Why Is Running Form Important?
Part I: Intention
Whether you’re first starting out or have been running for years, improving the way you run can keep you healthy and uninjured, especially when you start to work towards running longer and farther distances!
Many running injuries can be caused by an error in the way your body transfers energy from the ground – starting from your foot all the way up to even your ribcage.
Let’s look at one aspect of efficient running form and inefficient running form.
Do you see how the pelvis overly tips to one side? The energy moving from the foot and upwards through the body begins to “leak” out to the side of the hip, instead of being used to propel you forward. This is called a hip drop, and it is one of many inefficiencies that can be found within a running form.
What is Good Running Form?
GOOD running form comes from a unique combination of mobility, stability, and your INTENTION when you run. Strengthening your glutes and your core is an excellent way of treating the “hip drop”, but your intention when you run is the key that ties it all together.
What does this feel like? Intention starts with good body positioning – let’s start with your posture:
Imagine a red balloon with a string attached to the top of your head, gently lifting your head and body upwards to the sky. Allow yourself to feel slightly taller – but take care in not letting your chest flair up and out, or the curve of your lower back to deepen excessively. You may notice your stomach slightly comes inward as well, activating the deep layers of your abdominal muscles that support your body.
Practice holding this posture when you stand, walk, and run. Being able to tap into a relaxed, but powerful posture even when you are fatigued allows your body to continue pushing forward with true efficiency.
See David Rudisha: a great technician with efficient and beautiful running form who remains the WORLD RECORD holder in the 800m track race. Take a look at how his hips drop minimally with each step, and how each step intently drives him forward with power and grace:
An efficient runner has a STABLE landing and push off that comes from proper strengthening, but more importantly, has the mindset of staying relaxed while under pressure.
Your running form is a reflection of yourself to you. As you near the point of fatigue during your runs, how would you want to perceive yourself?
Stay tuned for the second portion “The Kinetic Chain” of our 3-part series as we look more in-depth into the importance of running form!