Many runners do not pay attention to their running form when training. Unfortunately, this can lead to bad habits, such as excessive jogging or pounding the pavement. Runners should utilize a running form which enables them to produce speed, carry forward momentum and, eventually, overcome exhaustion. In fact, there are several running types, each with its own purpose, functions and benefits. When selecting a running form, a runner should always try to mimic the type of running style he will most likely use in competition.
One of the most common running form mistakes is to run “pounding.” Pounding is considered a serious injury by many runners, yet it is an actual running form mistake that causes most injury, because it causes the legs to tire rapidly. A good running form should allow the legs to breathe and provide the necessary leg strength to maintain a constant speed. If the legs start to tire, they will need more oxygen to continue running; therefore, the runner should always run at a slower speed until the legs have recovered from the fatigue, then accelerate again.
Another major problem in running form is when runners slouch, or slump their hips forward. This stance puts strain on the lower back, because the hips are forced to absorb the shock of the impact from the footfalls and the impact of the upper body’s weight. This type of posture also weakens the core muscles of the legs, which contribute to a loss of energy in the run. A runner should be leaning forward slightly at all times while running, and he should never allow his hips to drop.
runners who lean too far forward may also experience difficulty staying aligned as they run, because their shoulders become misaligned. Correct running form should place the shoulders, hips and knees in line with the running blades. A common tendency for runners to pull their shoulders toward their heels while running is an automatic response to gravity and lack of hip room. However, a well-balanced running form will enable the shoulders to remain in line with the running blades without excessive pulling of the upper body.
Having a good technique is just as important as having a good diet. A proper running form, coupled with a balanced diet, will ensure that your body has the proper fuel it needs to be strong and healthy. You should also consider how the proper running form affects your breathing. Proper running form encourages proper lunging, and you should breathe from your belly, not from your chest. Also, while running, do not forget to breathe in through your mouth (through the nose) and out through your mouth (out through your nose). While running, take long deep breaths whenever possible, because a lot of extra oxygen will help you stay motivated and ready for the next stretch.
A balanced running form should involve the use of all four of your feet, with the center of your feet (the front foot) directly over the ball of the foot (the back foot). Also, it is important that the weight of your entire body is on the inner side of the feet. This ensures that the muscles that are located on the front of the inner leg are completely involved in the motion, allowing for maximum efficiency. Finally, make sure to keep your foot flat, rather than pointing upward as you run, and do not rotate the foot inwards or outward, because this places unnecessary strain on the joints.