Whether you’re brand new to running or you’re a regular on the half marathon scene, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your running technique. Here are our top five tips for proper running form that will help you to prevent injury, improve your efficiency and get the most out of your running experience.
Be Sure to Look Ahead
The way you position your head will affect your overall posture while running. Here are our favorite tricks for keeping your head level:
- Avoid looking down at your feet. Instead, let your gaze focus on the horizon.
- Keep your chin parallel to the ground.
- Imagine an invisible string pulling you up from the top of your head.
Pay Attention to Your Upper Body
One of the first places that runners typically feel tension is the shoulders. If this happens, shake your arms out a little bit, drop your shoulders and take some deep breaths. Relaxing your shoulders a few times during your run also functions like a “reset button” for your body by allowing you to eliminate wasted energy and open up the chest for more efficient breathing.
In terms of your arms, we have one word for you to focus on: control. Ensure that you aren’t swinging your arms across your midline, because that will throw off your balance. Instead, swing your arms forward and keep your elbows at about a 90-degree angle for perfect form.
Related: How to prevent common running injuries
Relax Your Hands
Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do with your hands while running? If so, our first recommendation is to keep things loose and comfortable. Avoid clenching your hands into tight fists (though it may be tempting). Instead, pretend that you’re holding an egg in each of your palms. Relaxing your grip will also help to release tension in your arms, shoulders and neck.
Engage Your Core
Many runners underestimate the power of a strong core. However, learning to engage your mid-section while running is essential to promoting excellent posture, preventing injury and improving stamina. Here are a few core exercises that are specifically designed to promote better running form.
Perfect Your Landing
Think about your landing form. Are you a “heel striker” (someone who lands too far ahead of their body) or a “toe runner”? Both are inefficient ways to run and can lead to injuries, such as shin splints, over time.
Strike the perfect balance by landing midfoot, then quickly rolling through to your toes. Next, try to spring off the ground, allowing your calf muscles to power you forward with each step.
Bonus: Invest in the Right gear
Our last tip for improving your running form is to invest in the right gear. Compression socks are excellent because they can help to improve your posture, allow you to run more efficiently and speed up your recovery time. Check out our latest styles here and be sure to join our online community on Facebook and Instagram for more motivation.