Throughout my running “career,” I have always wished for the most efficient running form. When I watched last year’s Summer Olympics, all the marathon runners had the smoothest strides that flowed like water…and I was jealous! But practice does make you closer to perfect, so I will never give up on getting that perfect stride.
The video below is a reference that I have been using for many years now that shows the right techniques to reach the optimal running stride. At various points in the video, the subject is seen running on the treadmill seemingly with little effort. When all the different techniques come together, the running form is fluid.
Techniques for Efficient Running Form Video
Main Advice from the Video
- Arms: First, elbows maintain a 90-degree position while the arms swing only at the side of the body. If the arms swings across the body, this causes the entire upper body to swing as well.
- Head: Eyes should be looking straight ahead & not at the sky. If the looking above, this causes strain on the neck.
- Shoulders: This is one of my bad habits, as my shoulders are sometimes tense and causes my upper body to tighten up. Just relax and the shoulders should drop naturally.
- Feet & Legs: Foot should strike the ground towards the middle of the foot! If the heel or front of foot strikes first, then you may be over or under extending the run stride. A good rule I tell myself is the foot should not land in front of the body, but just under the body.
- Lean: One of the run experts I used to have said you should always appear like you are going to fall! Of course not literally, but the Lean helps maintain the forward momentum and helps take the running impact off the feet.
- Breathe! It is good practice to monitor the breath throughout to ensure enough oxygen is circulated throughout the body during strenuous activity.
As you can see, there are many components to the right running form. Honestly, there are only a few that have mastered the efficient stride (I am not one of the lucky few). Remember, it is not the destination, but a journey. Enjoy the time practicing to become better.
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