Good Running Form and Technique

In BOISE RunWalk, we believe that the human body is capable of running long and short distances in a very natural and biomechanically sound fashion. We believe the human body was designed by God perfectly for running. The reason humans experience injury when running is that we’ve destroyed the natural balance and strength and core stability of our bodies by sitting at a desk for eight hours on our day job, and becoming couch potatoes when we’re at home.Then, when we decide to take back our life and start running like we did in High School, we go too fast too soon and begin to experience one or more of the top five running injuries. And to make matters worse, makers of shoes build a huge cushioned heal onto their shoes to help cushion our heel-strikes, or they add a bunch of structure into the shoe to stabilize the foot and reduce motion of the foot. Each of these shoe features compensate for us being out of shape and attempting to run like Carl Lewis.

In BOISE RunWalk, we also believe that Dr Romanov’s video (see below), book and training method are probably the best sources for learning how to run naturally and reduce the risk of injury. Across the board, we suggest you watch very successful sprint runners like Carl Lewis or any of the long distance professional marathoners, and watch their running form. Across the board they have largely the same, excellent running form, and this page talks about some of the basics of this form. To reduce your risk of injury off the couch, we recommend you focus on building core strength, balance and stability through cross-training, and you can do this cross-training as you begin a structured training program with BOISE RunWalk.

Change of Support
The keys to good running technique are a change of support from one leg to another, and how your foot lands on the ground.

A Basic Motion
A wheel rolls along the ground without much up/down fluctuation. A wheel rolls along the ground with a consistent center of gravity directly above the point of contact with the ground. The movement of a wheel and the movement of your body along the ground while running should be in the same horizontal plane with your center of gravity directly above  your feet and ankles. Minimize up and down bobbing of your head. A person watching you would notice minimal up and down head movement of your head and body as each of your feet touched the ground if you are running naturally.

Bobbing Up and Down
If you are bobbing up and down, you might be heel-striking or to far forward on your toes.
In years past, many coaches instructed a “heel-to-toe transition” and that advice is now out. With practice, you won’t focus or fixate on landing your foot.

A Basic Motion like Four Legged Animals
Watch a tiger or horse run. Their legs are always bent, never straight and they always land on the front parts of their feet. They never land on their heels.

Natural Human Running
The center of gravity is over the main support of your legs. The heels do not connect with the ground. The legs are always bent.

 

camera-videoThe Running Pose Video - the Pose Method of Running
by Nicholas Romanov, Ph.D.
The POSE training method is adopted by USA Triathlon, and hundreds of thousands of successful runners and triathletes. You will find additional information and purchase the excellent book and DVD at http://posetech.com

In the first 5 minutes of this 16 minute video, Nicholas Romanov, Ph.D. discusses and demonstrates the change of support, and the basic motions of a wheel, animals and humans. The remaining 10 minutes of the video demonstrate proper running form and training methods.

Summary from video
The amount of time the foot spends on the ground should be brief and crisp. Change support from one leg to the other quickly. Land on the balls/flats of your feet, not on your toes and especially not on your heels. Feet should have a soft, crisp and short landing on the flats of your foot, without a real impact or pounding… don’t impact the ground with your heels.

Cycling Motion – A Natural Running Motion
The motion of your legs, ankles and feet is smooth and cyclic, a natural running method. Straight legs at any point of the leg movement can cause problems. Keep your knees bent. Don’t increase your stride-length unless you’re in a sprint.  Raise your ankles:  raise your ankle when your weight is on the ball of your foot after a soft landing, rather than transition weight from heel to toe. Have a crisp motion of a soft landing and a transfer of support to the other foot by raising your ankles directly under your hip. Arm motion and performance is a natural balance for leg movements. Use gravity to your advantage. Be relaxed.

 



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