Running technique is an element to which both amateurs and professionals should pay close attention. By making a few small improvements you can effectively avoid pain or injury, and at the same time significantly improve the results achieved.
It is worth realizing that proper running technique affects not only our performance. By correcting various basic errors, we can save a lot of energy and make the run much smoother and less strain on the musculoskeletal system. The consequence of this will be the absence of pain and unpleasant injuries.
Bad habits very often prevent further progress. The longer we run in an incorrect way, the harder it will be to correct them. Consequently, it is worth starting to work on the correct technique as early as possible. The mechanics of running depend to a large extent on the strength and flexibility of the muscles and body structure of the runner.
Here are some principles that will help you develop a good running technique. One of them is flexibility, which applies to muscles as well as tendons, ligaments and joints. The body functions much better when it is not limited by stiffness and a small range of motion. Unused muscles become stiff. Importantly, flexibility is not innate – it must be continually worked on. To effectively reduce the risk of injury, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes a day warming up. It will also be essential just before running. This is a proven way to get your muscles moving and prepare them for training.
The key issue for running technique is the correct body posture, which is based on keeping the spine straight – without too much bending or overstretching. The more we hunch over, the more muscles have to work to maintain an upright position. In addition, this restricts the supply of oxygen to the lungs and brain and blood to the muscles and organs. When running, keep your head straight, in a neutral position, not lifting your chin too high or too low. Look several meters ahead. The shoulders should be relaxed and kept almost still. Once in a while you can relax them and lower your arms along your body. The arms must be relaxed during the run. Work steadily, keeping the angle of the arm in relation to the forearm at 80-90 degrees. Wave hands backward.
The proper running technique includes keeping an upright posture and leaning forward slightly. We try to minimize the twisting movements of the trunk – they could only slow us down unnecessarily. As for the hips, they should be pushed forward slightly. This will make more room for the organs located in the abdominal cavity, open the chest and facilitate the work of the lungs. It is very important that the silhouette forms one straight line. The last important element is the legs. When running, your feet should touch the ground below you, not in front of you. The legs should be bent strongly at the knees, taking slightly smaller steps. This will result in a natural landing on the mid-foot, less strain on the joints and shift the load to the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
The correct running technique also consists of the so-called cadence, which is the frequency of steps per minute. In the case of beginners, the average cadence is 75-85, while for professional runners it is 90-100. In order to achieve the best possible cadence, it will be necessary to reduce the length of your stride. It is also very important here to land under the center of gravity of the body and slightly more on the mid-foot. By taking more steps, we roll the foot faster, shortening the contact of the foot with the ground. The consequence of this is that we reduce vertical deviation and waste less energy.
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