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5 ways to improve your running style

May 2, 2009

3Some runners have such an elegant running style. They seem to float almost not touching the ground. Here are a few tips that can help you get there:

Stride: Try to run as beautiful as you can. Lift up the chest, push it forward and try to run “light” or “effortless” with relaxed arms. Let your legs “dance” and FEEL the time you are in the air. Land under the body and use the kick (toe-off) to move forward instead of taking big steps ahead. If you land in front of your body you will break the movement. For better kick: try to do Toe-rises daily, ex when you brush the teeth, waiting for the bus etc.

Forefoot running: Landing on the midfoot or forefoot will allow you to use the foot’s natural cushioning. It’s natural to run on the forefoot when it’s very steep uphill, but try it also when going slightly downhill. Trail running on technical trails will also force you to forefoot running, because “heel-running” could be devestating for your ankles. Try forefoot running with light running shoes (max 300g). Start with 100 metres intervals, not necessarly fast.

Strong legs: Prevent injuries by working on your muscle balance. With only running specific strenght you can easiliy get into different kind of problems. Include biking, jumping, running stairs and hills (up&down) in your weekly training. Running with weight, 3-5 kilos in the backpack, is also a smart way to get the more training when you run with slower runners. 

Strong core: especially for ultra races you will need a strong core to be able to run upright all the way. Give your body at least 1-2 functional training sessions every week. Find one or more places in the nature where you can practise cross-fit during the run. Yoga, climbing, swimming and wrestling works fine too.

Stretching: make the muscles longer after the run. This way your body will be more flexible and agile. Stop and stretch during the run if you feel there is something wrong. Stretching is also a good way to keep the body young.

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