4 Signs of Poor Running Technique

Running coach Martin Yelling explains what signs of poor form you need to watch out for – and three simple ways to improve your technique

running technique

Effective running technique is crucial to better (whether that be faster or further) running. For longer distance runners, it’s especially important for relaxation (both mental and physical), efficiency and running economy.

A strong, balanced, fluid running technique creates a smooth, economical and comfortable running style. Master effective running technique and you’ll not only be able to run faster, but will also be at less risk of injury.

4 signs of poor technique

  1. You keep getting injured or have muscle soreness.There are many different reasons for getting injured but a recurring injury or niggle that simply won’t go away could be down to poor running biomechanics.
  1. You fatigue quickly and shuffle a lot.Do your hips drop? Does your stride shorten? Is your knee lift non-existent? If so, poor technique could be to blame.
  1. You make a lot of noise.If, as you run your feet slap loudly on the ground, this is a sure sign there is something going on further back in the technique chain.
  1. You do that funny arm/leg/foot/head thing.You know what I’m talking about. Your arm flaps about at you’re your side, or perhaps your knees knock together, your head bobs about, or one of your feet turns out.

3 ways to improve running technique

  1. Get a running technique analysis.Having your running gait, posture and biomechanics video analysed by an expert can help identify weaknesses and suggest correct technical strategies and skills to train yourself to run with improved form.
  1. Do the drills.Pay close attention to how you run and spend time on simple technical drills that are related to your own running style and running focus. When the physio you’ve been to see suggests that you’d benefit from a few conditioning and/or rehab exercises to alter and improve specific aspects of your form, then do them!It’s easy to put rehab on the backburner or stop it after a while. Yet for long-term technical shifts and advances in running technique to take place, you’ve got to stick to the schedule.
  1. Be in tune with yourself.Pay attention. Get in the habit of dialling in to your running form, posture and technique.Instead of ‘just running’, spend time on each run locking into being present and more aware of how you run. Recognise your quirks and explore what happens when you change them.
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