Running form refers to the specific position and movements of your body when you run. The stance you take ensures that you’re able to consistently propel yourself forward without the risk of injury. Each person’s own form is dependent on a variety of factors, including their strength, flexibility and individual body, but nailing the proper long-distance running form can boost efficiency, prevent injuries and give you a feeling of ease when you run.
Here are some tips for the proper running form to get you started.
- Keep a strong upper body posture. Surprisingly, your upper body matters more than you might think when you’re out for a run. Keeping a straight back, wide shoulders and looking straight ahead helps stabilize the body and eliminates improper weight on pressure points. Resist the urge to curl or tense your shoulders or look downward.
- Relax your arms and keep your hands in loose fists. Your arms should be close to your sides, but not tensed or too tight. Keep your hands in a gentle fist (not clenching too tight), and try to keep the movements fairly straight. It may help to imagine that there’s a bar right down your chest that your arms shouldn’t cross.
- Pay attention to where your foot lands. When it comes to proper running form, feet are a huge consideration. The proper way to land the foot while running is highly debated, but it is generally accepted that your feet should land mid-sole (rather than in the forefoot or heel) or slightly towards the ball for a balanced, quick feel and to better propel yourself forward.
Everyone’s Stride is Different
While there’s no 100% accepted proper running form, consistently running with poor form can lead to lifelong injuries and overuse, so it’s certainly something you want to pay attention to and correct if needed. As you perfect your stride, make the learning curve more fun with your favorite music and apps to measure your performance by taking your phone along in your Armpocket armband. Made by and for runners for a comfortable no-slip fit, it’s been rated the best armband for long-distance running.