Running tall and running relaxed will improve your running form. A relaxed, upright posture is the best running position. Your head, shoulders and hips up over your feet make it easier to move the whole body, improving your breathing.
With shoulders back, body relaxed, imagine a string attached to the centre of your chest leading you up a hill, pulling you to the top. Shift your hips forward to keep your alignment and posture correct. Strong abdominal muscles maintain form – the very reason for those sit ups. Lead with your knees to keep your alignment correct and prevent over striding. Concentrate on the correct push off from the ankle with short fast steps (more of a shuffle).
Rather than breathing from your chest area, focus on belly breathing. Mastering your breathing techniques will make you faster and more efficient. As your pace increases there is a tendency to over breathe, you may feel as if you’re gasping. Focus on exhaling rather than inhaling – the in breath will happen on its own involuntarily. Breathe in a manner that feels comfortable to you.
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of Running Room. A best-selling Canadian author of 10 books on running and walking, John Stanton was named to Macleans magazine’s Canada Day Honour as one of 10 Canadians who are making a difference in our nation, for his contribution to health through fitness.