3 Secret Tips That Will Improve Your Running Form
Getting into running as a beginner can be confusing at first. Even a simple Google search brings back thousands of advice websites and notice boards all in scientific gobbledygook. Like me, you just want it laid down in simple terms of what needs to be done, so here we bring you three straight-forward tips you should take that will improve your running form significantly:
Some new runners can be guilty of over-striding which causes heavy pressure on both legs. The important aspect to remember is where your foot lands in relation to your body, rather than if your heel or foot touches the ground first. In an ideal world, your foot should hit the ground directly underneath your body and not far out in front of it.
You should also be aiming for a straight line from your hip to where your foot lands so there’s no stretching or reaching. These adjustments reduce the chances of injury and ease some of the impact on the legs, creating a more fluid, efficient running style.
Slouching or leaning from the waist can be a problem for new runners who are trying to copy the “forward lean” technique. It’s true a slight lean does improve running form, however it should come from the ankles and not the waist.
Instead, focus on running tall with a straight posture as a slight lean from the ankles tends to happen naturally without trying. A good way to help keep a good posture is to imagine a piece of string pulling your head towards the sky.
Cadence is the number of steps someone takes per minute with both feet. Historically, the optimum cadence is 180 steps per minute although that has been argued down the years, with many believing it’s an average rather than an exact figure. Your cadence should be around 170 steps per minute whilst running at a comfortable, easy pace which, in turn, helps cut the risk of injury and improves your running form. This is because with shorter and faster strides, your body is not stretching as much and causing increased stress on the legs.
So remember the next time you go for a run, count the amount of times one of your feet hits the ground and double it to find your cadence. If it’s under 170 steps, work on improving it by five percent for the next two/three weeks.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.