Featured on Competitor: Fixing Two Common Running Form Flaws

Featured on Competitor: Fixing Two Common Running Form Flaws

Are you committing these running form flaws? Sometimes we make mistakes because we are not paying attention or simply because we do not know. And sometimes we make mistakes because we are paying attention to the wrong things. So today we talk with Olympic running coach and Competitor editor Mario Fraioli on two common running form flaws often caused by the latter.

1. Are you too foot-focused?

Heel striker? Toe Runner? Our feet, and how our feet hit the ground, often take up a lot of our running focus. Of course increasing your awareness to any part of your running form can be helpful. But too much focus in the wrong areas can have you working against yourself.

So rather than start from the bottom up, we like to start from the top down. By focusing on our posture and specifically shoulder position, you can positively affect our running mechanics further down the kinetic chain, i.e. our feet! In this first tip, we talk shoulder position and keys to a better arm swing.

2. Are you running too relaxed?

All good runners look effortless and relaxed, even as they surge down the road at mind boggling speeds. But in the effort to run “effortless,” muscular tension has to go somewhere. So where?

In most runners’ efforts to relax, we become too relaxed with a disengaged core. To compensate, our shoulders stiffen up which often contributes to stiff ankles and even stiffer foot strike. However, if we can shift a healthy amount of tension towards our core, we can hold ourselves up more easily and simultaneously relax our shoulders more. Think about running tall to stay engaged in the core. Then relax the shoulders, relax the ankles, and you have a fluid and efficient running stride in no time!

So there you have it. Try a “top down” focus to your running form rather than “bottom up”. Finally, to stay relaxed where it counts, in the shoulders and ankles, we need tension in the core to hold ourselves up right!

This is the fifth installment in The Run Experience series. Look for more in the following weeks! In the meantime, you can check out more videos to help you become a better runner at The Run Experience. Feel free to ask questions in the comments on Youtube, or on Facebook! We want to hear from you!