Running Form Tips

In running and especially distance running, form is vitally important. The adage goes that you should first focus on form, then repetition (distance), and then speed. It just makes sense that you want your body to be properly aligned when running so that you will lessen the wear and tear on your body, prevent muscle imbalance and run most effectively (and enjoyably!)

Here are three basic concepts that are important for every runner to understand before amping up their training.

  1. Running is a SPINAL activity. We tend to think of running as an activity of the legs, and while lower limbs are obviously involved, the action of walking and running originates in the spine. The spine moves the pelvic and shoulder girdles, which in turn propel the legs and arms.
  2. Propulsion comes from the forward lean of the spine. It is important for runners to learn how to orient their spine so that it is long and straight, then lean it forward together, as a unit, when running. It is important that the pelvis-to-head move together rather than curving your spine.
  3. Think of your legs as shock absorbers that are along for the ride. Use every aspect of the kinematic chain: the toes, arch, ankle, knee and hip. With each step, we use each segment of our lower limbs to dampen the impact of landing.

If you’d like to learn more about running form and how you can learn to run with ease, as your body is designed, please join us for the Long May You Run – Running Clinic Series beginning Monday, May 9. In four sessions, we’ll teach you how to balance your running form and practically implement the techniques. We’ll also videotape each participant so that you can learn what you, specifically, can do to improve your form.

To register, go to www.longmayUrun.wordpress.com/clinics

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