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Q&A

Practice Proper Running Form

Question:

What's the proper running technique for distance runners?


Experts agree that one of the keys to efficient, injury-free running lies in your foot strike: You should land on the middle of your foot (rather than your toes or heel) then roll through to the front before pushing off with the arch and toes. For long-distance running, keep your stride short and avoid high knee lifts, which wastes energy and can make your running inefficient.

To run more efficiently and with less stress on your body, here are some more basics to perfecting your running form:

Run tall: Keep your body comfortably upright when running, with your eyes looking straight ahead -- this will allow you to breathe optimally.

Keep your shoulders relaxed: Tightening your shoulders and neck creates unnecessary tension which can fatigue you quickly. Work on maintaining a relaxed posture when you run.

Legs: Land with your foot directly underneath your body -- hit the ground lightly midfoot, quickly roll forward, then push off the ground.

Keep your arms close to the body and swing forward and back -- not across your body -- to minimize torso rotation. Keep elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and relaxed.



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