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Running Technique

by Editor
Thursday 8th January 2015

Training feature: Running is a natural motion and you will find you run a certain way but there a number of things you can think about to try and make your technique more effective

Training feature

An effective running technique will make your run more efficiently, reduce the chances of injury and make running much more enjoyable. 

Body Alignment

Look to keep you head straight and your shoulders relaxed. The best way to keep your head straight is to look forward when running and avoid looking down at your feet. Over time most runners tend to tense up without realising it, resulting in hunched shoulders and their hands in a tight grip. It is important to remain relaxed and a good tip is every now and then to just relax your arms and give them a shake to remind you that your muscles should be relaxed and not tense. Looking forward will also help your breathing.

Your arms should be bent at around a 90 degree angle but not held in place. You want some movement with them as your run but be careful they don’t swing too far across your body; the goal is to get them to help your balance by swinging them gently forwards and backwards. 

Mid Foot Strike

For recreational runners you want to look to land on the middle part of your foot and avoid hitting the ground with your heel or the front of your foot. A good way to encourage this is to lean (slightly!) forward when running and not lifting your knees too high. You want your feet to feel light and not hit the ground too hard and ideally your feet to land below your hips. You want a high cadence (the number of times you feet hit the ground) and some runners suggest you are running on clouds with light steps. 

Relax and breathe

You want to take relaxed deep breathes either through your mouth or nose. The more relaxed you are the more your breathing will adjust itself. You don’t want to have short, shallow breaths and you shouldn’t be out of breathe at any point. Building up your running slowly and your breathing should naturally follow. When doing the arm relaxing exercise mentioned above, it’s also good to look to breathe out as you do it to relax your body. 

Running technique is something you can always work on and it’s good to watch how other runners run. Olympic Gold Medal winner and winner of marathons around the world, Haile Gebrselassie, includes a weekly run on the treadmill in front of a mirror to work on his technique so you can always learn more. You can watch Haile run here: 


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