Why running form is important

Published by Jorgen Larsen (Running expert and coach) on

TRAININGPLAN|PRO - Running form

Why running form is important

You need to follow a certain set of rules to achieve your goal. If you ignore any rule, you will fail. Think of running as a goal. It has certain rules like speed, time, form and other factors. A big mistake many athletes do is ignore one or two rule. Running form is a very important step that is missed out by many runners. Why is running form important? You are about to find out.

Many people assume running is just going out to run for 30 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week and that’s it. Running is more than that. It is a proper workout that needs a training plan. Being a running coach, I have seen my clients make one big mistake. That is bad running form.

For many years, people have focused on factors such as strength, diet, exercise, and strength building workouts. But all of them ignored form. While running they would put more pressure on their heels. They will flail their arms. These are the reason why most of you can’t perform like Olympian or world racing winners.

One of the famous running experts, Ed Kerry has explained in one of his interview. According to him, running is a cheap and easy way of losing weight and staying fit. But if your form is wrong, there won’t be any benefit. All of this struggle will be worthless. He is right. If you are working very hard but not in the right way, all of your hard work and struggle will not pay off. This is why having a good running form is very crucial.

Just running fast is not the best way to run. I won’t tell you to immediately change your running form. It will not make you fast in an instant. According to Pete Pfizinger who is a two time Olympian marathoner, an athlete’s oxygen cost can be utilized 2 to 4 times more efficiently by improving his form. So take this concept out of your mind that just running regularly will ultimately make you a better runner.

First identify if you are over striding or not. Over striding is when your feet land in front of your center of gravity. You will be taking brakes more frequently. And with this increased brakes, a lot of pressure will fall on your feet. This means more strains on your muscles, bones and ligaments. Here is a method (suggested by Coach Roy Benson) to find if you are over striding.

Give your friend a camera at a distance of 20 yard/meters from the side of level surface. Then run past your friend for 30 to 40 yards moderately. Then next you will run past at around 10 k race pace. In the end, run past a sprint. Check out the footage, it will be evident if you are over striding. If your knee is bent correctly and your foot is coming back down underneath you, you don’t need to change your form. It is good.

This is the reason why you need to have a running coach. He will help to build a proper training program. Tell your coach about your weaknesses and then he will tell you exactly what you need to remove those weaknesses. He will tell you about different techniques that will improve your running form and how to utilize your body parts in a way that maximizes your efficiency.

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