When it comes to running most people just get out there and go at it. I know I did. I naively chalked up being a former athlete as being enough of a prerequisite for running. However, after a few years of training for and completing multiple races I have realized that my initial “care free” approach to running was not only inefficient but dangerous. Perfecting your running form is like trying to become a better person: you have to consistently work at it. I am loving the journey and hope that this head to toe guide will help you learn how to become the strongest injury free runner possible!
Notes On Your Noggin: The way in which you hold your head when running is critical. As a fitness professional, I am constantly reminding clients that their neck is part of their spine and therefore should be aligned properly for overall good posture. The key is to let your gaze be your guide. Imagine you are scanning the horizon and most importantly relax. Try to avoid looking down at your feet and don’t allow your chin to jut out.
Shoulder Roll With It: When it comes to running, the shoulders are often forgotten. However, when it comes to proper upper body alignment, the shoulders are what keep your upper body relaxed. So think two things…loose and low (kind of like your dance movement during your favorite rap song…wink wink). As we tense up in life and consequently when we begin to fatigue during running our shoulders have the tendency to creep up. So shake them throughout and keep them level (no side to side shoulder bouncing sis).
Invite Your Arms To The Party: While your legs are doing most of the work during your run, your arms shouldn’t being playing second fiddle. The way in which your arms swing directly affect your leg stride and ultimately the ability to drive your entire body forward. So hold your fist in a loose posture and allow your arms to swing forward and back (not across your body). They should always live between your waist and lower-chest when it comes to height and your elbows should remain at a 90-degree angle.