How Running Form Affects Speed

Runners want to run their best. Of course, "best" varies from runner to runner. Some want to win races, others want to finish strong, and many just want to feel the rush of the "runner's high" after a good workout. Whatever your running goals are, taking care of your body by staying injury-free should be at the top of the list.

Some runners accept the discomfort that can come with running regularly. ChiRunning? doesn't agree. Running doesn't have to hurt; endless ice baths aren't inevitable, and you don't have to sacrifice your knees. You also don't have to stop running or slow down, ever. How? Make technique your first priority. When you run with good technique, you reduce impact, avoid overworking your muscles, and prevent potential pain and injury.

More: How ChiRunning Promotes Healthy Running

As a regular runner, it may be hard to imagine changing your running technique. If you have no aches and pains and are happy with your efficiency, you may not need to make a change. If, however, you are concerned about injury, want to reduce your recovery time, want to be more efficient or run faster, improving your running technique will be well worth your while. 

More: The 4 Best Form Drills to Improve Your Running Technique

And, it doesn't have to interfere with your training. You can make positive changes in your technique quite rapidly with practice. Focusing on technique stimulates your mind and body, and can make your running routine much more interesting.

ChiRunning: Focus on Form to Increase Speed

Based on principles of T'ai Chi, ChiRunning teaches you how to move every part of your body as efficiently as possible. As in T'ai Chi, the basic premise of ChiRunning is that all movement should be initiated by your strong core muscles. Engaging your core and relaxing your limbs allows your legs to simply support your body instead of pushing or pulling it forward with each step. Overusing muscles, such as pushing and pulling yourself forward with your legs, is a common cause of injury, requires more fuel, and can prolong recovery.

More: The Three Phases of Recovery

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