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Fixing Two Common Running Flaws

  • By Nate Helming
  • Published Jun 16, 2014

Nate Helming and Mario Fraioli discuss how to repair your running form and economy.

As runners, we sometimes make mistakes because we’re not paying attention to what we’re doing or because we really don’t know what we’re doing! Other times, we commit common errors because we’re paying attention to the wrong things. In this video, Competitor Magazine senior editor and Olympic running coach Mario Fraioli discusses two common running form flaws.

1. Are You Too Focused On Foot Strike?

Are you a heel striker? Forefoot striker? Our feet, and how they hit the ground, often take up a lot of the focus when it comes to running form. Of course, increasing your awareness in regards to any aspect of your running form can be helpful, but too much focus in the wrong areas can leave you working against yourself.

Rather than starting from the bottom up, Fraioli says, we should take a top down approach to thinking about our running form. By focusing on posture, specifically our shoulder position, we can positively affect everything else down the kinetic chain—even our feet and how they strike the ground! In this first tip, we take a look at shoulder position and the keys to developing a better arm swing.

2. Are You Running Too Relaxed?

All good runners look effortless and relaxed, even as they surge down the road at mind boggling speeds. But in the effort to run “effortless,” muscular tension has to go somewhere—but where?

When many runners try to run relaxed, often times we become too relaxed with a disengaged core. To compensate, our shoulders stiffen up, which often contributes to stiff ankles and an even stiffer foot strike. However, if we can shift a healthy amount of tension toward our core, we can keep ourselves upright more easily while simultaneously relaxing our shoulders. Fraioli encourages us to “run tall” in order to stay engaged in the core, so that we’re relaxed in the right places, i.e. the shoulders and lower legs. By running tall, you can improve your posture and alignment, allowing you to run with a fluid, natural stride.

Check out more videos to help you become a better runner at The Run Experience.

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About The Author:

Nate Helming coaches strength and mobility for national and international-level road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes and ultrarunners at San Francisco CrossFit, as well as elite-level amateur runners and triathletes outside the gym. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter and check out his videos on The Run Experience YouTube channel.

FILED UNDER: Getting Started / Run / Training / Video