Make your running experience easier!

                click image to see it larger                                       click image to see it larger

Two cars with the same size gas tank going the same speed, the one with the most economical design will take longer to run out of gas.  Good athletic form is basic to all sports.  The most fluid and graceful athletes are simply doing less work.  All the energy and movements are going directly into moving forward.  Awkward movement is extra and wastes energy.  You want to maintain good running form for any distance and speed.  Arms, legs, and breathing have to work together for you to succeed without pain and injury.

BODY:  Focus on “Running Tall”.  You should run standing up fairly straight, not leaning forward, twisted to one side, or tilting backwards.

HEAD:  Look straight ahead.  Unless you are enjoying the scenery, your eyes should be focused straight down the road on a point about 10 meters in front of you.  Try to run in a straight line.

SHOULDERS:  They should be loose.  Focus on relaxing your shoulders.  Remember that your shoulders should be stationary.  They should not move while you are running.

ARMS:  Swing your arms naturally.  The angle at the elbow between your upper and lower arms should be about 90 degrees. Let your arms swing in rhythm with your legs.  The legs should control arm swing.

HANDS:  Do not make a fist; try to make a straight hand or a cupping motion.  Hands should be loosely cupped, about belly level. 

FOOTPLANT:  The most natural landing is mid-foot, the ball of the foot landing first, and the heel contacting the ground a fraction of a second later.  The toes push off a fraction after that.  

BREATHING:  The myth of breathing in through your nose is very bad since you clearly get less oxygen than you do from breathing through your mouth.  Oxygen allows you to run faster and longer.  Try to breathe like you are blowing out a candle.  Rhythmic breaths help pace you and feed you oxygen.

Your first steps may be awkward.  After you have been running for a while, your running form will begin to improve somewhat as you condition your body.  

Unlike the analogy of a more economical car, humans do not have the option of buying new more economical body, but we should be able to improve our coordination and running so that we are a more economical running.