We were born to run so some of us, though, that statement might feel a little far from the truth, as running doesn’t come naturally to all of us. However, it’s something we were never actually taught so whether you’re completely new to running or maybe you’re a runner who’s, not happy with their gate. Today, i’m going to be taking it back to basics and revisiting how to actually run it’s usually fairly obvious to spot a poor running gate and what is going wrong. But when it comes to good runners, it’s much harder to see exactly what they are doing. So today, i’m going to be breaking down the movement patterns of the running gate and explaining exactly how to perform them correctly, as well as giving you some tips to get going before we actually start moving.
We need to address how you stand as your posture will carry over onto your running and you might have flashbacks from school being told to stand up right. Well, obviously, running is a fluid movement, but still having your head held high and shoulders nice and open your tummy tucked in and your hips facing forwards is going to help. So you want to picture having a line that dissects your body. It goes up from your feet so through your ankles, your knees up through your hips dissecting your shoulders and then your ears, and you want to maintain that line when you start running, although you’re going to have a slight forward tilt, so the line is basically coming Up at a forward angle from the ground, let’s now address the specific parts of your body and how they should move so we’re going to start off with the feet and the ankles when you’re walking you land with a heel strike with your leg out in front Of you and your leg, nice and straight, but as soon as you start running the force, that’s going through your bones and your joints is greatly increased. So you do want to make sure you’ve got a slight soft knee, there’s a very slight bend in it.
Making sure it’s not fully extended and as to where your foot lands on the ground. Well, that is eternally open to debate, and it’s something that i suggest you experiment with yourself, but having a midfoot foot plant actually does help with some shock. Absorption and it’ll also help encourage you to have a better body position, but it goes hand in hand because, as you start running, and you start to implement that forward, tilt we’ve already talked about you’ll, find it more easy to land with a mid foot strike as Well, sticking with your feet, you also need to address where your foot lands in relation to your body and it’s really common to see people over striding so basically landing on their heel with their foot way out in front. So a little bit like the walking action, but when it comes to running this is pretty much acting like a break so you’re putting your foot down out in front of you and then having to move your body over and it’s also really jarring on the body. So, ideally, you want your foot to be landing underneath your body, whilst it’s already started to move backwards and a good drill to just get awareness of your foot landing.
Underneath your body is simply running on the spot. There are a couple of old school on the spot, drills which will really help with the points that we’ve been covering so first of all high knees. I expect most of you understand what i mean by this one, but you are simply jogging on the spot. You’Re going to start off by just bringing your knees halfway up to hip height, i’m really focusing on landing on your mid foot and keeping that time on the ground really short, so short contact time and nice and springy off the ground once you’ve mastered that, then Try to bring it up to full hip height, so basically getting your knees up to 90 degrees or your hips up to a 90 degree angle and then take plenty of rest. Just try and do this for 10 to 15 seconds, because if you’re doing it well, it will be hard and then you need to look at the other end of your running stride.
So your bottom activation and some with some butt kicks so you’re, simply going to place your hands behind your bottom and you’re, going to start off by trying to flick your heels up towards your hands just sort of halfway to start with, and this one you really Need to focus on keeping a good posture because it’s quite easy to start to lean forwards, but as a result, it will be quite easy to naturally land on your midfield or even your forefoot, and then progress. This actually touching your hands with your heels and once you’ve got. These mastered really concentrate on keeping posture throughout and staying nice and upright because it is easy to cheat, but obviously that’s going to. Then you know not get the point of the drill and then finally, once you’re ready, you can start to progress this to moving forward so covering a distance of say, 15 to 20 meters and then just jog back from recovery. A common cue from running coaches is to hear them say, run tall well, it acts in the same way as standing tall.
So you put your shoulders back and you automatically tuck your tummy in, and i bet you’ve done that without even realizing and these cues are great for making you look good when you’re standing and running, but we’re not focusing on that today. We want you to be running more easily and it will have a knock-on effect because tucking, your tummy in, isn’t actually going to rotate your pelvis slightly posteriorly. So basically bringing your hips up towards your chest and that’s going to then make it much easier to lift your knees when you’re running your hips are essential for all of your running propulsion and we talked about the front of the hip. So the knee drive coming forwards, but we also need to look at the posterior chain. So what happens at the back and when you’re running you need to have good extension in your leg as your body moves over your foot and if that’s restricted, then you’re going to be restricting your stride length.
