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Basic Principles of Good Running Form

  • Several principles of good running form.

    • #1: land as close to as a possible below your center of mass.

      • The point of loading is the point where you start to put weight on the foot that is landing. You want the distance between that point and below center of mass to be as small as possible.
      • So instead of reaching out with the foot and absorbing a lot of shock with the knee, with the leg out in front of you, you want to be moving along with your leg landing as close to below you as possible.
    • #2: Shorter Ground-contact Time

      • How much time your foot stays on the ground, between the foot-strike, where you touch the ground, and toe-off where you push off the ground, that is the ground-contact-time, and you want to shorten that amount of time as much as possible, by shortening the first part of your stride, the part where you are absorbing shock from the foot strike to the part where you are below your center of mass.
    • #3: Faster Turnover

      • As you're spending less time absorbing shock in front of you and spending less time with your foot on the ground, you should then be able to pull the leg through quicker than you were before, which leads to faster turnover.
      • The rule of thumb is to aim for above 180 steps per minute, while you are running hard on flat ground (it may be a little different when you are jogging or running up/down a hill).
    • #4: Standing Tall

      • The first way people don't stand tall is to lean forward excessively from the hips. Either this comes from inflexible hips (not able to get full extension without bending forward) or from weak abs.
      • You also want to avoid excessive knee bend. This either comes from reaching too far ahead of your center of mass or from weakness in the body not able to absorb shock with less knee bend.
      • So you want to stand tall, with the knee and with the hips.

In future videos we'll talk more about running form, and the things you can do to help yourself improve. Stay tuned for more videos to help you learn to improve your running form! 


  • 3 common barriers to good running form

    • Strength

    • Mobility

    • Neuromuscular Barriers


Elite Running Form

A look at Usain Bolt sprinting, Ryan Hall in the middle of a marathon, and Haile Gebrselassie running barefoot.

Meant as a tool for you to compare videos of your running form with. Interested in having your form evaluated? Find out more here.

Varner Down Dipsea Stairs

The leader of the Quad Dipsea trail race 2015, before he goes on to set the course record. His downhill form on the stairs, compared to some of the runners trailing him.


Sub 2 Running Form

Some thoughts on running form after watching Nike's Breaking2 Attempt in Monza Italy. If you didn't get a chance to see it live, you can checkout this documentary.