The running season is fast approaching! For some this presents the challenge and allure of new personal bests whilst for others it creates a new opportunity to venture into running!
However, running for many can be a daunting task! Irrespective of your running experience how many times have you heard the following statements?
- Running is bad for your knees!
- Running is bad for your hips!
- Running is bad for your back!
This emphasises the viewpoint of running gait as a complex skill that requires consistent learning, application and practice.
Why is this the case? I've walked for years with no such thought?
Unlike walking, running involves a period of flight, meaning at a specific point neither foot is in contact with the ground. Hence inefficient biomechanics can contribute to higher impact on the joints of the skeletal system. Whilst footwear has been hailed as the answer to these issues, running footwear has the ability to fix problems and potentially create new ones. Before jumping to new footwear as the solution consider these tips to improve your technique!
Aim to maintain an upright and tall posture with relaxed shoulders. Continuously fixing your eyes on a landmark ten meters in front of you can assist the process under fatigue!
Decrease the length of your stride when running uphill and increase the length of your stride when running downhill to ensure the foot is landing as close to under the hips as possible.
Pull the elbows straight back and forth without them crossing the midline. Arm action not only acts as a counterbalance to lower limb rotation but assists in developing speed. Running speed is a combination of stride length and frequency; an exaggerated arm swing creates a longer stride length whilst a faster arm action is linked with faster food speeds!
Theoretically a perfect running blueprint exists! Whilst individual variables can influence the specifics of what that looks like in each person, there is no arguing efficient biomechanics coupled with strength, mobility and fitness all contribute to injury free running in the long term!
Vision PT Sylvania.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.