Three Tips To Improve Your Running Efficiency!Jo Clacher
Article by Jamie Van Beek
Three Tips To Improve Your Running Efficiency!
Running is an excellent way to keep fit while getting some fresh air. Altering your running technique in a few simple ways can vastly improve your efficiency, helping you to run for longer, as well as avoid any nasty overuse injuries.
Cadence Is Key!
The most common mistake runners make is over striding. This is when the foot reaches too far in front of the body during the swing phase, slamming your foot into the ground and producing a braking force which has to be negated by pulling your foot quickly back under your body, if pace is to be maintained. This is highly inefficient and also increases the pressure on your joints.
Increasing your cadence (steps per minute) will usually reduce over striding. Aiming for a cadence of 180 is a good rule of thumb, however your optimal cadence will depend on your biomechanics and height.
Avoid Heel Striking!
Avoiding over striding means nothing if you’re landing on your heels, as you’re still producing unnecessary braking forces. Aim to make initial contact with the ground either flat footed or with the forefoot.
Lean Forward, But Not From The Hips!
Combining the above points, you’ll find that your feet are making contact with ground further under/behind you than previously. You will want to lean forward, and you should, but ensure this is an entire body lean and not from your hips. A good cue is to tuck your bottom in.
Beyond these simple tips, your Physiotherapist is trained to detect a broad range of movement abnormalities which may be holding you back or causing you pain. These may arise from knee and ankle positioning during running, isolated muscle weakness or range of motion deficits.
For an individualised assessment, contact your Physiotherapist.