How to Run Correctly: Perfect Running Technique

 How to Run Correctly: Perfect Running Technique

If you fail to acquire the proper technique of running, you'll inevitably find yourself

susceptible to an overuse injury, rendering your initial motivation for running

completely futile!

That's precisely why the significance of your running form cannot be overstated: as you

engage in running, you subject your joints and ligaments to an immense load of pressure,

borne with every forceful stride you take on the path ahead. This arduous process repeats

itself countless times throughout your training regimen and during races.

It's no surprise that practically every runner has a multitude of tales recounting the

injuries they've endured. Running can be an unforgiving endeavor that can wreak havoc on even those who possess

sound running mechanics.

When your running mechanics are subpar, the consequences are magnified.

  • Not the POSITIVE kind of "magnified" akin to compound interest, a concept you were

introduced to in 2nd grade through the tale of starting with a single penny and doubling
it for 30 days.

  • No, the NEGATIVE kind of "magnified" encompassing plantar fasciitis, stress fractures,

achy IT bands, torn ligaments, and persistent discomfort.

You're familiar with the agonizing stuff…

Make sure to take the following five actions:


Incline from your ankles, maintaining an unbroken alignment from your ankle, through your

buttocks, and up to your head. When stationary, adopting this gentle forward incline should

evoke the sensation of teetering on the verge of falling.

However, do exercise caution to prevent an actual tumble.

As you commence running, gravity will assist in propelling you forward. A suitable lean

originating from the ankles ensures the harmonious alignment of your body, effectively and

efficiently engaging your muscles.


Cadence represents the frequency of your strides, quantifying the number of steps you take

within a minute. Initially, it might feel unfamiliar, yet adopting shorter foot strikes actually

minimizes the strain on your legs.

Ideally, your cadence should range from 170 to 190 steps per minute when maintaining a relaxed, conversational pace. As you gradually pick up speed, it's perfectly normal for your cadence to increase.

Studies have indicated that augmenting your cadence and increasing the number of steps you take per minute (approximately 180) yields numerous advantages akin to those associated with barefoot running:

Diminished impact shock transmitted up your legs.

Enhanced running economy, resulting in greater efficiency and the ability to run faster with reduced exertion.

Decreased likelihood of sustaining injuries.

You may perceive a notable increase in the frequency of your steps, which indicates that your previous form may have been deficient and is now being rectified.


When your foot descends and establishes contact with the ground, it ought to be positioned beneath your body, rather than in front of it.

By incorporating a brisk cadence and a subtle forward lean originating from your ankles, you will effectively and efficiently distribute the impact shock.

Regrettably, this fundamental aspect of running form often eludes novice runners.

Rather than concentrating on the foot's placement relative to the rest of the body, they excessively fixate on running exclusively on the forefoot. Yet, without initially landing in the appropriate position, a mid foot or forefoot strike can potentially exacerbate damage.

As you engage in running, a useful mental cue is to envision the act of simply "placing your foot down" in a direct line beneath your body.

There should be no inclination to reach or extend your leg out in front of you.

By practicing this mental cue, your leg will come into contact almost precisely underneath your center of mass, facilitating the even and safe distribution of your body weight.


While landing underneath your center of mass takes precedence, transitioning into a mid-foot striker offers a plethora of advantages.

Embracing a mid-foot strike can significantly reduce the risk of injuries by absorbing impact shock and averting an excessive heel-striking running gait.

It would be unjust to entirely attribute injuries to heel striking and label it as universally "bad."

Even esteemed athletes incorporate heel striking during races! It is not wholly detrimental, particularly if you promptly shift weight onto your foot following a heel strike, rather than directly on the heel.

Your focal point should revolve around maintaining a higher cadence, landing beneath your body, and avoiding forceful heel strikes.

Strive to land with your foot positioned flat on the ground, rather than with your toes angled upwards.


It is quite off-putting for observers to witness a runner with arms flailing uncontrollably, resembling Elaine's distinctive dance moves from Seinfeld.

An optimal arm swing entails maintaining a roughly 90-degree bend in your arms and executing a front-to-back motion (as opposed to side-to-side).

Envision an imaginary line running along your midlife or the center of your body. As you run, ensure that your hands do not cross over this simulated boundary.

Gently cup your hands together (avoid clenching your fists!) and if you wish to utilize your arms for momentum, focus on pumping your elbows rather than emphasizing hand movements.

Once you integrate these modifications into your running form, you will experience heightened comfort, while simultaneously witnessing a significant reduction in the risk of injuries.

For an additional bonus, strive to acquire the ability to run with a soft and quiet stride.

Avoiding foot stomping becomes increasingly challenging as you approach a cadence of 180 steps per minute.

There are a few additional factors worth considering:

Maintain an upright posture with a tall back and an elevated chest. Avoid slouching.

Direct your gaze approximately 30-50 meters ahead, rather than constantly looking down at your toes.

Both of these cues facilitate the maintenance of an athletic posture and promote good running form.

Take a moment to revisit and review this section multiple times. We understand that it may feel overwhelming to consider all these aspects while running, but their importance cannot be overstated.

If possible, enlist someone to film you while running, and later analyze the footage to assess your performance.

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