iGnite instructor and running expert Alli Phillips shares her top 5 tips for proper running form and technique to improve running efficiency and speed, prevent common running injuries, and allow runners to enjoy this most elemental, fundamental, and wonderful exercise for a lifetime. Running with better form will make you more efficient and faster; and vice versa, running faster makes you more efficient and improves form.
1. Upper body alignment
- Stay in a stacked vertical plank: head in alignment with shoulders, ribs and hips.
- Strong core: all runners should have a strong core to support that vertical plank, so be sure to include some good core strengthening exercises into your running routine
- Relax the shoulders
2. Lower body position
- Pelvis under ribs: keep hips neutrally aligned under the ribs. Think of your pelvis like a bucket, not tipping it one way or another, hold it steady under your vertical plank.
- Strong glutes: be sure to incorporate glute-strengthening exercises like squats, lunges & step-ups in your running routine because strong hips & glutes will help maintain that neutral pelvis
- Keep soft, slightly bent knees through all points in your run, keeping your knee like a loaded spring. This reduces the impact on your joints.
- Feet under the hips
3. Foot placement or strike
- You want to the foot to land right under the hip when you’re running
- Forefoot takes the weight
4. Forward lean
- When you run, you want a slightly forward lean with your full body
- Lean & drive from your hips (or your center of mass)
- Maintain neutral connected plank position as you lean forward
- Fast Turnover: to go faster, simply increase the rate of your step — don’t widen your stride
- Quick light steps
DRILL: Sub-Max Sprints
Complete this drill after a 10 minute warm-up. This drill will teach your body how to maintain proper running form at a higher cadence/speed.
- Run in place 5-10 seconds focusing on body position and high cadence/turnover
- Lean or “fall forward” and run fast for 20-60 seconds or until your cadence slows and/or form is lost
Repeat 3-10 times based on your level of fitness.
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