4 most common running form mistakes
We’re always on the lookout for ways to improve our race times and reduce the chance of developing an injury during training. Here are 4 of the most common running form mistakes and how to avoid them.
Lack of mobility
Having a lack of mobility is one of the most common running form mistakes that can have a big impact on your results. It’s a good idea to learn how to maintain an excellent range of motion in your lower body. It will reduce your chance of injury and help make your running smoother, more comfortable and faster, too.
Often when runners decide to increase speed for the first time, they increase their stride length. Unfortunately, this has the effect of reducing your stride frequency. Your stride frequency (how often you take a step) influences your overall speed much more than stride length. Count how many times your feet hit the ground in 15 seconds and multiply it by 4. That will show your foot strikes per minute. Ideally that should be around 180 strikes per minute. If it’s lower, try into increase how many steps you’re taking per minute to see a proportionate increase in speed.
Tight upper body
It can be difficult to balance the idea of running quickly and being relaxed at the same time. If you can learn to relax your chest, shoulders and neck, you will see better results (and less aches and pains!). Try raising your shoulders and dropping them at intervals to their correct position, and maintain your elbows at a 90-degree angle, especially as they pass behind your core.
The final point on our list of common running form mistakes is simple: you could be running too slowly. New runners can fall into a trap of finding a pace and never questioning it. If you want to see improvements in your times, you will need to incorporate speed training into your workouts. Try uphill runs, interval sprints (fartleks) or a shorter run at an increased pace. Doing this once a week alongside your usual training will help see an increase in overall speed.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.