How is Your Running Form?

Adopting good running form is the most important investment you can make if you love to run! Yet, attention to running form is probably one of the most overlooked and under emphasized aspects of running that borders on, at risk of being dramatic, an epidemic. How many other sports do you know of that encourage athletes to 'just do it', paying no mind or attention to proper technique or form? So many of us assume that the running form we are born with and that comes natural to us is acceptable for a lifetime. I used to be one of those runners that would shy away from any reference to running technique, assuming this is something that only the gifted high school or elite runners needed to work on. Besides – what’s the point? You may say, I’m not out to win the race I just want to finish strong, feeling good or in a time goal of...

It is true that one of the basic beauties of running is that you can simply lace em up, head out the door and just do it with what nature gave you.

Just as true however is that there IS such a thing as 'good' or correct running form and you should care very much about it if you not only plan on running well but running for any extended period of time without injury. It is the majority of us who are not born with naturally correct running form who need to work on improving it the most. If you truly love running, and/or are simply looking to meet your running goals, you should work on your running form to minimize impact on your body and increase your overall running efficiency.

In summary, poor biomechanics can cause:

  1. Acute injury
  2. Chronic injury(the more gradual but just as deadly threat to your running career)
  3. Unnecessary soreness
  4. An increased impact
  5. A reduced pace
  6. A reduced efficiency - you must work harder for less output
Here is where I believe so many of us are mislead by the well meaning and often very experienced running store staff. In an attempt to find you the right shoe, they look at your size, foot structure and the way that you walk and/or run. There is much emphasis put on running shoes and gear but rarely will a new or even seasoned runner leave a running store with fundamental tips and techniques that will help to address any major deficiencies with your running form and ultimately protect you from injury.

So while our physiology, weight, height, leg length, arm length and foot types all contribute to our biomechanics and therefore running form, the application and practice of the principles of correct running form will have profound positive long term affects. You can even help to improve some gentically passed down issues such as flat feet that can cause over-pronation or perhaps an inverse issue such as supination .

If you're interested in taking running technique to a different level and developing a strong mind/body/spirit connection check out the chi running page.

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