Running Training


Unfortunately we cannot step back and watch ourselves as we run, so as to view our own running style. But, you have probably noticed other runner's styles and see that all are very different. It is hard to know as we are running and using all our energy and concentration on just getting there, what our form is like and if it is making us more efficient, safer runners.

Here are some things to think about as you are running-

Where are you looking?- Look ahead naturally, don't look at your feet, scan the horizon. Always think about running tall, this takes pressure off your neck and back.

Are your shoulders up near your ears?- Keep your shoulders down and back and loose. As you tire you tend to hold your shoulders tight and high, if you feel this happening when you are running, loosen them and drop them back down.

Are you moving your arms too much?- a natural arm movement is fine, your arms should move in conjunction with your leg stride, but, not too much!! Try to keep your arms loose, with your elbows tucked closer to your sides. Keep your hands relaxed, they shouldn't be clenched. Your arms should be moving forward with your legs, not across your body. If you get too much swing or movement in your arms, your shoulders and back will join in the movement and you will begin to tire, always think about conserving some energy in your upper body, don't over work your arms. If you find you are holding your arms too tight or swinging too much, shake them out and get them back into a relaxed, light state.

Hands- Believe it or not the way you hold your hands can make a big difference to your movements. if you run with a loose relaxed hand, fingers just swinging free, you will create a lot more movement through your arms, shoulders and upper body. If you run with a tight, clenced fist, you will add tightness and strain right through your upper body. The best way to is to touch your thumb to your index finger very gently, pretend you are holding a delicate feather (like when you see the yoga gurus sitting cross legged!). By doing this simple move you will take out a lot of movement and stress out of your upper body, try it

Run tall-when you run try to lift your body to it's tallest height. Head high. shoulders low,back straight, and your hips should have a slight forward tilt. Your hips are your centre of gravity, so they should be centred under your upper body and over your lower body.

And Finally what are your legs doing? (moving forward I hope!)- distance running only requires a slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover and a short stride. Therefore, your feet should land directly under your body, not out in front. Try not to extend your lower leg out in front of your body as this can cause overuse injuries. The knee of the foot you are landing on should be slightly flexed, to absorb some of the ground impact. Make sure you are not pounding the ground, your feet should land lightly.

Posture Checks

For the next few weeks on our Ho Hum Runs I want all Lazy Runners to do a posture Check at every half km mark of the run, up and back! Check all these things off your Posture Checklist.

Head- is your head attached to a string and someone is pulling the string upwards, if not, it should be
Eyes-looking straight ahead, not down
Neck-tall and straight
Shoulders-back and down, as far from your ears as possible
Arms-loose, elbows tucked into your sides, not tightly though, arms moving slightly in the same directions as your legs, not swinging side to side
Hands- not clenched, loose, thumb and index fingers slightly touching,
Hips-under shoulders. moving with legs, and are the centre of your gravity
Legs-loose and relaxed and moving forward
Knees-loose not locked, always slightly bent
Feet-landing on mid section of feet, not toes or heels, but rolling back onto your heels before pushing off with your toes, landing lightly. think ballerina not elephant!
Noise-no plodding noises(you should hardly hear your feet touch the ground), groaning noises, moaning noises or cyclonic breathing noises.

I know it seems like a lot, and you will be at the next half km mark before you've finished checking the first one! However, after a while you will find there are only one or two things that you haven't got right, so from then on you will just keep a check on those things and correct them each time. Hopefully after a while it will become a habit and you will do a posture check a few times everytime you hit the road.




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