Running is simple but when it comes to getting the most bang out of your miles, you cannot ignore proper technique. In fact, it can make or break you as a runner. Good form reduces the impact on your body, improves your efficiency and lowers injury risk, which in turn allows you to run faster, further and with less fatigue. Our Official Training Partner for the Virtual Winter 10K Run is Auro and luckily for us they’re experts on this topic so without further ado, here are Auro’s top tips to help you master your run.
Your head should be stacked directly over a straight neck and spine. Picture a string attached to the top of your head, lifting you upward and gently pulling you forward - be the puppet on strings and the controller all at the same time.
Keep your torso perpendicular to the ground, back flat, and navel pulled into your spine. Do not lean forward nor arch your back — this can throw your alignment off or limit your breathing.
The more powerful you move your arms, the more power you can generate — fast arms equals faster legs. Keep your arms at your sides — do not swing side to side. You’re more likely to slouch when your arms cross over your chest. This not only compromises your form but also restricts your breathing.
Bend your elbows at roughly 90-degrees with your hands gliding past your waistline. As you swing your arms back and forth, your elbows should be swinging roughly between your waistline and chest.
A common mistake made by many runners is over-striding. When you’re landing on your foot in front of your knee, you’re also in front of your centre of gravity, causing a braking effect. This forces you to use up more energy per stride than when you keep your momentum moving forward.
Here’s what you need to do instead: Land as close to underneath your body as possible. Try to hit the ground on the base of your heel in front of the arch.
Improve your cadence
Confused about how to improve your foot strike? Running cadence to the rescue! Cadence refers to the number of times your feet make contact with the ground in one minute of running. A faster cadence, as research shows, may improve your running economy, reduce injury risk, and increase your running speed.
As a general rule, cap your running cadence at around 180 steps per minute — that’s an optimal number according to research. But don’t lose sleep over not being able to hit 180 exactly, as long as you’re striving to improve your leg turnover, you’re on the right path.
When practicing faster cadence using a metronome, keep focusing on taking shorter and faster strides and increasing the cadence slowly and incrementally. For example, if your current leg turnover is 168, set it to 172 and progress gradually from. Don’t try to change everything overnight or you’ll just overwhelm yourself.
If you’re really serious about taking your form to the next level, then we’d highly recommend adding drill training to your workout routine. Proper running drills will help you improve your range of motion, engage different muscles, accentual facets of proper running form, and help you drill in on proper technique. Here are a few options:
- Form drills
- Backward running
- Mobility exercises
Ensure you’re using proper form in order to avoid poor movement patterns. Auro’s video guides can be really beneficial to aid solid posture and to help get coaching on your routine. And if you don’t know where to start, Auro’s trainers can guide you through multiple training plans, workouts and classes that suit you and your fitness ability.
All it takes to improve your efficiency and the way you run is to simply try to incorporate elements of good form shared here. Of course, it’s going to take you a while to ingrain them into your daily runs, but it’s just a matter of time.
The Auro app is home to a great selection of running classes and training plans, all guided by world-class personal trainers to keep your form on point and your mind motivated. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting started, Auro can help you build into a stronger and more confident runner in no time.
Use code RACE30 at checkout to get 30 days free access to the Auro app and access your 10K race training plan today.