How to Improve Your Run Form: The Importance of Gradual Changes

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Thinking of improving your run form? Read this first.

As a runner, you want to get the most out of your runs and training, and improving your run form can improve your efficiency and speed while preventing injuries. 

Changing your running form can be challenging, especially if you’ve been running the same way for years. In this blog post, we’ll explore why making gradual changes to your form is essential and how to do it correctly.

Don’t Overload Your Body

When changing your run form, it’s important to temper your expectations. Too many changes at once can overload your body, leading to fatigue, soreness, and even injury. 

The best way to change your run form is to start with small doses of midfoot running. 

Before making any changes, focus on building strength in your glutes, legs, and ankle flexibility, and it will help with the transition to midfoot running.

Start with 10% of Every Mile

To start, practice your new form by running 10% of every mile/km with your new form. For example, if you’re going out for a three-mile run, run 10% of every mile with your new form. The toggling between your old and new form helps you feel the changes.

Increase Gradually

As you get more comfortable with your new form, increase the time you spend practicing the new form. For example, you can increase from 10% to 20% to 30%. Doing so trains your muscles and tendons for the change and can prevent injury.

The Benefits of Toggling.

As a Physical Therapist, toggling is one of the most effective ways to feel your form changes. Most runners are too quick and drastic with changing their run form.

They think, “if this is how I’m supposed to run, I’ll just do it.”

However, toggling is critical to making changes that last for the long run and preventing injury along the way.

In conclusion, start gradually when improving your run form. Focus on midfoot striking and practice 10% of every mile. As you get more comfortable, increase the time you spend practicing your new form, but always listen to your body and adjust as needed. 

Improving your run form takes time and patience, but by making gradual changes, you’ll improve your performance and prevent injury in the long run.

COMING MARCH 19

Want to improve your run form?

Join the Midfoot Project 5-week run form bootcamp for the first time ever inside the RunSmart app. You’ll get a customized training plan, five guided audio runs, access to our team of Physical Therapists, and a community of like-minded runners.