How to choose a running technique

->

Can you run wrong? As far as possible! The life hacker decided to understand the classical technique and the peculiarities of running at different speeds.

everett225 / depositphotos.com

It is believed that running is the most natural load for a person, which means that the technique should be initially incorporated into our body. However, many aspiring runners suffer from improper technique (joint pain, muscle tightness), and in the sports environment there is still no consensus on what it means to “run right.”

It is believed that running is the most natural load for a person, which means that the technique should be initially incorporated into our body. However, many aspiring runners suffer from improper technique (joint pain, muscle tightness), and in the sports environment there is still no consensus on what it means to “run right.”

It is impossible to say exactly how to place the foot during running (on the heel, on the middle or on the front) and what the angle of the arms should be (90 degrees, slightly more or less).

Distance greatly affects technique: sprint, average distance or marathon. Depending on the tasks, the position of the foot, and the angles of the bend of the knees, hips and arms change.

However, there are some general guidelines for running technique based on physiology and mechanical principles. Knowing them will help you avoid mistakes and injuries.

If, on the contrary, you throw your head back and look up, you get a crease in your neck. When running long distances, this can be a real problem. Therefore, while running, look straight ahead.

Athletes most often follow the movements of their legs, sometimes how their hands work, but they almost never think about the position of the head and facial expression. But the tension of the muscles of the face can in the same way ruin your technique, as the incorrect position of the legs.

Even if it is unbearably difficult for you, do not make grimaces: the tension in the muscles of the face is transmitted to the neck and shoulders, impairing the technique and causing fatigue.

To prevent your elbows from spreading to the sides, straighten your shoulders while running. Slouching back and forward-facing shoulders prevent the elbows from moving close to the body.

Another common mistake is moving the arm towards the opposite shoulder, crossing the center line of the body. A large backswing is an extra movement that slows down the runner and requires extra effort.

Mentally draw a vertical line dividing the body in two. When moving forward, the hand should not go beyond this border. Ideally, it stops at cheek level and then moves back.

See marathon runner Patrick Makau’s hands move as he runs. They do not cross the center line.

Do not strain your arms too much while running, this is a waste of energy. Keep your shoulders, forearms and wrists relaxed. You should get the impression that only the elbows are moving. You can imagine that there is a pendulum at the tip of the elbow – only it swings, and the rest of the parts are free and relaxed.

The calf energy is then transferred to the thigh, which continues to move forward. After the highest point of lifting, the thigh begins to descend and transfers the energy of the lower leg, which tends to the surface. The movement ends with a step exactly under the center of gravity and the transfer of the body forward, after which the leg is pushed off again and begins a new circle.

See also  How to speed up metabolism

Putting the foot on the heel is more common among beginners: we are used to walking from the heel, so we start running the same way. However, subject to certain conditions, there is nothing to worry about.

When you shift your weight onto your leg, the foot should be under the center of gravity. If you put your feet forward and lean on your foot when it is in front of the knee, natural shock absorption is lost and the knees are subjected to shock loading.

By placing the foot under the center of gravity and rolling gently from the heel to the front, the damage to the joints is reduced.

This is the name of the running technique, in which, during repulsion, the back of the thigh is included in the work. The foot begins to move backward before it touches the ground, and at the moment of contact, the muscles of the back of the thigh are triggered, providing a strong push. When the heel touches the ground, the push has already begun.

Landing on the midfoot

During the landing, the foot drops to the middle and only then to the heel. This technique is more common among experienced runners: due to running speed or increased cadence, the leg touches the ground a little later, the main emphasis is on the middle part. That is, when the leg begins to descend, the heel tends to the surface, but in the process it shifts back, goes under the center of gravity, and when it touches the ground, the main emphasis is on the middle of the foot.

If you slow down a little or decrease your cadence, your heel will drop first. Therefore, we can say that landing on the midfoot is an advanced version of running from the heel.

Roll from the forefoot to the middle

This is the running technique of professional athletes. During the landing, the foot is lowered onto the forefoot – the pad just behind the toes – before the weight is transferred to the entire midfoot.

This landing provides excellent shock absorption and protects joints from shock loads, which is especially important for professional athletes. And one more plus of this technique: the athlete feels the surface even before he completely transfers his body weight to his leg. This can come in handy when running on rough terrain, when you need to navigate in time how to step in order not to stumble.

If you want to develop this kind of running technique, start small distances. Due to the unusual load, the muscles and ligaments of the ankle can hurt at first.

Landing on the forefoot only

When running for short distances, the technique is often used without setting the heel. The sprinter lands on the front of the foot and then immediately kicks off before the foot is completely down and takes on the weight of the body.

Due to the increased slope of the body, early push from the surface and special shoes with a thin sole, the heel simply does not have time to touch the ground. But, if you slightly reduce the running speed or increase the distance, the sprinters’ technique will return to the one described above – running with the middle part of the foot touching the surface.

The foot is on the ground directly in the center, and the shoulders are practically parallel to the floor, without large distortions.

See also  Free apps and discounts in the App Store June 9

Professional runners tend to have their feet exactly under the center of gravity. Beginners often have the wrong technique: when landing, they put their feet farther from the center, hip-width apart.

