Run Form for Beginners: Part 1 – What to Look For

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, knowing what to look for in run form is crucial.

Your run form is a unique and undervalued piece of training. Not only can improving running form enhance your speed, but it can also unlock pain-free running.

The trouble is knowing what to look for and how it affects the big picture. Luckily, most smartphones will allow you to thumb through your running video to dissect your stride.

As a Physical Therapist & running coach since 2009, I’ve watched many people run. While there are many items to consider when evaluating run form, here are my top two areas to analyze:

#1 Foot Strike

It starts when the foot hits the ground—most beginners and experienced runners overstride.

When the foot contacts the ground, the toes are up, the knee is straight, and the leg is reaching. Landing in this manner reduces the ability of your body to absorb landing forces.  

Overstriding can result in sore joints, muscles, and tendons.

#2 Symmetry

Every stride is a balancing act for the body. Analyzing symmetry is a great way to understand how the body balances itself. The video can help you understand:

  • Areas of weakness
  • What’s causing soreness or pain
  • Overall inefficiency and loss of power

Evaluate your symmetry from a back or side view. Draw a line down through the center of your body. Then analyze right vs. left with each foot on the ground.

Is the head or spine tilted? Does the hip drop or knee cave? Each piece can unlock the reasoning behind how you feel while running.

Of course, there’s more to consider, but foot placement & symmetry are a great start.

Want to improve your run form?

Save 20% on a RunSmart Analysis with code RUNFORM20

Now through October 12, 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.

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