When training, running and racing, how important is your running form?
You’ve all seen that runner who has great form and seems to effortlessly glide along. There’s no mistake that a great running form not only looks great but more importantly, it can help improve your running times and reduce the risks of injury.
What Are Some Common Running Form Mistakes?
Some of the big mistakes include:
- Over-striding or your foot landing too far in front of your body
- Taking too long between each stride
- No knee lift or heel kick
- Swinging or rotating through your waste or poor arm swing
- Tense shoulders
All of these running form mistakes can lead to poor performance and even running injuries.
How To Correct Running Form
A lot of poor running form comes from not having the correct information in the first place. A quick check of your running form by someone who can be honest with you is important. If you don’t have someone who can do this for you, try and get a video made of yourself running, both front on and from the side. There’s also some great apps available for your smartphone which allow you to record and then play the video in slow motion so you can take a look at your running form.
Once you’ve assessed where your faults are at (and maybe you have none, congratulations!!), you can then make some informed decisions on where to focus your efforts when running.
So once you’ve assessed the faults, what can you do to correct them?
Running Form Drills
Running form drills as shown on the How To Structure 5K Training page will help you improve your running form and should be incorporated into at least 2 training sessions per week. Just make them part of your training weekly and something that you always do. The benefits will be long term. These drills will help with issues like over-striding, stride rate, knee lift, heel kick and tense shoulders.
Simply put, having a strong core will stop you from swinging from the waist when running. See my post on the Core Strength Routine.