My friend Becky (@TwoLittleBlues) posted this photo this morning.
I think it summarizes a lot of people’s thoughts on how they run. There are days when I’m totally in the zone and I feel like my movement is clean and easy. Then, there are days when I’m “off” for some reason – tight hamstrings, all my stress is hiding in my left shoulder… those days, I feel like I’m lumbering through my run like Frankenstein’s Monster.
- Shoulders. Keep them relaxed. I shouldn’t let them shrug up to my ears when I’m getting tired. When I find myself shrugging and tensing, I drop my arms to my sides and roll my shoulders back to release the tension.
- Head. I have the habit, sometimes, of looking at my feet when I run. I’m a little scared of the speed bumps that are in DC. They’re monstrous! I’m supposed to be looking into the middle distance – scanning the horizon, or some such. Relax the neck.
- Arms. Arms should not cross the center of the body when running. This happens to me when I get tired and start to tense my shoulders.
- Torso. Use cross training to better condition your core strength. (Hello yoga, pilates and personal trainer!) Don’t have an exaggerated lean, either forward or back. This can cause strain on the hamstrings, lower back or bootie. I tend to lean forward on an uphill, and I can definitely feel the effect on the hamstrings!
- Stride. Turnover should be 180 strides per minute. I have not stopped to count my stride rate, but I can feel when I’ve slowed down. I’m going to try to work on this over the next few months.
- Feet. Do not, I repeat, do not heel-strike! Your feet should not make a lot of noise when you hit the ground (apparently). Good thing for me, heel striking is minimal and usually only when I’m not paying attention.
There are a lot of things to work on to be the most efficient runner. Of course, I have also heard some people say, “Just run like you did as a kid! Carefree!” And if you’ve forgotten what that might look like, this will help:
How do you run? Do you have any good articles on tips for good running form?
*I am not a doctor or a running coach or a stride evaluator. I am not giving advice, just compiling articles I found on the Google.