Follow these simple tips to naturally develop into a more efficient and graceful runner!
Do you find yourself marveling at other runners’ elegant gaits as they glide off into the distance?
Their feet barely touching the ground and their strides so long!
Envying this fantastic form, you may wish to emulate their technique on your next run. Don’t! It will make your running worse and may even lead to injury.
Instead, it's important to make the way you naturally run work for you.
How? Follow these simple tips to naturally develop into a more efficient and graceful runner!
1. Run tall!
Running tall simply means being as upright and balanced as possible. It starts with the hips: pull your bum in, rotate your hips back, straighten your spine and lift up your chest. Your shoulders should be pulled back and down. Your head is stacked directly over a straight spine and neck.
Tip* Imagine a string attached to your head, lifting you upward and gently pulling
2. Keep your elbows back!
Driving your elbows back shifts your balance upright and forward! Your feet should land directly beneath your body and push back to propel you forward. This arm position also helps ensure that your movement and force all travel directly in a forward and backward direction. If your arms stay in front of your body, they tend to swing across your midsection, mis-directing motion and wasting energy in sideways and rotational movements.
Tip* Touch your waistband with your wrists on each stride to ensure that the arm drives back and opens up behind the body.
3. Feel Tired? Speed Up!
As a distance runner, you may think that you need to slow down to cover more mileage. No! It’s better to speed up for 10-second bursts every five to seven minutes once fatigue has set in. You don’t want to sprint – just pick up you pace slightly. It changes the muscle groups you call on and can make running feel easier and more natural.
4. Ssssh… Run Quietly!
You can move more smoothly and efficiently by trying to run quietly. Don’t take our word for it, this is scientifically supported. A 2011 study from the University of Delaware’s Motion Analysis Laboratory found that runners who were told to run more softly and quietly were able to reduce their foot impact. This resulted in less stress on their bones, joints and muscles.
5. Pretend You’re on a Skateboard - Cowabunga Man!
Visualize riding a skateboard or scooter, and using your foot to propel you. You would bring your leg through in a swinging motion - touching down beneath you and then driving straight back. If you do the same when running, you’ll encourage a longer and more powerful stride, optimizing the strength of your glutes.