Runners understand that proper running form can make a big difference in performance, so it’s important to know what you should be doing, and then routinely practice it.
Here’s a quick overview from Runner’s World of correct running form for recreational and endurance runners.
- Head – keep the head looking forward naturally (not up or down), and don’t let the chin jut forward
- Shoulders – hold the shoulders down low, loose and relaxed; keep them level
- Arms – hold at a 90-degree angle and swing forward and back between the waist and chest with a powerful backward drive; keep hands relaxed
- Torso – maintain upright posture with an open chest and without slouching to promote optimal lung capacity
- Hips/Glutes – as the center of gravity, the pelvis should be neutral and not tilted anteriorly or posteriorly or excessively shifting laterally; glutes should be fully engaged
- Legs – lift knees slightly, turnover the legs quickly and maintain short strides so that the lower leg doesn’t land in front of the body
- Ankles/Feet – hit the ground lightly and do not slap down; land between heel and midfoot and quickly roll onto toes and spring off the ground
While it’s easy to read about good running form, it is harder to adopt it without awareness, training and practice to make it a habit.
In his new book, Meb for Mortals, Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston Marathon champion and a racer recognized for his perfect form, shares five drills that can help you become stronger, faster, better able to maintain good form and less prone to injury:
- Skipping exercises
- Carioca and quick feet
- Jump, hop, hop
- Lateral squats
Check out Meb demonstrating these exercises at RunnersWorld.com, and get to work on perfecting your running form!