What is the best running form?
You may not like my answer to this question. And, remember, I’m not a doctor, so make your own decisions…
When you first start to run, it can all be a little overwhelming. What is Chi Running? What’s a forefoot strike, midfoot, heal, wide strides, short quick strides…Once you begin to research, you realize that there my not be one clear answer.
So, my answer to the question is this…
The best running form is the one that allows you to run without getting injured.
I am more of a heel striker. I run up to 60 miles a week without injury. The one time I did get injured (stupid Plantar Fasciitis) it was due to trying to run in less supportive shoes while moving to a midfoot strike. Once the PF healed, and I stopped forcing a foot strike that felt unnatural to me, the injury never came back.
There are some tried-and-true techniques to try, however, if you want to perfect your personal running form
Running Form Tips
- Look straight ahead: tilting your head up or down puts unnecessary strain on your neck. Keep a neutral head position by looking straight down the road, not at your feet
- Don’t swing your arms in front of your body: when your arms cross your torso, it can make breathing more difficult. Keep your arms loose, bent at 90 degree angles, and at your sides
- Potato chip hands: Don’t clench your fists when you run, it creates unnecessary tension in your body. My high school cross country coach used to tell us to pretend we were holding small bags of potato chips…you don’t want to crunch them.
There are many other running form components, but again, what works for some might not work for all. The above running form tips are the ones that I find has the greatest positive impact for everyone. Hope this helps keep you on the road!
For an overview of what to expect when your start running, read this post!