1. Head – Your head is one of the most important parts of running effectively. The head should be in the neutral position and looking forward. The head determines the posture of the rest of the body. If the head is tilted forward, the shoulders depresses, the spine curves and it cuts down the effectiveness of your stride. Some runners mess it up right out of the gate by looking down, or even worse, by developing the “bobble head syndrome”. This is where the head bounces up and down repeatedly like the toys you get on fan night at the baseball games.
Be mindful of what the eyes are doing. The head tends to turn wherever the eyes look. So if you want to run faster, and improve your form, start by looking forward and keeping your head straight.
2. Torso – Lean slightly forward from the waist and lead with your chest to allow momentum to carry you forward. An open chest leads to open lungs. This will translate to better breathing and more energy. And who can’t use more energy?!
3. Arms – You want to form a little bit smaller than a 90 degree angle between the forearm and the bicep. As your arm swings, you want to maintain that angle by swinging from the shoulders instead of flexing your elbow. We don’t want to beat a drum, we want to run! More strength will come from swinging from the shoulders rather than bending and extending the elbow.
4. Legs – The first area of your stride, otherwise known as the “A” part of your stride, needs to begin with the knee and thigh driving high towards the sky. Once you get the height you need, move on to the “B” section of your stride by extending the legs forward. Allow the foot to land on the ground and under your center of gravity. Once that foot hits the ground, follow up with “C” portion of your stride by kicking your leg back with your foot rising about knee high and pulling through.
5. Feet – When your foot strikes the ground, you should aim for the mid foot hitting the ground. This should give you an even weight transfer without tiring the calves or putting a ton of stress on your lower back.
Practice these five steps when you go out for your casual or easy run days to make sure that you develop your version of the running form described above. If you work on improving these five things, your running will take on new life.
Wellness Expert Maxim Nazaire is a Personal Trainer in the Roswell, GA and metro Atlanta area. He specializes in double digit weight loss, injury rehabilitation and athletic/human performance. He is the author of two critically-acclaimed books including his latest book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wellness. Nazaire is a graduate of the School of Health Science and Public Health at Stony Brook University in New York. He is also Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and holds the honor of Level 1 Coach from the United States Track and Field Association (USATF). Maxim has been featured on CNN Headline News Health as their go to health contributor where he shares his philosophy on wellness with television viewers all over the world. Nazaire is a highly sought after motivational speaker, captivating audiences from every walk of life. He is married to his wife Danay Nazaire and currently reside in Atlanta, GA.