We’ll take a look at running techniques for sprinters, middle runners, and marathon runners using three famous athletes: sprinter Usain Bolt, middle distance runner David Rudisha, and marathon runner Patrick Makau.

We’ll take a look at running techniques for sprinters, middle runners, and marathon runners using three famous athletes: sprinter Usain Bolt, middle distance runner David Rudisha, and marathon runner Patrick Makau.

Sprinters do not have time to touch the surface with the heel, so they run on the forefoot with a roll over to the middle. As soon as the leg is under the center of gravity, it gives a push and begins to rise.

В unlike middle runners and marathon runners, sprinters make a fairly quick push from behind. The athlete pushes off the surface with maximum force, after which the leg begins to rise almost immediately.

The longer the foot stays behind, the more the speed decreases, and since the sprint spike boots already provide excellent traction, it does not require a full foot load for a good push.

The height of the rise of the lower leg and thigh

Behind, the lower leg rises very high, almost touches the buttocks, after which it goes forward. Such a large overlap combined with a high overhang increases the stride length and speed of the athlete.

The more often the step, the smaller the angle of the arms. This can be explained simply: the sharper the angle, the more arm movements (and therefore steps) the athlete makes. As seen above, Usain Bolt bends his arms at an acute angle.

Unlike a sprinter, a middle runner touches the surface with his entire foot. First, the forefoot descends, then rolls to the midfoot and heel. Although the heel touches the surface, it lingers on it for a short time, almost immediately shifts back and breaks off during the push – a good example of the scissor technique.

During the clean and jerk, the athlete’s leg is farther than the sprinter’s and flexes a little later. Due to the relatively short distance, the average rider does not need to save energy, excluding wide movements. At the same time, a good jerk followed by a high shin lift allows for increased speed.

The height of the rise of the lower leg and thigh

After the leg kicks off the ground, the shin rises high enough, but still lower than Bolt’s. The thigh is also carried forward slightly lower than the sprinter. When running at medium distances, an athlete needs to expend energy a little more economically, and therefore, reduce the range of motion.

David Rudisha’s arms are bent at an acute angle, which means he is running with a high cadence.

Patrick Macau places his foot in the middle of the foot and then rolls over to the heel. However, among marathon runners, there is another setting of the foot – on the heel. This proves that running from the heel, provided that the leg is correctly positioned – under the center of gravity – does not cause significant damage to the joints. Otherwise, a marathon athlete would very quickly end his career due to injuries.

Macau’s step is shorter than that of Bolt and Rudisha, after repulsion, the leg bends almost immediately and begins to move forward. There is no almost complete extension of the leg after the push, like Rudisha’s. Movement is more economical, which is justified for long distances.

See also  The future of Cut the Rope: new levels, stuffed animals and a comic for iOS

The height of the rise of the lower leg and thigh

Marathon runners are forced to constantly save energy in order to be enough for a long distance. Therefore, the range of angles in which the joints work naturally decreases, and the sharpness of movements disappears.

Unlike Bolt, who almost reaches the buttocks with the heel, and Rudisha, who also makes a large overlap, Macau’s shin is bent at a less acute angle. A high overlap of the lower leg when running at an average pace is not needed: it does not add advantages, it only wastes strength. The height of the thigh rise in Macau and Rudisha is about the same.

Patrick Macau bends his arms less than 90 degrees, much like Usain Bolt. Rudisha has a sharper bend angle.

As you can see, the techniques for running at different distances are very similar. The main points of the classical technique, such as the angle of the bend of the arms, placing the foot under the center of gravity, overlapping the lower leg, can be traced in any of them. Consider this when setting your own technique.

As you can see, the techniques for running at different distances are very similar. The main points of the classical technique, such as the angle of the bend of the arms, placing the foot under the center of gravity, overlapping the lower leg, can be traced in any of them. Consider this when setting your own technique.

Shifting a straight leg forward

1. Shifting a straight leg forward

Beginner runners often do not bend their legs strongly enough as they move forward. Having pushed off from the surface, the leg is transferred almost straight, with a slight bend at the knee.

With the correct running technique, after the push, the leg bends quite strongly at the knee (how much depends on the runner’s task), is transferred forward in a bent state and straightens only during the downward movement.

Shifting body weight to the foot when it is in front of the knee

2. Shifting body weight to the foot when it is in front of the knee

Above is a good example of improper running technique, where the body weight is transferred to an almost straight leg carried forward.

When you transfer body weight to your foot, it should be exactly under the body. If you lean on the foot before it is under the center of gravity, then running speed decreases and the load on the knee joint increases.

Hanging foot before touching the surface

3. Hanging foot before touching the surface

During the run, the legs are in continuous motion, the foot does not hang up before it touches the surface. If the leg seems to stop in the air and then firmly falls to the ground, the step is accompanied by a sound. Therefore, stomping while running can be considered an indicator of incorrect technique.

Watch your running technique, do not make mistakes, and then training will become less tiring for you, and the risk of injury will significantly decrease.

Watch your running technique, do not make mistakes, and then training will become less tiring for you, and the risk of injury will significantly decrease.

Author – Iya Zorina.

Editor – Oksana Zapevalova.

Layout designer – Lera Merzlyakova.

Leave a Reply