Running form is one of the most debated topics amongst runners, sports scientists and even doctors. Even as you are reading this, somewhere in the world, researchers are still trying to decide which is the best running form. Nonetheless, these are still some basics that could guide you as you discover your best form.
A good posture is one where you stand tall. Point your toes forward and reach your hands up to the sky. This “resets” your posture and prevents you from slouching. While running, remember to run with your head up and keep your gaze ahead of you, not on the ground. This also prevents you from knocking into any oncoming runners on the tracks.
Midfoot is most recommended as it reduces injury occurrence. Marching on the spot before a run can reinforce the proper midfoot strike. Heel striking and overstriding causes braking while landing on the forefoot can strain your calves and achilles.
Aim for an efficient cadence of 180. To count cadence, count the number of right foot strikes for 20 seconds then multiply this by 6. A high cadence usually helps you to run light and avoid pounding. You want to feel like you are floating across the roads, not pounding like a bear.
A slight forward leaning posture is good. You should lean from your ankles without bending your waist. Flexing at the ankle reduces muscle strain caused by toeing off. By leaning, you are using gravity to your advantage instead of using excessive muscle force to run forward. If you find yourself falling over, you are probably leaning too much.
In general, a good running form is one with quick strides, mid foot strike and a good posture. This helps you to prevent stress, strains and injuries. A good running form makes running enjoyable and efficient.