It's hard not to notice while walking, driving or sitting outside getting a bite to eat or enjoying a hot coffee - that many in West Hartford have a passion for running. So, as a guy that has more than a passing interest in structural body mechanics or how the body functions properly, I can say many (not all) should read this post.
Normal Running Form (It's So Much More Than Posture)
These are the basics that many (not all) seem to have, how can I put this delicately - modified, to their own detriment.
- Arm swing should NOT cross the mid line of the body - ever
- Elbows at 90 degrees with hands relaxed
- Head straight looking forwards
- Hips neutral
- Feet pointed straight, if your shoes are wearing uneveningly - they are not straight and you need modifications to your foot wear or use of a Foot Corrector
- A slight lean about 10 -20 degrees, from the ankles (not from the waist)
this reduces strain on the calves and minimizes toe -off.
- Land on mid foot
landing on your heels slows you down
reduces tension on calves
foot should land under hips
The above is a short list of what is NORMAL and what you need to strive for to become a better runner and avoid injuries - which after all would keep you from running.
Remember Structure Dictates Function and If Your Function (Body mechanics are off) then Structure Suffers; i.e. sprains, strains of knees, ankles, low back, hips, etc.
What I observe around town from most (not all) runners are violations of 2 or all of the basics of running. Listen, no one has perfect running form and I know from experience with runners that if these tips are not implemented properly- it is very likely you will not run your best time and set yourself up for injuries.
The main offenders that I have seen:
- Leaning at the waist - your torso and head are to far anterior or forward. This puts excessive strain on your SI joints, lumbar spine and TMJ.
- Arms crossing your midline
- Head looking down, bad for your upper back, neck and TMJ
- Heel strike
- Not keeping your knees bent ( bending knees acts like a shock absorber - the more straight and rigid the more prone to injury).
Get evaluated by a local expert, running club or Fleet Feet. Fleet Feet has a nice evaluation equipment with video equipment to show you where you have your difficulties.
Running clubs, talk to the wise gurus that head these clubs, they have the road time in to point you in the right direction.
Happy Running and Have a GREAT Day!