Running Form For Beginners – Whether it is for a sports competition, for fun, health reasons, or in an escape attempt, knowing how to run in the proper form would do you a lot of good.
If you are like me and you don’t enjoy running, or you feel it’s not your thing, it’s probably because you don’t understand and have never practiced the proper running form.
It was in the 8th Grade that I wrote off running, and I decided it wasn’t just for me. It happened that we were all practicing for race competition, and my mates were miles ahead of me.
The senior coming behind was ragging those kids who weren’t fast enough had a swaying time.
Maybe, it was the sound of the voices of my fellow students laughing at me or the jibe I had to endure from other students. I couldn’t tell, but one thing was sure, that would be the last time I would attempt practicing for an Inter-House Race Competition.
Coupled with another ill experience I had while jumping heights in the playground with my friend, I concluded that I would have nothing to do with athletics. I can watch it on TV, get excited and even imagine being in the shoes of the champions, but that’s about it.
Had I known the proper form for running in the early days of my life, maybe my story would have been different. Sometimes, when I hear my friends say, “I’m going for a run,” I usually ask, “what for?” and “to keep fit” would be an honest response.
So, if you are like my friends, I advise you to read on and find out how to run in the proper form. With this understanding, you will have a continually productive running experience.
Running Form for Beginners
If this is the first time you want to venture into the running world, I’d suggest you take notes because I’m about to unveil to you the proper running form for beginners.
Before I proceed, quickly note that the position of the different parts of your body can influence the quality of your running, mainly the hips, torso, head, arms, and feet.
I don’t just want you to run like the professionals; I also want you to enjoy your running experience. So take note of the following:
1. What is your body saying?
If you are feeling pain on your shoulders, arms, or back during training, then it is a sign that you need to work on your form. Learn to listen to your body always.
2. Where are you placing the center of your body mass, on your hip or your legs?
For the right body alignment, while running, it is appropriate to place the center of your body mass on your legs. You can achieve this by keeping the front of your hips and torso slightly forward so that your foot lands more directly under your body.
This will aid your forward free movement.
3. Do you look forward or downward?
Looking downward will make your back arch forward, and you will end up leaning on your hips, which is not acceptable.
On the other hand, looking forward to keeps your head aligned vertically and in a comfortable neutral position with your spine. The essence is to help you save energy and avoid possible complications.
4. Relaxed or tensed?
For greater satisfaction, you need to run in a relaxed mood. Tips to be relaxed include: let your jaw drop freely, flex your ankles, drop and loosen your shoulders, and your fingers should be free too.
I understand that you may be tensed in the beginning but not to worry, with constant practice, you will attain the relaxation mode.
5. How well do you employ your arms to aid your speed?
When you do it right, your arms provide balance and are in sync with the movement of your legs. Form the habit of keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle while swinging them back and forth.
If your arms don’t feel comfortable, you’re probably not getting it right.
Achieving the Proper Running Form For Beginners
We run for different purposes and on various occasions; maybe early morning jogging, for a competition, to run an errand faster, etc. whichever be the case, you should master the proper running form for beginners.
It will save you energy and time; plus, you will keep fit.
If you are an athlete already, you could watch out for areas where you are getting it wrong and improve on them. You may also find tips that will help you run faster and with a minimized risk of injuries.
Listed below are practical steps you can take to attain the proper running form:
1. The Mid-foot Balance
Land on your mid-foot rather than on your heels or your toes. At the same time, ensure that your feet are pointed straight ahead in the direction of your journey.
By nature, you land on your toes or your heels, you may not worry much so long as they help you propel forward once you hit the ground. The advantage of landing on your mid-foot is to avoid injuries.
Besides, you must select the best footwear for your feet. The shape of your arches should help you identify the running shoe that will grant you the necessary support you need. Endeavor to choose the shoes with the right size and perfect cushioning.
2. The Legs’ Role
When it comes to your legs, it is better to place them in a perpendicular position to the ground. This will make adequate explosive force available for you to move forward horizontally.
Think of it this way, once a foot lands on the ground with the leg as straight as possible, then the other leg should be positioned at an angle 90.
That way, you would have achieved involving your ankle, knee joint, and hip joint at the same time to absorb shock and create energy.
3. The Knee
4. Positioning The Torso
Practice running erect so that you don’t place your weight on your hips; your waist should be straight too. I’m aware that tilting forward could help you cover a longer distance in a short time, but the tilting should be from your ankle, not your waist.
Just place your torso slightly forward to your hips, and you are good to go.
5. Shoulders and Fingers Matter Too
Don’t fail to maintain sync between your arms and shoulders. Do not haunch your shoulders over rather square and face them forward. Don’t squeeze your hands, leave the relaxed.
It is advisable to point your thumbs to the sky to help keep your arms in line. No matter what, don’t let your hands make crosses before your chest.
In summary, you must maintain a good posture when you are running. You should be straight and erect. Your back should be straight, and your shoulders leveled. Maintain a neutral pelvis and ensure that you are not leaning forward.
I know all these may seem like a lot of work and so much information, but if you desire to record a more enjoyable running experience, I advise you to go all the way and adopt the proper running form.
I’d love to know how these steps have helped you become a better runner. So do well always to send in your progress reports.
And just in case you wish to know what has become of my running life in recent times, let me know in the comment box below.