Skill Session: Proper Running Form

Running is one of the simplest forms of exercise because it doesnt require a lot of expensive equipment or a whole lot of technical knowledge. However, runners whove never had any coaching can slip into bad habits that may lead to inefficient running and injury. Triathlon coach Annie Fisher offers these tips for perfecting your running form. 1. The most important part of good running form is to stay relaxed. Breathe from your abdominals (belly breathing) in through your nose and out through your mouth, which will result in keeping your face/jaw muscles nice and loose. 2. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Your arms should hang loosely bent at a 90-degree angle and swing with the momentum of your stride straight ahead, not across your body. 3. Your hands should be loose. Try putting a Pringle between your thumb and finger and run without breaking it. 4. As for posture, you should be perpendicular to the ground (standing straight). Be careful not to bend at the waist, which is common when people get fatigued. 5. Keep your chest open. This opens up your lungs and allows for easier breathing. 6. Your foot should land naturally on the midsole, not the heel or toes. Depending on your speed, your foot will either roll from that point forward or go back on the heel a bit and then roll. 7. Try to maintain the forward motionlanding on the mid-sole and pushing off from the front of the foot. This will differ among each runner as everyone naturally lands differently, and some runners pronate to different degrees. Adjust your gait as much as is comfortable, but stay within what is natural for you. 8. Be sure you are wearing the best shoes for your style. Buy running shoes from a running specialty store where they will watch you run and fit you properly.

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