Using proper running technique is critical for getting the most out of your runs. Improper form can lead to physical injury and wasted effort. Here are a few lessons in how to run better, starting today.
When you run, don’t:
– sway from side to side
– flail hands and elbows outwards
– bounce up and down
All three of these are bad running habits which waste energy. All of your energy, during a run, should be focused on propelling your body forward in the dimension of space. With that in mind, remember the following tips:
1. Right angles
The correct position for arms while running is 90 to 110 degrees from the body. Any position at greater angles from the body will overwork arm muscles and suck up unnecessary energy. Maintain a bend in your elbow, and make sure the arms are swinging STRAIGHT back and forth – without sideways motion.
2. Eyes in front
While running, your head should be positioned upright, with your gaze forward and not down at the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
3. Pump it up
To give your runs an extra boost of power and effectiveness, train yourself to “pump”: swing the opposite arm and knee at the same time, similar to military marching form. This professional movement will increase your speed.
You might find it useful, even if you are an outdoor runner, to use an occasional treadmill session to practice your running form and method. On a treadmill, in front of a mirror, you can also best assess whether you are bouncing up and down too much and how your head is positioned.
These simple strategies are bound to help you improve your your fitness levels and speed.