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7 Keys to Proper Running Mechanics

7 Keys to Proper Running Mechanics

There is just no one best running form. Since everyone is so different, it would be illogical to say that there is one perfect running form. Thus, there is also no simple and perfect training and diet for all runners.

However, there certainly are a few ways and keys with which you can use to improve your running. These ways will help you prevent injuries and be the best of who you are. Not everyone is perfect, plus to run a marathon or win 100 meters you have to practice a lot. Therefore, simply buying running shorts and shoes will not turn you into a runner.

athletes running a race, only their legs, shorts and sports sneakers are shown

Paying attention and working on these techniques will keep your alignment right and you will be able to focus on running.

When you run the proper way, it benefits your running technique in a lot of ways: less energy consumption, longer distanced runs, improvement in performance, and less risk of injuries and other problems.

Stride plays a major role in improving your performance and gets you that win. Your stride and running posture are not necessarily wrong, however they might be just a little off. If you analyze and correct each running action and movement, then develop it well, it will improve your running technique (thus improving your results too). While these things are to be improved, please keep in mind that they should not be the focus while you are on the track running.

an athlete running outdoors

Toe landing

Some runners land on their toes. Running with your toes pointed downwards will automatically make you land on your toes which will lead to foot injuries.

You can easily avoid this by keeping in mind that you don’t have to land on your toes. Whenever you do just try not to do it in the next step.

All you have to do is pull your toes up a little, and not let your feet loose while running. Just a small mistake can be too painful and lead to a serious injury that can even take away your love for running.

Heel landing

Be alert if you are landing on your forefoot or heels, this may be a source of serious injury since it increases the risk of feet getting hurt. This is because, as you land on the heels, it transfers a great impact on the ankle and knees.

And finally… the PROPER landing

“So, I can’t land on my toes, can’t land on my feet – what part of the feet do I use for landing?” – we can already hear our readers asking this question.

The answer is easier than one might think – just make sure you land on the balls of your feet. This is the part right behind your fingers.

balls of your feet, proper foot landing for runners, sports anatomy

Wearing proper clothes

Most of us ignore the importance of wearing comfortable bottoms. For instance, if the shirt and shorts or other clothing are causing friction with the skin then it will cause a rash and other skin problems. This situation can even lead to muscle pain. But if the clothes are baggy and too lose, they can be a hindrance decreasing your performance and range of motion as legs could not be stretched properly.

Cadence

Cadence or stride frequency, these are the same things, but what is this?

Being one of the key factors in running, this is the rate at which your feet are supporting your body and making it run. According to research, the magic number that most of the professional and top runners have is 180 strides per minute. However, anything between 170 to 190 strides per minute will work just fine for you.

running gear, a man in running equipment with a gym bag, preparing for a workout

Don’t worry about this too much and know that you can always improve yourself. Another thing to remember is that your height doesn’t influence your running.

These days with the help of a GPS monitors your steps can be counted hence you can measure your cadence. If you are working on improving the cadence, your stride length should not be sacrificed. This means you shouldn’t make it shorter than it already is. This will slow your speed and consume more of your energy, leading you the opposite way from improvements.

Short stride lengths done to increase speed are also known as over-striding. It makes your joints painful. Next time you make your shorts and tank tops soaked in sweat but haven’t run even a mile yet, make sure to check if you are making any of these mistakes and try to avoid those.

Rhythm and running

To look good and perform well in running you have to improve your running rhythm. It is just like dancing, regardless of running speed, with rhythmic running your performance will improve. Have you seen runners who seem like they are running effortlessly? It is all because of the rhythmic running.

Loosening arms and hands

Clenched fists, sharp-pointed fingers, stressed shoulders and back will only create hinder your performance. Keep your body relaxed, don’t make any of these mistakes and look ahead. But also, don’t leave it like they’re hanging loose from the body.

a fitness girl jogging outdoors

Upper body connection

The arms should be making a 90-degree angle, you don’t have to make it perfect just keep them where you think is okay.

A balance between tight and loose hands is perfect. Just make sure the hands should not cross the body’s midline and don’t go under your waist as you are running. The unnatural running motion will destroy the rhythm and cause problems like ankle injuries, ankle pain etc.

Self-observation

If you cannot identify the issues yourself you can either film yourself while running or ask someone to observe you. This way you can, later on, see your movements and identify the problems and things you should work on, or get an honest opinion from someone else.

Just relax (as strange as it may sound)

Shoulders and pecks should be relaxed, don’t lean them forward or back. Lift and push the chest out just a little, and you can achieve a proper position. The shoulders and elbows will be making an angle of roughly 45-degree.

Lift your head from the body away from tailbone don’t lean it forwards or backward too much just look straight ahead with eyes up. Also, don’t make your neck stiff.

We hope that this guide was useful, and that it will help you achieve your running goals.

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