do your shoulders feel tight?
  • Are you making fists or keeping your ankles still?
  • Do you feel like you’ve lost half an inch since you started?

How to run well: how to breathe

Some running experts say the best way to breathe in and out is through your nose, while others say the best way is through your mouth, not your nose. In the end, you should do what feels right to you. It can help to keep a steady rhythm, with your foot strikes dictating how you breathe.

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