Running 'technique' is a factor that can affect performance, injury reduction and enjoyment in running. Training technique is not only recommended for sprinters or competitive middle and long distance runners, but also recreational runners and sportspeople who's chosen game includes running / athletic movement.

It is evident that individuals run differently, and whilst one runner appears to run without effort, another may exert lots of energy.

Here at The Running Coach we help our clients ascertain what degree of their technique is correct and introduce exercises to train technique gradually.

To function optimally, runners must work not only to improve but also to maintain a running technique.

Listed below are a few aspects to consider when achieving an efficient running technique.

Posture: Posture should be upright and balanced. Hips are kept directly beneath the shoulders with the back held stretched.

Arms: Arm position should be at a 90 degree angle, the elbow should not move forwards beyond the torso. The movement forward will be smaller, compared to the backward swing. The arms must move in a synchronous rhythm with the legs.

Rhythm: Cadence (or steps per minute) is an important aspect of running and will help you achieve a lightweight bouncy feel. Steps per minute should be between 170 to 185 steps per minute. This will mean taking shorter strides, as your feet will be touching the ground more often. This will also ensure a brief surface contact. A runner whose technique is good remains longer in the air than on the ground.

Circular Leg Movement: Legs should move within a small range of movement. Efficiency will increase if the support leg is not allowed to move far backwards, or the swing leg is lifted too high forwards. A compact leg movement underneath the hips will avoid over striding and constantly slowing down and accelerating upon landing and push off. Range of movement should increase in accordance with running pace. 

Foot Position: The foot should be kept in a neutral position i.e. a 90 degree angle in the ankle joint. A neutral position will enable a landing on the forefoot (not too close to the toes) with the heel touching the ground momentarily afterwards. This will create a faster release from the surface by reducing the muscle lengthening/shortening cycle.

If you would like your running technique analyzed, or assistance with improving your technique please contact The Running Coach to arrange an appointment.