Road Warrior: How to Improve Your Running Form Today

I'm not a runner, not even close actually.

I'm on the shorter side, with heavy legs, and I just don't particularly like doing 14 miles of anything.

 

In fact, almost all of my cardio is done through HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and functional circuit training and very seldom will you find me jogging towards anything, well besides a sale on protein. (see what I did there?)

Although I may not be the world's most avid runner, I am a goal digger and this last month of training I've been focusing on one thing: conditioning.

So I've traded in the Stairmaster, for a 1 mile run every week. No more, no less; but as fast as I can do it!  Determined to beat my time every week.

So I bet you're wondering where this is going?

Well since I'm new to the whole "jogging" thing, I found myself in the park every week working on my mile, and watching many do the same.  Now I hate to be the new guy here and tell everyone they have bad form; but you do.

Running can be a great cardiovascular to supplement into your routine; but that wear and tear you might be feeling? FORM can be the culprit!  So I've outlined some tips to help elevate your run game:

  • Start at your feet.  The most pain caused from logging the miles is not the miles themselves, but the shoes that are taking you there.  Running shoes should be renewed every 6 months; especially is you hit the trails multiple times a week.  Also, a firm sole helps with your mid-strike (we'll get into that later) and making sure your shoes are wide enough and have enough compression.
  • Hey, watch where you're going!  This isn't a safety tip, this is an alignment tip.  Watching your feet while you run slows your pace and causes the neck to strain out of alignment.  Keep those eyes on the prize!
  • Relax.  Seriously, this is the mistake I see all the time!  Relax the shoulders and focus on unbleached fists will not only help the body move at a better gate, it will also ease muscle soreness.
  • Flex; kind of.  Keeping your ankles flexed while pushing off the ground helps give the knees more support and make better shock absorbers.
  • Watch your strike.  This is huge!  Most runners should be looking for the perfect "mid-strike" or where your foot lands between the heel and the mid-foot while pushing off.  Be very aware of this if you run in an incline often or if you are suffering in the areas of the patella (top of the knee) or the IT band (hips or outside thigh).

So whether you're a road warrior or just trying it on for a mile or two; making sure your form is correct will help you log the miles and keep your body thankful!

Article Contributed By:

Alysha White, Axis Labs Sponsored Athlete and Master Trainer

@justafitchick


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