The First P of Running Form: Posture

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Hello Everyone!

Hope that last video had you inspired to start to learn some running form skills.  This week we will start with the First P of Running Form: Posture.

Most everyone is familiar with what is referred to as Good Posture.  Posture can be described as proper alignment of the body so as to reduce unnecessary muscle or joint strain while laying down, sitting down, standing, walking, running, or performing any sort of movement.  Posture is key.  If you have bad posture, you are only setting yourself up for an injury at one point or another.  As runners, bad posture can lead to injuring the shoulders, back (especially the lower back), piriformis, sciatica, and hips: just to name the most common possibilities.

So how do you achieve proper Posture while running?  Simple: think about what proper posture is like while you are STANDING, and relay this to running.  Stand up straight, feet hip width apart with equal weight on both legs, hips level (not sticking your butt out too much), lower back with a slight curve (but not too much), Shoulders in a relaxed/pulled backward position with the chest lifted forward, chin and eyes level to the horizon, arms by your side and relaxed with palms facing inward and open.

A Key tip that I tell most of my runners is that when you are running and your form (especially your posture) is starting to fall apart toward the end of a long run, you can raise both of your arms into the air directly above your head with elbows straight (I call it reaching for the stars), this will automatically throw your body back into straight alignment and proper posture.  This is easy to do and it doesn't look awkward at all because it simply looks like you are stretching your arms.  Try it sometime when you're feeling tired during a run.

Here is a short video from Ian Adamson of Newton Running Co. on good posture: (~30 seconds)

That is all I have this week.  Look for the next P next week.  Have a great weekend and keep working on that Posture!

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

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