Wouldn’t it be nice to have a checklist of your run form?
Adjusting your run form mid-race can be the difference between a new PR or struggling to the finish.
For the past decade, as a Physical Therapist, I’ve been helping runners improve their run form for more speed and fewer injuries.
When it comes to run form, some changes yield more benefits than others. Below you will find a run form checklist — and you can also download it here.
It’s worth noting that mastering run form takes practice. Use the checklist below in your training for the best results on race day!
01 Knee Drive:
Most runners shuffle their feet — and it gets worse when tired.
Focus on driving your knee forward at push-off. The knee drive opens your stride and breaks you away from shuffling.
You’ll feel your stride open, and your pace improves when done correctly. Knee drive is great later in a run or race when the legs are tired, and use it to hold your pace or even speed up when tired!
Most runners are too upright when running, which becomes more prominent with fatigue.
Focus on a comfortable lean that doesn’t strain your back or feel awkward. The lean comes from your hips. To find the correct lean, stand tall, unlock your knees, then hinge an inch forward (you will notice your butt kick back slightly).
03 Arm Position
Running from the whole body is essential to finish strong. The legs and arms are in sync, so as the legs begin to tire and cadence slows, you can set the tempo with your upper body.
Focus on a comfortable arm position and rotate from your trunk. Your hands will come to midline but never cross. Set a good tempo from the upper body, and the legs will follow.
04 Foot Placement
Foot placement requires training your body to adjust. Of all the checklist items, foot placement is where the rubber meets the road — literally.
Because the change involves impact, the changes can cause other areas of your body to work harder.
While running, focus on a soft landing that doesn’t involve you reaching. Upon landing, your knee will be bent, your foot parallel to the ground, and your toes will point straight ahead (not up or down).
Want to improve your run form?
Reserve your RunSmart analysis and have a Physical Therapist analyze your running from head-to-toe.
Recording and uploading are simple from your phone. Our team will give you a complete frame-by-frame analysis and how you can enhance your stride for more speed & fewer injuries.