Not everyone runs the same, and you will see different running techniques. If you are running inefficiently you are wasting energy. There are simple ways to improve your running technique to reduce injury and race faster.
Here are three ways to improve your running technique:
- Foot landing position – Focus on landing in the middle of your foot rather than on your heel. Most of us land on our heel which is like braking every step. The impact from braking travels into the foot, knee, hip and back. The extra stress accumulates over time and turns into pain and injury. By landing on your mid-foot you will reduce braking and the shock wave traveling upwards. You also run faster as you are running more efficiently.
- Run with a faster cadence – Increase the number of steps per minute. If you run at a slower cadence of 175 or less, you are taking longer steps. Longer steps lead to more braking and a lower cadence.
- Maintain upper body form – You can waste energy through inefficient upper body motion.
- The first way to save energy is to avoid excessive arm swing. Your hands should not cross the center line of your torso. Planks help to strengthen the core and reduce arm swing.
- The next way to save energy is to relax your upper body. Concentrate on relaxing your hands without allowing them to move excessively. Lightly place your thumb on your index finger. Keep your jaw and shoulders loose.
- Avoid hunching over, and try to run taller. Running taller takes pressure off your back and knees.
These three suggestions can make a significant improvement to you running. You may have worked on your running technique in the past and it may be good. It is always worth looking at your running technique and determine if there are ways to improve.