Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Perfecting your running form and tips for running up hills

Let’s talk running form.  Most of us would probably be shocked to see how we truly run, either from behind, front or side.  I have actually been to a running specialist and had myself filmed to see what was causing the pain I was feeling.  I don’t have that amount of time, money or opportunity now, so here’s some quick tips for keeping good form.

  1. Keep shoulders loose and away from you ears
  2. Chest open so lungs can expand for more air
  3. Run tall and relaxed
  4. Arms bent at your sides with hands cupped (act like you are holding a butterfly!)
  5. Avoid heel striking when possible and land directly under your hips
  6. Eyes up and looking forward.  Neck relaxed.
  7. Engage your hamstrings and butt.  Our quads take the blunt of our running mostly due to miles over time or improper form.

***A note on running up and down hills:
Uphill
  1. Keep your stride short and your knees up when running hills. This will increase your strike frequency and hopefully leg speed. Think - Short choppy steps.
  2. Stay on the balls of your feet and bounce off your toes for momentum.
  3. Keep your body straight. Avoid leaning forward or hunching over, which can feel like a natural thing to do. Pretend your head is being pulled by a string straight up into the sky.
  4. Keep your upper body relaxed. Try not to tense up your muscles.

Downhill
  1. Try not to “put on the brakes” when running downhill.
  2. Keep your stride similar to running on a flat surface.
  3. Continue to stay on the balls of your feet
  4. Be conscious of your form and how you feel.  A lot of times we see a hill (either uphill or down) and we mentally change how we run.  Stay the course and let your comfortable stride set in.  

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