By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

If you’re looking to improve your overall running performance or preparing for a race, it is important to know if your running form is correct. Having proper form can reduce the stress on your body, as well as your race time. Here are a few tips to perfecting your form- from head to toe.

 

Eye contact

Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 10 feet ahead of you. Try to avoid staring at your feet. Always pay attention on what is ahead of you.

 

Land mid-foot

Try to land mid-foot, and roll through to the front of your toes. Landing on your heels or toes can cause excessive fatigue, injury and tight calves. This can also lead to shin splints if not properly fixed.

 

Keep your hands at your waist

Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they lightly brush your hips. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle. Beginners have a tendency to hold their hands up by their chest, especially as they fatigue. You may also increase tension in your shoulders and neck if your arms are pulled too high.

 

Relax your hands

As you run, keep your arms and hands as relaxed as possible. You can gently cup your hands, as if you are holding an egg and you don't want to break it. Avoid clenching your fists as this can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders, and neck.

 

Check your posture

Think; head up, back straight, and shoulders level. Keep your shoulders under your ears and maintain a lifted and lengthened spine. Avoid leaning forward. When you're tired at the end of your run, it's common to slouch, which can lead to neck, shoulder, and lower-back pain. Avoid slouching by keeping your eyes focused forward and your chest lifted. This will also improve breathing mechanics and efficiency.

 

Don't bounce

Try to avoid too much up and down movement- rather, focus on driving your body forward. Take quick, light, steps that will leave you feeling energized and capable of running further.

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