- Head - Should remain still and looking forward. You should not be looking at your feet, even when on rough terrain, but looking a few seconds ahead to where you want to go.
- Arms - Should be bent at the elbow to approximately a right angle and relaxed. The angle may change slightly as you run. The movement of the arms should be forwards and slightly across the body (but not crossing the mid-line) and backwards. Movements should be small, controlled and efficient.
- Trunk - Should be upright and relaxed with the hips forward.
- Shoulders - Should be relaxed and loose.
- Foot strike - Should be under the body (not forward of it which would produce unnecessary braking forces). This will encourage a forefoot or midfoot strike pattern. The foot should be pointing forwards as opposed to a 'toe in' or 'toe out' running style.
- Take-off - Push off quickly after the foot strike with the heel moving upwards under the buttocks.
- Stride length - Should be comfortable and in proportion to the body. Over striding will reduce efficiency by creating unnecessary braking forces.
- Cadence - Optimum cadence is around 180 strides per minute (90 strikes per foot per minute)
Currently there is a big push towards a forefoot or midfoot strike pattern. There seem to be some benefits at least. Changing how you run, whether by technique training or a change in shoes (like running in shoes designed for a forefoot or midfoot strike pattern or designed to mimic barefoot running), will load your body in a very different way if you are habitually someone that has a heel strike landing pattern. Such a change in load on your body could result in injury if 1). You don't train your body appropriately to cope with such a change, or 2). The changes you make are too drastic and/or your body does not have time to adapt positively to such changes.
Confused? I hope not! We can go into a lot more depth when it comes to running technique in future blogs. Tim (LFTC Coach)