Running is the king of cardio. Running even, five to 10 minutes a day, at slow speeds is associated with a drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a landmark study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Running is a seemingly simple activity. It was when we were kids. So why do many have difficulty on the Fitness Test and/or get injured trying? In reality it is a complex mix of physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, strength and coordination of movement that we must make simple again.
Unless runners understand the important principles of the gait cycle, or running movement, it can be difficult to know how to make the personal (and go-it-slow, gradual) adaptation to natural running. Still, it bears mentioning: natural running is not a brand or specific method, but rather what humans have done for millions of years. There is no perfect way to run and science will never give us all the answers. The beauty of running is in the play and art of the movement.
Although this information might appear technical in a few places, it can be easily learned for all runners. Use this section together with the Drills and Mobility and Stability as you progess. Videos
Good Form is just part of the Essentials of Efficient and Healthy Running. Watch the videos demonstrated on the TRUEFORM Runner to understand the the principles of healthy running
Run tall – imagine your column being stacked under your head
Look straight ahead to the horizon
Ball of foot and heel are level on ground
To move forward lean form the ankles NOT your waist
Hips should be balance without any rotation
Maintain a strong stable core while in motion
Arms set rhythm
elbows at 90 degrees or less
relaxed rearward drive of elbow
Arms reflexively come forward
Knuckles close to sternum- foot always lands under hand
Hands should not cross center
Do not pump arms
Arm out in front will cause overstride
Feet & Legs:
Feet land close to center
FULL foot contacts ground
Balance and Rhythm
Legs store and release energy
Use glutes to get foot down and generate more spring and power
Overstride forefoot landing- foot stretched out in front
Forefoot landing without letting heel settle down (running on balls of feet)
Overstride heel landing
Harness the energy from your springs
Engage the glutes and pop off the ground
Extend hips to propel forward
cadence 170-180 steps per minute
Find rhythm that is natural for your springs
Do not actively lift your leg upward- let it spring
Slow sticky over-stride pattern. Uses excessive muscle energy.
Cadence too fast overdriving spring
To learn more watch this instructional video on natural running, by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Principles of Natural Running.