Running Technique

Running Technique

Why Learn a Good Technique and Make Technique Improvements?

From the second we decide that we are going to start running we all want to be able to run faster, so we will help you by suggesting changes to your running technique – this is about running faster purely through technique, although it will take practice and concentration to improve your running technique.

For any runner, regardless of their standard to perform at their peak it is key that they run efficiently, allowing their body to use as little energy as possible, whilst also maintaining the required stride length. Many casual runners are risking injury and placing undue strain on their bodies by using a poor running technique.

Some of the most common issues with new and novice runners are
1. Bouncing – Up and down, up and down. This motion puts undue pressure on the knees which can result in serious injury.
2. Over Striding – This can lead to muscle tears in the legs and groin area.
3. Not using arms – Try and create motion from the shoulders and leave the arms at a 90 degree angle.
4. Twisting midriff – Try and keep facing forward.
It is key to use the necessary body parts efficiently. Here we look at what Mike Antoniades
Speed, conditioning & rehabilitation coach has to say on the matter.

THE SCIENCE

So how can you run faster, more efficiently and avoid injury?
The nervous, muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems of our body are all involved when we run.

They all combine to create the neuromuscular and neuromechanical systems.
We can improve the biomechanical movements for runners by teaching the body and the mind the correct motor patterns.
When you want to change a movement in your body it needs to be stored in your muscle memory so you can repeat without thinking, particularly when you are tired.
When you perform a motion the body sends messages to the brain in a certain sequence.
To create a permanent map in your brain and nervous system you need to repeat this motion many times until it is ingrained in your muscles and your brain.
• 1. The primary objective of motor learning is to train the Movement rather than the Muscle.
• 2. Once we have taught the movement then improving the athletic performance of a runner is imperative in the pursuit of excellence and in injury prevention.
• 3. The neuromuscular system then has to be stimulated to recruit and contract motor units simultaneously and to increase the strength of the contraction.

CORRECTING YOUR TECHNIQUE

Although this may be hard to pick-up off the written page I will explain what changes you may need to make to your current running style.
All accomplished and elite runners run on the balls of their feet.
The foot should strike the surface with the ball of the foot, in a dorsiflexed position (with toes pointing forward not downwards) otherwise this creates a” breaking” motion.
The heel doesn’t touch the ground.
The foot on landing on the surface should be “light” not heavy, it then “grips and scrapes” the surface.
The knee is slightly bent on contact with the surface and the foot lands below the centre of gravity – just below the hips.
Think of your leg working in a circular motion from the hip joint.
This brings the heel of the foot behind the body. The hamstrings and gluteus maximus (backside muscles) play a very big part in this movement. The thigh moves forward with the action of the quads and hip-flexors, the leg is extended and the foot drops again, landing on the ball of the foot as above.
We call this cycling the leg!
The hips and waist should be steady without a lot of side to side movement.
The back should be straight and relaxed, not bent at the waist.
The shoulders should be relaxed, The arms should be bent at approximately 90 degrees and the motion should be from the shoulder not the forearms.
As the arm moves back it should continue to stay in 90 degree flexion.
The hands should be held with the palm facing inwards not down. If you prefer to hold your hands in a fist, the thumb should rest on the forefinger.
The head should be up with your eyes looking ahead not down.
Try not to think about the movement too much. Instead try to feel the cycling motion, and visualise it in your mind while you’re running. You will know when you have got it right, you will be able you feel it.
Running technique is very important. We hope you have enjoyed this guide and wish you all the best with your own Running Technique.