Practice Makes Perfect — or at least Makes Better
With running, like most sports, the more you practice, the better you’ll perform. However, what if your running is not going the way you’d like, and you’ve already tweaked your training
- What if you hurt when you run?
- What if you feel slow or inefficient?
- What if you simply don’t feel like you are built to run?
If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider adjusting your running form. Small changes may be just the fix you are looking for.
4 Adjustments for Better Running Performance and Injury Prevention
- Lean into it.
- Keep your arms and legs in their own lane.
- Land softly.
- Move your legs quickly.
1. Lean into it.
As it sounds, you ought to lean forward just slightly when running. The key is to lean forward from the feet and ankles, versus bending at the hip. Use the slight forward (5-10%) lean to aid in sustaining momentum while running.
2. Keep your arms and legs in their own lane.
Imagine a vertical line from the ground moving upward, dividing your body into right and left segments. In most cases, you want the feet and legs to stay in their own lane. Additionally, you’d like your arms to swing forward and backward versus side-to-side.
3. Land softly.
As Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion posits: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If your foot strike is hard against the ground when you run, the ground applies an equal hard force back on you. So, land softly and the ground’s force will be equally gentle back to you. It is prudent not to challenge Sir Newton’s theory, for no one has successfully refuted it yet.
4. Move your legs quickly.
Would you believe that increasing your step rate by as little as 2-3% can eliminate knee pain while running? If you typically land 168 steps per minute, try 172 or 174 and see what happens. Using a metronome may be helpful.
Improve Your Performance and Reduce Injuries by Changing Your Running Form
To be successful, change only one thing at a time from the list above. In that way, you’ll be able to focus on that one change correctly and monitor the results. Be aware that initially you’ll have to be intentional in making the change before “muscle memory” kicks in. At first, you’ll be consciously incompetent with your new movements until you become unconsciously competent. Be patient with yourself.