Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Form Matters

How often do you think about running form and mechanics? If you're like many of runners, probably not often enough. However, focusing on these nuts and bolts can help you run with fewer injuries, more efficiently and maybe even a bit faster.

Last night I attended a Natural Running Clinic at Performance Running Outfitters. I was super interested in everything discussed from footwear to arm swing to cadence. Yes, I'm a bit of a run nerd these days, but really, anyone can benefit from this information!

Four Tips to Improve Your Running
Here are some easy tips to start improving your running:
  • Land midfoot or forefoot, not on your heel. Also, try to land roughly under your body's center of mass. Both of these will help reduce the impact on your knees and shins.
  • Run with a slight forward lean (not bent at the torso) and keep your head up and eyes looking forward, not at the ground.
  • Keep your arms by your side and bent at a 90 degree angle. Avoid swinging your arms across or in front of your body. Instead, move them from your hips.
  • Maintain a high cadence. Also known as stride rate, having a faster turnover helps reduce impact and improve efficiency and speed.
Do you have any tips for running more efficiently? Also, what shoes do you run in? I run in either a Brooks Defyance 4 or an Asics Gel DS Speed Trainer, but am thinking of buying the Newton Distance U after trying it out last night!

- ST

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