The foundation of great Running is good posture. The spine should be elongated by standing straight, tall and relaxed, whilst tucking your bottom under body and keepings abs engaged. Use gravity to propel you forward with a moderate lean forward from the ankle.
- Head. The head should be erect, with eyes focused forward to a point on the ground about 15 -20 metres away. Keep your neck soft.
- Shoulders. The shoulders should be relaxed, square and level. Do not round your shoulders or swing them forwards or backwards. The arm motion should be from the shoulder, not forearms.
- Arms. Arms should be swinging freely but in a general forward/backwards motion (in a tight figure of eight), not a circle or a straight line. Elbows should be bent approximately 90 degrees with forearms remaining roughly parallel to the ground. The hands and forearms shouldn’t cross over the body as they swing back and forth. Think about taking the elbow back.
- Hands. Hands are held with the palms facing inwards, not down, in a relaxed fist with the thumb resting in the forefinger.
- Torso. The torso should be erect, with chest up (open and lifted from the waist) and plenty of room for the diaphragm to move for proper breathing actions. Many runners do have a lean forward slightly from the ankles, not the hips. Do not slouch, for this will put stress on the lower back.
- Hips. The hips should be steady, square and level with no sideways movement.
- Legs. The leg action should be relaxed, with pendular movements and moderate knee lift. Legs and arms should move together in a smooth, steady rhythm.
- Feet. The foot should strike the surface on heel or mid foot (ball of the foot), in a dorsiflexed position (with the toes pointing forwards not downwards) otherwise this creates a “breaking” motion. The foot lands below the centre of gravity – just below the hips. On landing the foot should be “light” not heavy, it then “grips and scrapes” the surface. “Push off” from the ground and let heel float up behind.
- Knee. The knee is slightly bent on contact with the surface. The knees should point straight ahead, as if they were headlights of a car.
- Breathing. Keep you breathing relaxed. Breathe from your diaphragm, not your chest. Using a rhythmic breathing pattern (for example breathe in for two counts and out for two counts) throughout your run can help you gain endurance, flow and avoid stitches.