Welcome back! By now, hopefully you have read Running For Beginners: The Right First Steps and you’ve used the tips outlined in Running for Beginners: Your First Runs to have a a successful first few runs! If not, go and read them so you will not miss all the important advice for beginners. Don’t sit there acting like you already know… GO READ! I promise you will learn something new.
Ok, now for those who are all caught up and waiting patiently for me to delve into my lifetime of knowledge once again regarding beginning running, this post will be a little different. This post will address the importance of proper running form and how to get started with the basics of good form.
Good running form is important because it helps your body work in an efficient manner. Unnecessary body movements use energy that could be put toward making you go farther, faster and for longer. It also helps prevent injuries!
There are 4 main parts to Good Running Form. Here they are!
2. Mid-foot strike
Stand up with your feet pointing straight ahead, knees soft. Head level with eyes looking forward.
Reach up and stretch up toward the sky, elongating spine.
Relax arms at your sides to a 90* angle.
Keep arms and shoulders relaxed.
Use compact arm swings and avoid crossing the body’s central line.
2. Mid-foot Strike
Contact the ground with the middle part of your foot first, as opposed to your heel or toes.
The entire foot should land softly and under the hips.
A great way to feel your mid-foot is to march in place. Notice that your heel isn’t hitting first, the whole foot lands at the same time.
Cadence is the number of times your foot hits the ground while running. A fast cadence is the most essential part of good running form because it promotes short quick movements and a mid-foot strike.
Your target cadence should be about 180 beats/min.
To find your cadence, jog for 1 minute counting each time your right foot hits the ground. The goal is 90 foot-strikes/minute (180 total).
You can download a free MP3 of this cadence here and listen to it while you are practicing.
The forward lean is important because it will help propel you forward.
Leave from the ankles without bending at the waist.
Keep your weight distributed slightly forward and flex at the ankles.
Use gravity to help generate a forward momentum.
Reset your posture and give a nice tall forward lean and let gravity take you into a jog.