How to Perfect Your Running Form

Published: January 8, 2019

Rock the Block Run Greenwood Indiana

By Monica Harvey for RTBR

Running long distances is taxing on your body. You’re working lots of different muscle groups, burning calories and spending a lot of energy.

Have you ever thought about how your form affects your energy? This week we share some tips that will help you to focus your energy while running.

Arms and Hands
  • Your arms should be bent at 90-degree angles or slightly less.
  • Swing your arms back and forth. Don't swing your arms across your body.
  • Don't clench your fists. Instead, think of holding a cracker or chip in your hand.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Legs and Feet
  • Lift knees slightly.
  • Your feet should land underneath your body.
  • Avoid hitting the ground heal first or toes first instead try to land on your midfoot.
  • You want to have a strong, tall posture.
  • Engage your core muscles.
  • Lean slightly forward. You don’t want to lean too far back or too far forward.
  • Keep your hips even and your spine straight.
  • Your head and your gaze should always be forward. Don't look back to see who is gaining on you or look down at the ground instead just focus on your horizon.
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth while taking long deep breaths.
  • When starting out, you should be able to have a conversation with a running buddy. As you’re learning to breathe, start slow and build up to what works for you.
  • Everyone has different preferences when it comes to breathing. shares this article about proper breathing while running.
  • You can improve your speed and avoid injuries by making these simple changes to your running form.

Perfecting your running technique is going to take some time especially as you start to make adjustments during your training and figure out what works best for you. also provides this checklist for building proper form. 

Monica Harvey, a former Center Grove High School runner, participates in 5K, 10K and other races. A Rock the Block Run volunteer, she is a Community Relations Specialist with the Johnson County Public Library.