Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

9 Tips for Short Distance Running Form

Feb 8, 2010

If your plan is to increase your running distance, then your running form may need a little shape up. A runner has several things to keep in mind when running on a road, track or treadmill. A runner's form is apparent in the 3 S areas: Stance, Spring in step and Stride. Good form is essential for the runner wanting to increase distance, endurance and maintain energy. 

These 3 S's are the general areas where the runner can look to improve form. Here are a total of 9 tips to improve running form in order to increase distance and efficiency:

Stance 

  1. Momentum: Your body should take advantage of its forward motion. Don't stand straight up. As you bound forward, it's recommended that you should lean slightly forward. Your momentum should guide your body position.
  2. Legs: One important part of the legs in form are the knees. It's recommended that the knee should bend a bit. A lot of stress impacts the knees, so a slight bend can cope better with the bounding. In conjunction with the bent knee is envisioning a quick recovery and a soft step each time you bend and stride.

Spring in Step

  1. Landing: Like the knee, the sole of the foot takes a pounding, so where it lands is crucial. The best place to land the foot is right underneath and not out in front of the body. Right underneath will help you maintain a consistent stride.
  2. First down: Many runners touch toes first and others the balls or heels of their feet. The last way to touch down may be the best, and that's flat footed. This way will save you from stress.

Extra Tip: A well-fitting running shoe is essential in improving form. 

Stride 

  1. Pace: The goal is to make each stride easy and effortless. Maintain a consistent forward tempo. Try to increase your strides in order to better your efficiency and distance.
  2. Time on the Ground: Your pace will decrease the more time your foot is on the ground. This can wear you out quicker. Try to lessen the time between lifting your foot into the next stride.
  3. Kick: Like the body's stance, your kick at the end of the stride should have some bend. A straight leg slows the pace and stride. Work to kick the heel up as you stride forward.
  4. Arm Motion: There is the typical arm motion, and that's your hand in a slight fist with the arms pumping forward and backward. However, in order to improve running form the question to ask is whether or not emphasis should be placed on the forward or backward motion. Many runners believe an emphasis on the backward, because it will maintain the proper stride and stance.

Keep your form in mind when working to better your short distance running. Find a comfortable form that works for you. If you feel your running form needs improvement, put these tips to work for you.

Article Comments