So you need to make sure you’ve got strong glutes that are firing because that’s the powerhouse your bottom muscles, but also that your hips aren’t too tight so that you can get that full running propulsion from each stride moving up to your shoulders. Ideally, you want these to remain as relaxed as possible, because if they come too tense or bunched up around your ears, then you’re going to find it much harder to breathe, but also just restricting your overall movement and any movement that comes at the shoulder should be A result of your arms moving forwards, not as a result of your shoulders actually forcing that movement. [, Music, ], your arms are actually there to help you run more easily. So if you think about the forwards and backwards motion of your arms, actually driving and propelling you forwards and there’s actually a diagonal link from the opposite, shoulder and arm through to the opposite, hip so connected through your torso and because of this. Yes, your shoulders are working, but you still need to keep them nice and relaxed, and you want to have a bit of a gentle bend at your elbow so keeping them in close to your torso.
When it comes to your hands, they need to be relaxed as well. So you don’t want them super clenched. You don’t want them poker straight, but just somewhere in the middle in a relaxed finger bend in this relaxed position. You want your arms to slowly be moving forwards and backwards. Keeping them close to your torso is any movement that goes across your body.
It’S just going to be counterproductive and you’ll have to correct that with your legs, so you can actually practice this on the spot. Now so you might sound silly, but if you just stand still and you have your arms and you’re just simply going to pump them forwards and backwards, concentrating on keeping your shoulders relaxed, you can even do it in front of the mirror. And then, if you take one foot in front of the other and so you’re in a partial running stance and practice, it again for 10 arm pumps and then swap onto the other side for another 10
And obviously, when you’re actually running you’re not going to have to physically think about your arms so much because they will move more naturally with the running gate, but to just prove how much your arms do assist your running. I want you to have a little go at going out for a run and sticking your hands to your thighs so running with your arms by your side, a little bit like a penguin and then go back to normal running and you’ll really feel the benefit of What your arms do – [, Music, ] last, but no means least, is your head and with it being such a heavy structure, its position can have a serious knock-on effect on your running and remember that line i talked about at the beginning. Your head needs to remain in line with the rest of your body, because, if it’s too far forwards or it’s looking down, then you’ll find it really hard to lift your knees up at the front of your running gate.
If it’s the opposite and you’ll find it’s too far back, then it’s going to cause you to heal strike and over stride so also too much excessive movement. You really want to try to reduce or keeping it on one side, because anything you’re doing with your head. Your body’s just going to have to compensate and it’ll end up having to work harder. So a good way to get your head in the right position is to sort of think about your head. Think about your eye line so make sure you’re looking nice and far ahead, as that will naturally keep your shoulders back and it will help you keep your hips up as well.
I can’t believe i’ve actually got this far and not address breathing, but it is quite hard to have it as a separate section, as it’s obviously involved in every movement of running and if you’re getting it wrong, then it can have a negative effect on your run. Yes, it sounds simple, we all know how to breathe and after all, we have got this far, but you might not actually be breathing correctly for your running and signs could be having really tense shoulders or seeing tension in your face and your neck. And when you are breathing, you need to utilize your full lung capacity for running, so that means breathing more than purely from your rib cage. So let’s have a look at where you’re at at the moment. So for this you need to just take a lie down a moment and just breathe.
Normally, whilst placing your hand on your belly, if your hand isn’t moving, then it indicates you’re only doing shallow breaths so try to focus on filling all of your lungs with air right to the bottom of them, and this will see your belly move outwards or upwards. Underneath your hand on the in-breath and then, as you breathe out your hand, should fall away. Just have a feel and get used to doing this whilst you’re lying still and then take it up to standing and again place your hand on your belly to get the feel, and you might find that actually doing some simple breathing exercises before running will help to Remind you to stay relaxed, but also to fully utilize that lung capacity and finding the correct footwear is important when running, especially if you’re looking at altering your gait, and for this i would recommend heading to a specialist running store. So they can ensure you’ve got a shoe that suits your running style, but also fits properly and then, finally, a bit of strengthening. You need to make sure you’ve really work on straightening, your core and the muscles around your hips, as that enables you to keep that good posture.
We’Ve talked about for far longer, which in turn makes running much easier and makes you more efficient. So if you’re, maybe having a play around with your gate or changing anything at the moment, do let us know you can do that in the comments section below and check out all of our other social media channels and whilst you’re there give us a like and A follow