Although it looks simple, there’s actually a lot more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other. If you’re a beginning runner, you’ll want to know how to start off on the right foot. To run effectively, you need to hold every part of your body in the correct position, from your head right down to your feet.
When you run, you put your body through so much pressure that if your muscles or bones are in the wrong place, it can massively increase your risk of injury. You need to learn to align them properly before you get started. Here are some running tips to get you running like a pro:
Pull your stomach in and keep your torso straight rather than twisting it as you move. Keeping your body very upright is the most effective way to run. Run as though you’re pulling your head as tall as you can to give you a better range of movement. This stance is great for your overall posture and you’re far less likely to get injured.
BACK AND SHOULDERS
Keep your back upright and straight with your shoulders relaxed and down. Leaning backwards or forwards as you run will create tension in your lower back, and although leaning forwards can sometimes make you go faster, it will use up more energy, too.
Your legs should move smoothly, with your knees slightly raised and loose, so they can bend easily as your feet hit the floor and absorb the impact. If you pick up your speed, you’ll need to raise your knees higher, too.
Aim to strike the ground with the balls of your feet, rather than landing on your heels or, worse still, scuffing the floor with your feet. You will rarely have both of your feet on the ground at the same time when you run, so your foot strike should be firm with enough strength in your calves and ankles to take the weight of your body.
Don’t be tempted to look at your feet when you run. Keep your head upright and straight, focusing your eyes on the ground about 10ft to 15ft in front of you.
Although most athletics coaches will tell you not to clench your fists, it’s important that you do what you find most comfortable, otherwise you’ll waste your energy and concentration worrying about how to hold your hands. Many athletes run with open palms because it’s believed to be better for resistance, but if you prefer to cup your hands lightly, that’s ok, too.
Don’t let them swing from side to side across the front of your torso, as this will affect your breathing and tire you out much quicker. Instead, relax, bend your elbows at right angles and just let your arms swing backwards and forwards naturally in the opposite motion to your legs. So if your right leg is going forward, your right arm will swing backwards.
In addition to these tips to help you run effectively, come shop our full collection of running shoes: