Monday, July 6, 2009

Biomechanics of running

Written By: The Veg Next Door

So you are running now with proper shoes and hopefully stretching properly afterwards. But are you running properly?

I have seen many people running too quickly, making their arms do a lot of work and running out of steam, running on their toes and insisting that it was comfortable, I've seen it all.

So here is what you should be conscious of while running. If you can run alongside an experienced runner who can check your technique that's even better. If it is not possible, then ask someone to look over the list and watch you run for a minute or so to see how you are holding up.

Here's the checklist:

* head straight and neutral
* eyes scan the horizon
* shoulders low and loose
* elbows at 90 degrees
* hands have unclenched fist
* arms drive forward and back, not across the body
* torso is tall
* hips/pelvis not tilted (think of pelvis holding a bowl of water -- don't let water spill!)
* knee has mild bend to clear ground
* stride is short with quick turnover; and
* feet land under the body between heel and mid-foot.

It is a good idea to scan your body and think of the list when you run. Proper body alignment will prevent injury.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or drop me a line:


  1. This is perfect...My girlfriend and I were just talking about this on Canada Day...we were trying to figure out what to do with our arms and elbows when running so this will help a lot!!! Thanks VND (Veg Next Door)!!! This is awesome!!

  2. You're welcome.

    Regarding arms, do what feels natural and is not making you waste any energy. Often people swing their arms side-to-side, clench their fists or have their shoulders almost touching their ears. When I run I often have my hands in a *loose* fist position. I've also run with my middle finger and thumb touching (think yoga). I picked this tip up from another runner and it helped me stay calm and relaxed.

  3. Thx u for list on proper form...and speed!Since i started i have been trying to keep up with the other runners on the seems like when they are on their second round i am still trying to finish my first.LOL!!So it's quite a relief to hear that i should be running at my own speed!!!!

  4. Margarent, Another common reason new runners quit is b/c they are trying to run at a speed that's not for them. Go at your own speed and you're more likely to stick with it. I found that in races there are many people who pass me at first but it's me who passes them closer to the finish line. Go at a pace that's good for you.