The Right Technique Makes Running More Enjoyable

By Maria Polyzou (GRE)

 

Many new runners and in general, amateurs usually encounter problems when they start running; this is due to their wrong running technique.

 

What should one do then in order to avoid such injuries and this unnecessary pain?  Also, what is - right running technique?

 

  • When you run, you should look far ahead.

Many new runners have the tendency to look at the ground while running.  This does not help in having the correct posture and many problems are thus created. 

Take turns and switch from looking 2-3 meters ahead of you and also far ahead at the horizon.  In this way, you will have more control over your area and you won’t feel bored and fed up with your surroundings whilst training.  Moreover, you won’t feel tension and pain in your shoulders.

 

  • Your feet’s contact with the ground. 

You should land on the soft ball of your feet as you touch the ground.  You shouldn’t land on your heels (heel strike), because if you do, you are slowing your pace.  Neither should you land on your toes; you would be putting strain on your shin muscles and creating minor injuries to your toes. 

 

  • Position of your arms.

Your arms should be moving in a relaxed way back and forth, parallel with the direction of your movement.  If they move to the side, then we have a twist of the trunk left and right which will inevitably put strain on your back.

Think of a pendulum.  Your arms should move back and forth, your elbows must be at a 90° angle and the palms of your hands and your wrists should be relaxed and not in a tight fist.  Otherwise, it will lead to tension in the arms, shoulders and neck. 

You should constantly feel your shoulders relaxed and at their lowest level without them floating back and forth.

 

  • Your stride.

Do not try to have a long stride (over striding) thinking that this will speed you up.  Allow your feet to move naturally.  Also, do not raise your feet too high up from the ground.  Keep them close to the ground.  The higher you raise your feet, the bigger the shock absorption when your feet touch the ground. This results in excess strain and you get tired more quickly. 

 

  • Posture

Your body should remain erect and straightforward without leaning forward in a slump.  Your trunk should remain upright with your chest high up so that your diaphragm is free and allows you to breathe correctly. 

 

By learning to run correctly, running becomes a most enjoyable form of exercise. 

 

Maria Polyzou is a Coach for long-distance running