Technique sets the upper limit for where training can take you. With this in mind here is what you need to be thinking about to enhance your running form.
How you hold your head when you run is key to your overall posture and determines how effectively you will run. Aim to hold your chin parallel to the ground and let your gaze guide you. By scanning the horizon, you will straighten your neck and back, bringing them into alignment.
Your shoulders play an important role in keeping your upper body relaxed when you run. Aim to keep your shoulders low and loose at all times. As you tire it is common for your shoulders to creep up towards the ears. If this happens, lower your arms and shake them out to relieve the tension.
Your arms work in conjunction with your legs to propel you forward. Swing your arms forward and back without rocking your shoulders. Your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle and you should keep your hands in an unclenched fist.
An ideal torso position is often described as “running tall”. The torso is affected by your head and shoulder positions, so making sure you follow the two points above will help here. With your chin parallel to the ground and your shoulders relaxed, your torso and back will naturally straighten and put you in the optimal position to maximise oxygen consumption and stride length.
Your hips are your center of gravity so they’re key to good running form. Aligning your upper body correctly helps to ensure that your hips will also be correctly positioned. With your torso and back in alignment and straight, your hips will naturally fall into the ideal alignment.
Aim to run with a cadence of 88 – 92 revolutions per minute. While sprinters need a high knee lift, endurance runners can get by on a little less although a moderate knee lift is still optimal to maximise stride length. When you run with the proper stride length, your feet should land directly under your body.
Your feet should land lightly on the ground between the heel and the midfoot, quickly rolling forward onto your toes for push off.
Training for any upcoming marathon? Watch this space as we will be delivering more tips to help you train to reach your target.